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William Morris Inspired Prints

Whatever you have in your rooms, think first of the walls: for they are that which makes your house and home.
- William Morris

I have fallen in love with the latest collections from London based luxury lifestyle brand, House of Hackney. They have created amazing textiles and wallpapers inspired by the work of artist and philosopher William Morris. The intricate, bold designs capture the quality of the original Morris work, while the chosen color palettes add a fresh update.

Designers Frieda Gormley and Javvy M. Royle were invited by the William Morris Gallery to remake some of his most famous works in order to appeal to a new generation. They chose three key collections from the archives: Peacock and Dragon, Blackthorn, and Hyacinth. They chose those collections mainly for their symmetrical proportions and natural motifs. Each print was re-designed and given a brighter color palette.

The collaboration was a dream project to work on. His principle of coupling beautiful design with a social conscience was a key inspiration in the founding of our own brand, and we are privileged to have been allowed to access his spectacular archive, bringing his works to a new audience.
- Frieda Gormley.

The collections also include fashion items, with strong bold prints and colors, that match perfectly with the interiors. Just imagine being able to own a dress that coordinates with your sofa…! Take a look at these wonderful designs……

artemis-and-hyacinth-cushions Image Source: House of Hackney

hyacinth-wallpaper Image Source: House of Hackney

blackthorn-black-wallpaper-lamp Image Source: House of Hackney

prints-on-wallpaper-chair Image Source: House of Hackney

victorian-inspired-feral-flowers-print Image Source: House of Hackney

artemis-collection Image Source: House of Hackney

Studio Job is another design group who has been hugely influenced by William Morris. Their designs can be found on the NLXL website, specially designed for their ‘9 meter no repeat’ wallpaper collection; the collection is called ‘Archives Wallpaper by Studio Job’. They combined classical drawings with universal symbols in their patterns and created a total of 6 designs. Take a look at the incredible wallpapers…

You don’t need paintings with this wallpaper. This is beyond styling.
- Job Smeets (Studio Job)

inspirational-prints-wall-mural Image Source: NLXL

inspirational-prints-wallpaper Image Source: NLXL

green-print-wall-mural Image Source: NLXL

inspirational-wallpaper Image Source: NLXL

inspirational-wallpaper-design Image Source: NLXL

printed-wallpaper-design Image Source: NLXL

Studio Job collaborated with fashion duo Viktor & Rolf in 2013, creating a William Morris inspired catwalk set for their show. Giant black and white sunflowers provided the perfect backdrop for the black and white fashion collection. Take a look at the stunning oversized florals….

Something with flowers accompanied with the : – ) sign” and the concept came quickly, inspired by William Morris’ traditional textile designs.
- Job Smeets (Studio Job)

sophisticated-prints Image Source: Frame

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful
- William Morris

William Morris’ striking wallpaper and textile designs are available through the Morris & Co website. While these traditional designs are being produced in modern methods, with some textile designs now being featured on wallpaper, the intricate patterns stay true to the original work. These wallpapers would make a statement in your home for sure!

strawberry-thief-wallpaper Image Source: Morris + Co

honeysuckle-and-tulip-wallpaper Image Source: Morris + Co

arbutus-wallpaperImage Source: Morris + Co

William Morris began designing wallpapers in the 1860s which were hand printed by Jeffrey & Co. in London using wood blocks and mineral based natural pigments.
- Morris & Co

The intricate hand-carved wooden blocks used to print the original designs are still around, showing a fascinating attention to detail. Just imagine the hours of work that went into carving that block by hand! All to create something beautiful for the home!

wallpaper-printing-block Image Source: Michael Wailes

More modern methods use machinery and bright inks to create the comprehensive designs….

machines-for-printsImage Source: Morris&Co

floral-sketches Image Source: V&A

Original designs and sketches show the thinking behind some of Morris’ most well-known wallpapers. His sketches combined with the vivid colors that can now be produced make the designs come to life. Take a look at these awesome florals;

blue-fruit-wallpaper Image Source: LimitLess Walls

orchard-wallpaper Image Source: LimitLess Walls

sweet-briar-wallpaper Image Source: LimitLess Walls

cray-wallpaper Image Source: LimitLess Walls

pink-and-white-flower-wallpaper Image Source: LimitLess Walls

The elaborate, William Morris designs have been used widely in fashion for making a stylish crossover. Designers, including Prada, Marios Schward, Ostwald Helgason, Valentino, Mother of Pearl, Louis Vuitton, Simone Rocha, No.21 and Marc Jacobs, have all produced designs inspired by the work of William Morris. Color alteration was the way that Marc jacobs and No.21 made their Morris inspired collections feel unique. Louis Vuitton brightened the pattern colors, while Simone Rocha changed the pattern positioning and played with scales.

The floral prints can transcend easily, as they are a common trend in fashion. The rich colors and textures are often embellished with detailed embroidery that give the patterns a gorgeous 3D element. Where wallpaper can have 3D features, such as flocking, fabrics can be altered in a number of ways, including burnout printing techniques like devore, and with the addition of embroidery or applique. I love how the patterns are inspired by nature and stylised in a contemporary way!

floral-designs Image Source: Kociara

floral-prints Image Source: Kociara

The late Alexander McQueen included a re-worked Morris design in his ‘Highland Rape’ collection in the nineties. The pattern is a gold print on black with drips flowing down the garment.

gold-prints Image Source: Architectural Digest

What is your take on William Morris patterns? Do you feel inspired by his work?