At the Decorex interiors show last month I spent several happy hours in a vast hall crammed full of the most gorgeous textiles, wallpapers and interiors products imaginable.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love these events. But sensory overload does set in and after a while I found myself wandering with slightly glazed eyes.
All of a sudden – zing! These extraordinary wallpapers and textiles by Newton Paisley seemed to jump right out at me.
I just had to stop, stare – and smile, of course – at the sight of ‘Cactus Mexicanos’, above. Aren’t the colours amazing, those gorgeous pinks on their fresh chartreuse background?
I soon found out that these intricately drawn catci come in other, equally delicious colourways. They include the blush pink and slate grey shown above and below. I never tire of seeing how different colourways change a design. Sometimes it’s only subtly, other times much more dramatically.
It also turns out that the story behind the products is as fascinating as the designs are beautiful.
They’re based on the exquisite hand-drawn illustrations of conservation biologist Susy Paisley. I was lucky to chat with her briefly, and discovered that each design tells the story of neglected and endangered species from around the world.
Even better, I learned that the sales of these textiles contribute to the preservation of the fragile habitats depicted.
For every metre of fabric sold, 100 square metres of wild habitat is preserved through Newton Paisley’s collaboration with the World Land Trust.
There are eight different designs available. After the cacti I’m particularly drawn to the Carolina Monarch design, above. This is because I quite recently read the excellent ‘Flight Behavior’ Barbara Kingsolver.
The book centres on the extraordinary migration of the Monarch butterfly. They gather in absolutely vast numbers on their summer feeding grounds in the Carolinas and then fly south to the forests of Mexico where they overwinter.
Featured along with the butterflies in Susy’s design, are also the plants which provide the nectar for energy for this epic journey. Sadly, they’re being depleted to critically low levels by herbicides. Which of course means that the numbers of Monarch butterflies is declining alarmingly too.
Newton Paisley introduced their first collections of printed linens at Decorex last year. And they were back again to celebrate their first anniversary with the launch of their newly printed wallpapers.
Apparently although Susy’s first love is textiles, demand for wallpapers featuring the same designs was enormous. And so the wallcoverings range was born.
If you’re as entranced as I am by this story, you can learn more about Susy’s beautiful work and also shop online for textiles and wallpaper at www.newtonpaisley.com.