I have always been a little standoffish about wallpaper, most likely because I don’t particularly embrace pattern. And anyone who knows me will nod vigorously when I say I struggle with color. So the combination of color and pattern being applied in large swathes to a wall is something I avoid like the plague.
That’s the thing with handmade items. They still have the person’s mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone.
Now while I confess a bit of a crush on the subversive punk energy of Timorous Beasties, most of the wallpaper I’ve seen of late toggles between trendy “fun”—the design equivalent of Katy Perry, all extroversion and perkiness—or is a riff on William Morris and his earnest, if ever-so-slightly stodgy, gentility.
But the wallpaper patterns created by San Francisco-based elworthy studio are an exception. From the moody, earthy, muted palette, and patterns that evoke shadow, light, and texture, the feeling is calm, not frenetic, restrained yet sensual. There’s a refreshing grittiness and darkness to the work: a far, far cry from all that girly patterning so in vogue.