Blackpop, Luxury Wallpaper With Added Edge

by Becky Hoh in Bespoke stories

At age 13, fledging punk Maxine Hall covered her bedroom wall to wall in newspaper, it served to create the anarchic look she was aiming to achieve but it also sparked off her love of randomly juxtaposed and mix matched patterns.

A love that has now transformed into a new luxury wallpaper design company Blackpop, bursting with full throttle motifs, intense and colourful, packed with aged grandeur patterns and patchworks in order to make something actually very contemporary, graphic and striking.

Blackpop was launched last year at TENT London [2013], a venture that is going from strength to strength but by her own admission is a new career path that Hall has returned to later in her ‘mid-life’.

‘I’ve lived quite a few lives actually,’ smiles Hall. ‘I left hairdressing to do a degree in Film, Photography and Video in the late 80’s, that’s where I was introduced to a Mac and Photoshop 1! I’ve been working with photography and digital media ever since in one form or another – my creative practice has developed along side the digital revolution. During the 90’s I made some digital surface designs to go on to ceramics I designed them before finding out that the industry wasn’t yet setup for digital print.’

‘A lot of stuff is done online, but the bespoke aspect by its very nature has a personal approach and response and that really suits us.’

As technologies advanced, this led onto printing her designs on to parts of furniture as a way of reworking retro pieces.

‘The results were exciting,’ Hall describes, ‘I’ve always used pattern and repetition and was aware that wallpaper was remerging as an important element of the interior palette. It dawned on me that this was a perfect surface for my designs so in 2012 I started researching wallpaper manufacturers. This time, before I made the designs!’ she jokes.

And now the world is ready for Blackpop.

 

Based in Derby City in the heart of the Midlands where the textile and paper mills first appeared, the three strong team currently have 10 opulent wallpaper collections that are constant but within these collections there are some custom made options. For example, there is a specific Mix & Match collection in the Chapelle range where three of the designs can be combined as you wish. The Culcita Collection also has an aged patchwork pattern that’s made up from a number of the existing designs.

‘This also means the resulting pattern doesn’t have to be matched when it’s hung, the end user can decide how to work it, how bespoke is that!?’ says Hall.

This is a service that is currently being utilised by one London architect who has specified a Chapelle Mix & Match collection in a restaurant project. The space is open plan and the wall in question goes up three floors so the architect required the scale of the Blush part of the design to be changed in order to sync with the size of the statement wall.

‘We had a chat and I thought the ideal outcome is if I up scale all three elements,’describes Hall, ‘The regular paper width we print on is 52cm but in this case I can upscale everything and have it printed out on to a wider width paper. That’s the joy of digital!’

Another commercial project being adorned with Blackpop’s arresting style, is leading contemporary design company Ligne Roset who is using the decadent Duprez for a cloakroom area and Matches Fashions also chose a Blackpop piece, Chapelle Sunset, for their Notting Hill shop in London.

 

Another commercial project being adorned with Blackpop’s arresting style, is leading contemporary design company Ligne Roset who is using the decadent Duprez for a cloakroom area and Matches Fashions also chose a Blackpop piece, Chapelle Sunset, for their Notting Hill shop in London.

Hall is also open to one off commissions and working with interior designers, in fact quite recently a residential client had Geo Earth made into a large wall mural. Another domestic project has seen a bedroom and living room decorated in the same design with an additional chair upholstered in a fabric version of the Duprez Vintage Violet print too.  

‘This was the first time we had a fabric output with our designs,’ says Hall. ‘Our client was thrilled with the results and so were we. To celebrate we had a velvet cushion made up for her!’

The bespoke element is clearly the part which really excites Hall and one of her main aims is to keep a very personal practice.

‘A lot of stuff is done online, but the bespoke aspect by its very nature has a personal approach and response and that really suits us,’ she explains. ‘It means focusing on the actual process of design rather than the admin and day to day running of a business!’

Luckily both aspects are something that Hall seems to excel at, with samples currently in production for more upholstery fabrics in velvets, cottons and linens which are looking set to go into retail this year and plans are afoot for all designs to be offered in tile form so Blackpop can begin to go underfoot as well as on walls.

From the humble beginnings of an anarchic DIY heart in the Midlands, Blackpop are bringing a little bit of punk-rock to the luxury interior design world and to rather exciting and stylish effect.

Blackpop – www.blackpop.co.uk


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