Design Advice from Coveted Wallpaper Designer Ellie Cashman
If you've spent any time on Pinterest, there's a guaranteed chance that you've seen Ellie Cashman's wallpapers—and an even better chance that your jaw dropped upon seeing them. Influenced by classic Dutch still-life paintings, her dark moody florals are anything but still—evoking emotion and intense feeling. Can you tell we've been obsessed ever since we laid eyes on her work? We caught up with the Netherlands-based designer to find out what's influencing her designs today, how she pairs them (without creating an overbearing room), and what she thinks will be trending for 2015.
1. Designing Wallpaper, Not Just the Pattern, is an Art Form in Itself:
“Making a good repeat (is the most difficult aspect of designing wallpaper). This is an art form in and of itself. I can lose myself in the details, but in the end the way the pattern repeats has just as much if not more of an effect on the overall impact of the design."
She continues, "Each of my designs is arduous and labor-intensive and I wanted to make a real statement with them, creating a whole atmosphere, or mood. Wallpaper allowed me to do that on a large scale and in a relatively permanent form. And it allowed me to combine my background in fine arts with my natural inclination: to design products that made it off the gallery walls (too removed from real world experience) and into real spaces all over the world."
2. Be Mindful of Scale When Working With Mixed Prints:
While Cashman's style at home is becoming increasingly minimalistic because, “I need to have blank canvases around me so I can channel the next floral explosion," says the designer, she does love to mix prints. Most interestingly, is how she mixes them: “I love to mix prints, especially in unexpected ways that really work in some intangible, inexplicable way. I like to combine my florals with graphic black and white prints that are either much smaller or much larger in scale," says Cashman.
3. Create a Balanced Home with Juxtaposition:
An organized home doesn't mean a lack of creativity—in many cases; it allows the freedom to think clearly and creatively, but that doesn't mean you should skip the inspiration. When asked what her favorite décor object in her home is, Cashman says, “I love custom made shelving and a vase of fresh flowers. One provides order and the other a bit of overgrowth." Try what the designer has done: get your home as organized as possible, minimizing clutter, but do add pieces that encourage your right brain to explore.
4. Creative Influence is Always Evolving:
It's easy to see that Dutch still-life paintings heavily influenced Cashman's beautiful dark floral wallpapers, but her artistic encouragements have been taking a turn to the more modern designs. She says, “My early influences back in college and graduate (art) school were definitely painters. Now that I'm thinking not just about surfaces but also materials and applications, I'm picking up inspiration from a larger variety of sources. I just attended Dutch Design Week here in the Netherlands and I thought Piet Hein Eek's shop was full of inspiration. His scope, vision, ambition, and his unconventional use of materials and combinations of materials has me thinking in all kinds of possibilities."
5. Trends are Becoming Less Important:
Trends are created every season in the fashion and home industry however, that doesn't mean that they necessarily need to change your living style. The home should be a reflection of your taste—what makes you happy—and Cahsman agrees.
“The one trend I can predict is that trends are becoming less important. Independent designers have entered the marketplace in full force, as their own representatives. They're being met by consumers who are looking for unique, niche products, which they feel an emotional connection to. In this way, interiors are becoming more personal, more specific reflections of the individual as opposed to echoes of a mass marketed concept," says the designer.
Photo and Styling by Ellen Mesu