I am mad for Martyn’s new collection for Schumacher. I see the carrera “Romeo” wallpaper gracing the walls of my future living room. This is quite the romantic collection for Valentine’s Day as it transports you to old world Italy.
A distinct sense of craft, color, and character come together in Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s latest collection of marble wallcoverings and prints exclusively for Schumacher. Inspired by the dramatic interiors of legendary decorator Renzo Mongiardino, the trompe l’oeil techniques of Italian palazzi, and the fine art of Venetian marbled paper, Martyn has created an exuberant family of patterns that reinvigorates a centuries-old tradition for the modern age. The line captures the look of finely veined stone as well as the swirling motifs of hand colored paper. Vibrant mineral hues and a variety of scales ensure a versatility that captivates as a refined backdrop or takes center stage as a design element with verve. They’re at once charmingly classic and thrillingly new.
Originally from the Far East, hand marbled paper reached the Venetian Republic on Renaissance trade routes and became a sought-after commodity, eventually reproduced by local artisans and becoming synonymous with La Serenissima itself. Swirling patterns of hand-dipped ink are recreated from sheets of paper and printed on finely woven cotton, imitating marble in a stylized way – it intentionally looks like trompe l’oeil, which is the essence of its charm. Available in lapis, carrara, and topaz, it’s a coordinating accent that’s ideal for an upholstered headboard or a pop of muted pattern on a chair back.
Reproduced from classic Venetian marble paper, Capulet embraces the traditional expression of the art on a fine cotton ground in colorways that are meant to compliment the wallpaper patterns in this collection – lapis, carnelian, and carrara. The small scale print would look stylish on a variety of soft goods, from seat cushions to throw pillows, but would also be chic on Roman shades in a bathroom or wrapped around a lampshade on a bedside table.
To craft Verona, Martyn took a page of hand dipped marbled paper and upped the ante, doubling the scale of the pattern to highlight its sinuous, florid swirls, originally created by artisans slipping thin quills through pools of ink. The motif is printed on tightly woven cotton in three supersaturated, of-the-moment colors: viridian, a malachite-like green, carrara, a crisp gray, and lapis, a brilliant shade of ultramarine. Strong enough to stand on its own and suitable for upholstery, Verona would make a statement on a club chair and accentuate ample ceiling heights on curtains that whirl with movement.
Influenced by a nook of a room that designer Mongiardino distinguished with a patchwork of trompe l’oeil marble, Martyn conceived of Renzo, which will make a surface appear as if it’s been artfully covered with individual sheets of hand-marbled paper. The multi-faceted pattern is available in two dominant tones – lapis, an au courant cerulean shade, or carrara, a classic tone of gray. On a ceiling or in a powder room, Renzo will provide a playful dose of whimsy and a worldly sense of grandeur.
In the 17th-century, Italian craftsmen perfected the art of scagliola – a plastering technique that imitated the look of marble and lined everything from soaring columns to console table tops. Taking cues from that tradition, Florence recreates the effect of marble in rich mineral veins and user-friendly shades: vivid, gem-hued lapis and carnelian or understated and subtle carrara. Imagine the glowing, jewel box effect it would have in a powder room or the glamorous way it would inflect a dining room with opulence and drama.
In even the loftiest of historic Italian palazzi, it was common to lavish genuine marble only in measured doses and “cheat” with trompe l’oeil imitations of quarried slabs everywhere else. Mongiardino embraces that time-honored concept in a panel that mirrors painstakingly inlaid stone in true-to-life colorways of carnelian, lapis, and carrara. Used on the horizontal, the geometric pattern will create a stately border that coordinates with Florence or Romeo to mimic whole swaths of marble. Installed on the vertical, Mongiardino can bring handsome interest to an accent wall or enhance a larger space with classical splendor.