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Natural Elements Inspired This Wallpaper

Oct 28, 2023Oct 28, 2023

According to British researchers, Harlequin's earthy new Colour 4 collection may even improve your mood.

Intuition often plays a leading role when you're creating a home that fills you with joy. But it never hurts to have some concrete research to guide you as well. Enter Stephen Westland, a professor of color science and technology, and Soojin Lee, a research fellow in the department who has a background in interior design. In collaboration with luxe textile-and-wallpaper manufacturer Harlequin, the duo authored a white paper that proved people respond positively both physically and emotionally to tangible environmental colors (i.e., not colored light), such as those found on walls, in carpets and pillows, and in art.

As the researchers point out, trepidation often keeps us from embracing a brighter interior: "Use of color in the home could make a difference in our daily lives, but there are two problems: (1) people tend to prefer bland colors such as white and magnolia (in part this might be to avoid imparting their own personality on the space for fear that this could affect resale values), and (2) people may be unsure about which colors they should use."

Drawing on this work, the Harlequin team created an Own the Room quiz to lead you to the best fit from its deep well of palettes and patterns. This includes its latest collection, Colour 4, for which Harlequin looked to natural elements for inspiration. The patterns are categorized into the 4 Harlequin looks (Rewild, Retreat, Reflect and Renew) which then in Colour 4 have then been paired to the the four classical elements of matter (air, water, fire, and earth)—pulling atmospheric blues from the sky, for instance, and tree patterns and shades from the forest.

Read on for a deeper look at each palette's brilliant new patterns—they may just boost your mood as they're sparking your creativity.

Think bold, maximalist color in vibrant patterns. The Earth group incorporates handfuls of complementary hues, each ideal for a single statement piece or a space that layers many colors and patterns.

Foresta, a velvet fabric rendered in a Rosewood/Azul/Huckleberry scheme, brings to mind the flickering blues and reds of a roaring campfire. Using it on a few strategically placed throws can add a splash of color and soft texture to a neutral chair or sofa. Eternal Oak wallpaper evokes a fairy-tale feeling with smoky, smudgy gray Ebony/First Light shades in a softly gothic touch that's at once sophisticated and slightly whimsical.

Soothing blue and green tones are at the heart of this family, evoking gentle waves and streams and lending a certain calm to even the busiest patterns.

The swirling designs of Fayola fabric are inspired by tide-pool eddies, and can create a soothing effect. On the bolder end of the spectrum, the charmingly realistic Wood Frog wallpaper in a green hue called Forest/Chalk is designed to surprise and delight. To keep the theme going, toss in a few throw pillows in Wood Frog Velvet (a trellised pattern of amphibians) in brighter Azul/Forest.

Smoky grays and oranges populate this group, which would be especially fitting in a primary bedroom, office, or ensuite bath.

Grounded fabric is made using wood-block prints to capture the look of a blanket of fallen leaves, especially in the Baked Terracotta/Parchment combination. It's a natural pairing with matte Eco Takara fabric in Baked Terracotta/Rust! The pattern features unexpected aspects and could be just the thing to shake up a staid guest room. Early cave paintings inspired the Izumi pattern, which has a satisfying chalky, hand-drawn feel. The natural texture of the linen fabric adds to the vibe, making this a perfect match for a worn leather couch or club chair.

Understated shades define the Air palette, equally apt for papering a powder room and covering outdoor-patio cushions.

Puffy clouds float across the sky in the watercolor-esque Air print, which comes in both ethereal Sky Blue and dusky Golden Light. The versatile pattern is charming on the walls of a baby's room and still subtly sophisticated as a backdrop in a very grown-up living room. Onni fabric features trailing vines with plenty of breathing space in between, a nod to the English countryside that still feels thoroughly modern in a slate Putty/Celestial colorway.

And if an abstract interpretation is more your speed, the almost pointillist Sunstone fabric has a groovy bent. Its embroidered lines in the complementary blue-, black-, and beige-colored Celestial/Fig Leaf/Nectar combo would make for great statement curtains that won't overwhelm your room.

For more ideas to turn white walls into something more thought-provoking, explore the entire Colour 4 collection.

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