Design Dossier: Calico Wallpaper

One good reason to stop by our new INTERMIX Brooklyn boutique? The amazing marble print lining our walls designed by Rachel Mosler and Nick Cope of Calico Wallpaper. Take a few to get to know the borough-based duo and their creative process.

How did you guys get into designing wallpaper in the first place?
RM: We actually started to conceptualize our company over Hurricane Sandy when we were both out of work for some time.  I was working at NYU Hospital, which was temporarily shut down, and Nick and I had a lot of time to spend together. I studied sculpture at The Rhode Island School of Design and have always loved working with my hands, so when Nick proposed to me that I try paper marbling, I felt like it was a perfect fit. I made some initial samples and fell in love with the process.

NC: I also happened upon the most beautiful inspiration at Spirit & Matter, a hole in the wall curiosities shop in the East Village: the early wallpapers of the design duo Laverne. They were also a couple who did beautiful and largely undiscovered work in the 1930s and 1940s. We fell in love with their aesthetic and decided to resurrect their concept and contemporize it.

Where do you look to for inspiration?
RM:  I am most inspired by female artists, in particular the work of Lee Bontecou and Camille Claudel.  I also love the work of Henry Darger and Adolf Wolfe, I am very drawn to outsider artists in general.

NC: Generally speaking I am inspired by culture. Fashion has a strong influence for me when I am designing. Rick Owens has such an unbelievable awareness of materials. His work is primitive and futuristic; it’s very inspiring.

You guys are really close to our new Brooklyn store. What do you love about your neighborhood?
RM:  I love living in Red Hook because we are so close to the water and a bit out of the way of the intensity of the city.  Living above Fairway market is a dream! We can buy a picnic lunch and sit by the water on the rocks. You feel like you are on vacation everyday.

NC: It is almost cliché at this point, but Brooklyn is such a hotbed of creative talent. There are so many young designers and artists who call the borough home that it will be exciting to see it continue to develop.

Can you tell us any special details about the wallpaper featured in our new store?
RM: I am inspired by ancient techniques of paper marbling. The Wabi Wallpaper at INTERMIX Brooklyn was created with the Turkish technique Ebru inspired by cloud formations.

NC: It looks amazing!

Check out the video below to learn more about Calico’s process:

Cool Hunting Video Presents: Calico Wallpaper from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.