Seeing the metallic fabrics proliferate on the runways during the Spring/Summer 2013 couture fashion releases, I knew it would only be a matter of time before the distinctive sheen they exude made its way into interiors. Given the metallic products I’ve been seeing come through my inbox lately, that time has come. Case in point is a flurry of new metallic patterns by York Wallcoverings, a few of them exhibiting style notes that truly light me up! My pick of the lot: the Venetia pattern in the Silver Leaf II Collection, which comes in beige pearl, iridescent gold, deep gold, silver, and jade pearl colorways.
Another realization has come to mind with these new releases: luxe is back. It’s as if manufacturers took a collective breath during the last two quarters of 2014 and said, “As we usher in 2015, let’s revisit luxury.” All I can say to that is “Hallelujah!” Beyond having all the hallmarks of opulence, these glamorous wallpapers exhibit the characteristics of being created by a talented design team—instead of reissuing time-honored motifs in a purely traditional style, York has freshened them by tweaking them toward modern interpretations. The Casablanca pattern, for instance, projects its fan-like motif as elegantly as a classic Art Nouveau design but the flow of the tone-on-tone patterning has been simplified and given plenty of room to breathe.
The metallic corks defy the idea that “earthy” means manly because the movement of the texture lends a room a brush of beauty. That said, the wallpaper could go either way—a masculine room being given a touch of sophistication with the metallic shining through the textural overlays while a feminine room takes on the feel of old Hollywood glamour with the hints of glint.
In the tradition of saving the best for last, the richness of the Venetia pattern just knocks me out! Once again, I see the interpretation of an Art Nouveau motif brought a modern sensibility. The extra “air,” so to speak, contemporizes the effect, making the storied motif perfect for a range of interiors from exceptionally traditional to classically contemporary. The textural quality of the blocks of metallic richness in between the swirling pattern projects the charm of Venetian plaster, which is so difficult to achieve with an applied flat covering. Brava, York!
Text of Metallic Marvels by York © Saxon Henry, all rights reserved. Saxon Henry is an author, poet and journalist based in New York City. Books include Anywhere But Here and Stranded on the Road to Promise. She also produces The Diary of an Improvateur and is a columnist on Architizer.