In this digital age, we will need, if not crave, ever more tactile stimulation offline to stay sane! Thankfully, because I fervently believe that our physical environments can have a fundamental impact on our sense of wellbeing, there is a huge opportunity for the home here — particularly via wallpaper and fabric.
According to famed American family therapist Virgina Satir, we need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance and 12 for growth (referenced in this Telegraph article). Does this surprise you? Not me, although it’s stark to see it written in such bald terms. The point is, we are acutely physical sensory beings, and as such we have a primal need to be touched, and to touch — consider how very young babies intuitively seek reassurance by reaching out to be held. And in a 1950s scientific experiment, even baby monkeys were shown to prefer the comfort of a cuddly faux-surrogate mother over a wire-framed model that held a bottle of milk, opting for a hug over sustenance.
Although this has ever been thus, today, when our days are increasingly spent umbilically-connected to the super-smooth screens of our phones, tablets or laptops, and the no-doubt related increase in social isolation felt IRL by both young and old, the need to connect via touch has never been more important.
And the design world is already responding. At a Chelsea Harbour Design Centre preview of new wallpapers and fabrics to be launched next Spring, there were a wealth of prints and patterns rich with touchy-feely texture on show. I’ve already posted the top nineteen fabrics that I felt best responded to this theme but when I went through my edit of wallpapers, it felt right to refine it down to just five. And they were all in notably subdued colour ways, which I feel ties in very nicely to my previously predicted Posh Povera Trend.
So here they are, the fast track to walls that will simply be too temptingly textural not to reach out and stroke them. Besides, I think walls are so often forgotten in the texture stakes, despite potentially being one of the largest canvases for play in the home. So, I entreat you now to paper them with extra-added aplomb, in fact, paper as if your health and happiness depended on it!
1 ‘Neo’ from Pierre Frey Printed cork wallpaper!
2 ‘Metamorphic’ (112052) Ash/Carrara wallpaper from Anthology, splendid in either the marble grey, or gold
3 ‘Lugon’ (500 56 886) from Zimmer + Rohde
4 ‘Coral Wall’ (50060 518) from Zimmer + Rohde
5 ‘Palaman’ (50055 994) wallpaper also by Zimmer + Rohde
See my SS19 Fabric preview here.
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