Studio Profile: Calico Wallpaper

Rachel and Nick Cope launched Calico Wallpaper in 2013 with the desire to move art beyond the frame and incorporate its elements into everyday interior spaces. They were inspired by a passion for various disciplines of paper marbling. After years of research, which spanned the globe, they were ready to create their first designs. Their inaugural collection focused on the arts of Suminagashi and Ebru which emanated from Japan and Turkey centuries ago.

I foresee an architecture & design industry increasingly populated by boutique firms with elaborate brands, enabled by online collaboration. These firms will deliver more with fewer resources.

Subsequent collections have become known for an exploration of gradients, metallic, woven natural fibers, and recently, NASA telescope imagery. The custom fit murals which are usually asymmetrical, organic, non-repeating patterns make for a unique experience with each installation. Recently, Rachel and Nick decided to expand their designs into textiles.

"We are so happy to be moving into different product lines," said Nick. "The new work is going to be similar in some ways to Calico Wallpaper in that it will feel bold, yet sensitive, and hopefully transport one emotionally. The transition from wallpaper to textiles, and next rugs, seems like a very fluid one. However, we are feeling ambitious and may soon move into more sculptural forms of design."

I see the design studios of the future looking something like the tech startups of the present.

Now, customers can buy pillows and curtains in Calico patterns released as part of their expanded offering. "Almost as soon as we had released our first collection of wallpaper the textile inquiries came in from the A&D community. Of course, since our goal was to create immersive environments for architecture, it was something we wanted to pursue as a complementary product. But we decided to first focus on wallpaper design and feel comfortable with something that was very new to us at the time," Nick commented. The new collection was featured in the Design Report of T: New York Times Style Magazine.


Currently, Calico is preparing for a stunning hand-painted installation at The Salon Art + Design fair in New York City in November as part of a collaboration with interior designer Amy Lau. They are in production on 10 vibrantly colored panels that will be framed in ornate moldings. The team is also working on a third "architectural intervention" with Friedman Benda and will have something very interesting, and somewhat edgy, to share at DesignMiami this December.

Inspired by nature, Nick and Rachel have also designed an art installation at a Brick & Wonder featured property called Hudson Woods. Inspired by the wooded landscape and clear blue skies of the area, they created 3 linen panels using ombré dip-dye techniques, with fiber-reactive dyes and sea salt. The process emerged out of their discovery of Hudson Woods and the development of the triptych evolved over the course of the project. This installation was featured in in an article by Architectural Digest.

Reflecting on Calico's experiences as a fast-growing design studio, Nick foresees "an architecture & design industry increasingly populated by boutique firms with elaborate brands, enabled by online collaboration. These firms will deliver more with fewer resources," Nick comments, "I see the design studios of the future looking something like the tech startups of the present."