Courtesy of CW Stockwell
The new C.W. Stockwell showroom in San Francisco showcases the brand's iconic prints.

Upgrade boring white walls with fresh and fun color by pasting and papering them in graphic prints.

Christine Lennon  – August 3, 2021

If you’ve noticed an unusual number of fabric skirts hanging under kitchen sinks, gingham tablecloths, painted porcelain, lace curtains, and print wallpaper swirling around the design universe, then you’ve already recognized the grandmillennial design trend. The shorthand description of this phenomenon is that 30-somethings have co-opted the style of their grandparents, in a look that’s the polar opposite of austere minimalism, and light years away from the white-washed farmhouse and cool-coastal looks that have been popular for years now. Whether people are craving more comfortable living spaces after more time at home, or if the pendulum is in full swing, it’s evidence that everything old can be new again.

What “grandmillennial” style looks like depends a lot on the kind of grandparents you’re channeling. We think the best example of this retro-cool aesthetic is drawn from swank places like Beverly Hills and Palm Springs from the ’60s through the early ’80s, when splashy, bold patterns were in fashion. And the most exuberant way to bring this trend home is to try a patterned wallpaper on an accent wall.

CWStockwell Katy-Polsby-San-Francisco-showroom
CW Stockwell owner Katy Polsby in the pattern-heavy sitting area of the brand’s new San Francisco showroom.

Courtesy of CW Stockwell

The opening of CW Stockwell‘s new San Francisco showroom this summer was timed well. Owner Katy Polsby is introducing the long-standing California brand’s bold look to a new crop of home decorators. Founded in 1905 by Clifton W. Stockwell, the brand’s paper and fabric has been hand-printed in Los Angeles for 115 years. You may recognize the Martinique pattern, the massive, green banana palm leaf print, from The Beverly Hills Hotel. The wallpaper has covered the famed pink hotel’s hallways—all 5 1/2 miles of them—since the late 1940s. But they have more than just a banana leaf up their sleeve. Their Kan-Shie pattern has a floral vase motif that would look great in a colorful kitchen or sitting room, and the fish pattern Sakana (which is also available in an outdoor fabric) was meant for a pool cabana. Here are some ways designers in the West have used a little bit of wallpaper to make a big statement.


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