Fabulous Fornasetti

Papering the Walls with Cole & Son

Seth Vaughan
May 21, 2013

Cole & Son — purveyors of wallpapers to the likes of Westminster Cathedral, the House of Commons and the White House — launches its second collection of Piero Fornasetti-inspired wallpapers, Fornasetti II, this month. The sizeable oeuvre of the late-20th-century Milanese artist inspired 15 new patterns from Fornasetti’s son, Barnaba, who adroitly merges elements of the neoclassical and surreal in an elegantly cheeky fashion in patterns such as wide-eyed owls and their young (Nottambule), abandoned keys hanging in thick hedges (Chiavi Segrete), the arcades of St. Mark’s Square inhabited by curious monkeys (Procuratie e Scimmie), birds resting in trees behind wrought iron (Uccelli) and engrossed theatergoers in private boxes (Teatro). Most patterns are available in three to four colorways; some are meant to complement several preconceived compositions, such as Balaustra and Macchine Volanti, a combination that unites a dreamy sky full of flying contraptions with a marble balustrade from which one might take in the fanciful scene. To the trade at Lee Jofa at Dallas Design Center.