ISSUE 3  |  Paints & Patterns

Escape to the Tropics: Leafy Handmade Wallpaper

January 24, 2014 2:00 PM

BY Margot Guralnick

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Run by artists (and sisters) Amy and Noelle Mills, Paper Mills of Oakland, California, is an entirely handmade operation, specializing in wallpaper designs with nods to Matisse and Picasso. What’s more it’s a green enterprise: based in live/work lofts on the edge of East Oakland, the company sources local materials, uses water-based paints, and works with recycled renewable paper. We particularly like their floral patterns, which remind us of the Bloomsbury group’s painterly walls at Charleston.

Photographs by Alexa Hotz.

Above: A trio of Paper Mills’ botanical designs by Amy and Noelle Mills, who are both printmakers. “Noelle and I studied art together and wanted to continue the dialogue,” says Amy. They carve their patterns on huge sheets of rubber and hand print their papers one block at a time on a very long table.

Above: Little Havana is one of Paper Mills’ most popular designs. It comes in seven color combinations and is available for $90 per roll from Wallpaper Collective (covers 6.75 square feet).

Above: Olivia, a leafy pattern with a wide repeat. Contact the Wallpaper Collective for ordering information.

Above: Pablo, a floral ode to Picasso, comes in five colors “studies.” Paper Mills stands ready to adapt patterns to meet clients’ needs and also offers custom designs. The company sells its designs through a number of showrooms across the country and abroad, including in the UK, Japan, and Russia. Contact the Wallpaper Collective for ordering information.

Ready to embrace pattern? Have a look at all our Wallpaper posts, including DIY: An Economical Wallpaper Alternative and DIY: Wallpaper Headboard.