I designed this wallpaper for a dining room wall (the door shape in the middle is the entrance to the room). The client wanted something original and interesting that would keep surprising them. It’s always better having your friends around you, so having them on your wall, involved in the design was the ultimate way to keep your spirits lifted.
After we discussed design options with a mood board and Pinterest board, we were set with a plan for the design. I used vintage illustrations by Ernst Haecklel and edited the colours and created an underwater environment for them to live in. There were a few requests for specific creatures, like a sea horse and a spiral shell. They had some suggestions I persuaded them against, like a shipwreck, I didn’t want it to look too childish or Disney like.
I arrived at their house with a camera, lights and a basic design already in place on my laptop. Their closest friends had gathered that night for the photoshoot. The vibe was already excitable when I arrived. There were home made sausage rolls and drinks and plenty of banter, I could feel this was going to be a fun evening.
Once I set up the studio lights on a blank wall, I directed each friend, one by one, into a particular position suited to the spot I had chosen for them on the wallpaper design. One guy was on his back with his legs in the air as if he was riding a bubble up to the surface. I had the client’s wife recline on a jellyfish. Another was peering behind a sea creature. There were some sitting on shells and another trapped in the tentacles of the jellyfish. Some of them really got into it and really got into character. I helped them get in the moment with comments like ‘Imagine you’re being dragged by a giant spiked fish, so you have your arm outstretched and you’re probably looking up at your hand wondering where this fish is taking you’. By this time there was a lot of laughing and joking. The gathering then turned into a party and we said we should have a photoshoot every Friday night.
I then photoshopped the friends and family into the design. We’re just waiting for photos to be sent to me from a few key friends who couldn’t make the photoshoot and then we’re all set to print. Then they colour match the wallpaper so the woodwork paint works with the wallpaper and it’s time to decorate. I think , once the wallpaper is up, another gathering is in order, to celebrate the design and the excellent underwater modelling they did.
Digitally printed bespoke wallpaper design