Design Milk favorites Calico Wallpaper unveiled a new collection of unique wall coverings called Dawn, created in collaboration with top designers. Nick and Rachel Cope, co-founders of Calico Wallpaper, hired Ini Archibong, Sabine Marcelis, Dimorestudio, and Neri & Hu to add a range of gradient designs to their signature Aurora collection to inspire hope and optimism in these challenging times. Each design was created in the summer and fall of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, so designers have to work remotely. Calico Wallpaper recognizes the impact of the global pandemic on individuals, communities and businesses and donates a portion of the proceeds to charities selected by designers such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the UN Refugee Agency.
We laid the foundation for Calico Wallpaper during Hurricane Sandy in 2013. Although we were different from the present moment in many ways, we got stuck in our time of uncertainty in our Brooklyn home looking for creative ways to add comfort and fuel our imaginations. We want to remind the global design community – and everyone it touches – that today’s crises will pass too.
– Rachel Cope
When creating Yemoja, Ini Archibong was inspired by the aquamarine blue of Lake Neuchâtel, which is near his home in Switzerland, and his daughter’s favorite color, pink. The name Yemoja comes from a water spirit in the Yoruba tradition who is also a guardian spirit and protector of women and children. “My daughter is my reminder of our responsibility to leave a lasting future for the children whose earliest memories of this pandemic will be,” says Archibong. “With that responsibility comes the hope that the future they will create will be inspired by the first unified global effort to sustain human life on this planet that we are experiencing.”
Sabine Marcelis from Rotterdam created a golden ombré called Silhouette, which was inspired by sunsets from her studio. The gradient begins in warm tones that turn into black, referring to Rotterdam’s port industry that can be seen on the horizon. “A sunset is the end of the day and the first signs and hope of a new day,” says Marcelis. “This view is very inspiring for our projects and something that we miss very much during this lockdown.”
Oblio was created by Dimorestudio of Milan to evoke the feeling of a warm embrace with muted tones that nod to Asian references like lacquers and lanterns. Co-founders Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci wanted their color scheme to convey a sense of comfort and the idea of travel as soon as it is allowed again.
Vermeer is the work of the Shanghai-based company Neri & Hu, which was inspired by two paintings by the well-known Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. They pulled lemon yellow from The Lacemaker to indicate hope for an orderly life and angel blue to represent comfort in uncertain times. The second painting, woman reading a letter, inspired truth and wisdom from the blue hue of lapis lazuli.