The duo behind Calico Wallpaper draws inspiration from around the globe for their traditional-meets-modern marbled designs.
An unfortunate circumstance can sometimes lead to an unexpected lucky break. When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, Rachel and Nick Cope, the creators of Calico Wallpaper, found themselves stranded without electricity in their home and studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. While cooped up, Rachel, a 34-year-old sculptor and RISD graduate, began experimenting with marbling on paper. Nick, 33, soon realized their product was good enough for an upcoming design fair in Manhattan. The couple slapped the paper onto a booth, placing an antique credenza they found upstate out front as a prop. Their calico cat, with her pretty patchwork coat, served as inspiration for the name. “We didn’t even have pricing, we were just so focused on what it was,” Rachel says. “People fell in love with the paper immediately,” Nick adds. It’s thanks to his background in digital photography that their one-of-a-kind marbled paper can be custom-sized and printed for any space—be it a repurposed Airstream decorated with contemporary art or the drawing room of the 150-year-old English house of antiques dealership Mallett at this year’s London Design Festival. Since the launch, they have spent time in Tuscany apprenticing with Florentine marble masters, incorporated marbling techniques from Japan and Turkey, and added their own modern touches like gradients and moonscapes. Find their work at Future Perfect in Manhattan or at calicowallpaper.com.