Monday, April 28, 2014

Wallpaper: Maya Romanoff

When Richard Romanoff left UC Berkeley for an adventure in India in 1969, he came back with a new name: Maya. That same year, he attended the now-legendary music festival Woodstock where he became enamored of tie-dye as a fabric technique. All this laid the foundation for his eponymous company that produces wallcoverings and textiles.

At first, Maya Romanoff produced, naturally, tie-dyed fabric and wallpaper. But over the years, the company branched out into wallcoverings of all sorts. They are now known as a luxury brand, creating incredible works of art for walls for the likes of The Four Seasons and venerable British institution Harrod's.

In conjunction with interior designer Amy Lau, the company issued anniversary versions of a tie-dyed pattern in 2009. Below is the Snowflake pattern...

...and the tie-dyed pattern they call "Half Plaid!" I like the humorous reference of the name since it does indeed seem like a very loose interpretation of only the warp and not the weft of a woven fabric!

Here is a view of the tie-dyed wallpaper in the Amy Lau/Maya Romanoff pop-up store in Bergdorf Goodman. Honestly, if I did not know it was tie-dyed, it would simply read as some kind of fascinating texture like cork.

Perhaps Maya Romanoff is best known for their Beadazzled line: wallpaper--in a wide array of colors--covered with tiny glass beads, giving the paper a magical, glamorous appearance. I have seen this product in person and it is indeed beautiful but it is difficult for a camera to pick up the depth and sheen of the glass beads. Trust me when I say that in person, it is breathtaking.

The company makes wallcoverings from a variety of other exotic materials including thin veneers of actual Mother of Pearl which are flexible and can wrap around corners! It is available in different configurations such as an overlapping circle pattern or even in a chevron!

If you like the crisp, classic look of bespoke men's suits, you could clad your walls in Maya Romanoff's Blanket line of wool fabric wallcovering, available with different stitching options!

The Ajiro Sunburst line is made from wood veneer but it looks more like squares of ruched silk, gathered into a central point... which comes with an optional Swarovski crystal or pearl to embellish each panel (second image below)!

The company has introduced some new products recently and I really like the raised Croc pattern, and the wonderful visual texture of a line they call River Bed.

Unfortunately, Maya Romanoff passed away this year, on January 15th, 2014, of complications from Parkinson's. Thankfully, his visionary legacy continues with his company.

Maya Romanoff products are handmade by artists and craftspeople at the Romanoff factory in Ilinois.

As I have said in past posts, when I dare to utter the word "wallpaper" to a client, I have been met with looks of horror, fueled by bad memories of 1960s or 70s wallpaper from childhood homes. But as you can see, Maya Romanoff makes a product that is amazingly chic, inventive, and artistic, which can enhance nearly any interior.

I'll be covering (pun intended) more wallpaper in future posts...stay tuned and happy designing!

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