DJC Summer

The Lifestyling fabric and wallpaper report 3.0

Our popular must-file feature brings the key players in the field home for you.

Every year we endeavour to keep you up to speed with recent moves in the fabric and wallpaper sector. This, our second report for 2021, dives deep into the industry to bring you the names to know and launches to check out. This time, you’ll find the latest drops from these leading brands have a strong seasonal bent, with ocean, tropical and botanical themes blooming, as well as a couple of well-timed outdoor textile innovations. Whether it’s subtle and sophisticated wallcoverings you seek, or bold upholstery fabrics in sizzling colours, let this be your guide. And, if you didn’t catch our March edition, head this way.

Stuart Graham Fabrics

The 39-year-old fabric and wallpaper brand has gained a reputation for superior quality and accessibility. Selling to the trade, their ranges include affordable in-house collections and coveted imports, the likes of Prestigious Textiles UK and Design Department from the Netherlands offering the Esta and Origin brands. Stuart Graham’s latest Maui collection of 100% cotton curtaining fabric is an ode to the painterly aesthetic and comes just in time for spring, with 5 tropical inspired designs including florals, bamboo and botanicals in a range of easy to blend hues.

Their luxury import label – Origin – has released two elegant wallpaper ranges. One, a subtle and sophisticated assortment of plains and restrained patterns cued by penthouse living and aptly named City Chic, and the other called Natural Fabrics, which is similarly understated but with the added texture and warmth of woven finishes like linen. 

As the name suggests, Esta Home’s new wallpaper drop – Art Deco – draws from the decadent and decorative 1920s with geometric elements, gold detailing and fans in a wide range of soft pinks and greens. We love that this collection works itself so easily into interior schemes, balancing retro glamour and a blend-in-anywhere workability. For fans of a cleaner, bolder aesthetic, Esta’s new Black and White wallpapers offer a wide variety of graphics from photographic textures and pared-back patterning to illustrative designs. Their oversized fish (158933) which hangs more like a mural is a favourite of ours and is reminiscent of old biological reference books. Finally, Esta’s Paradise nods to the wild side, with abundant natural scenes including palm leaves, wild cats and animal prints. Some have a more minimal, contemporary repeat while others will draw you in with their dramatic full-bleed landscapes.

www.stuartgraham.co.za

DC Design Inc.

Having shifted her focus to a more wellness-centric approach, Cape Town based designer Danela Conti brings a holistic aspect to her lifestyle offering, which includes interior design, resort wear, styling and home organization. For her, forging a sense of calm and peace in one’s life while incorporating sustainable design into everyday living is a direct response to the mindless chaos and recent illness we’ve come to know in our current times. 

Just launched, Danela’s first fabric and wallpaper collection entitled Resort Africa, is an ode to her small coastal town upbringing in South Africa. With wallpapers supplied exclusively through Robin Sprong and textiles through her own label, the collection melds all the iconic markers of seaside living (think riviera stripes, starfish, surfboards and crabs) with a uniquely African element where Ndebele beadwork comes into play. Her Beaded Stocato Stripe, for example, incorporates traditional beadwork strips into a contemporary, geometric design with unexpected results. These designs are printed onto cotton twill, canvas and slub as well as 100% linen.

No matter how many hours you are from the ocean, the 23 designs in the range bring a fresh, fun and breezy aesthetic to the home while nodding to our local craft influences.

www.danelaconti.com

Groen

With over 500 wallpaper designs to customise and the opportunity to supply your own designs too, this small husband and wife wallpaper brand brings a not-so-small offering to the local wallpaper landscape. Founders Jan and Alana Groenewald bring together their years in the printing and design realms (respectively), resulting in a brand that was born out of necessity. Their own, that is. Having designed their own wallpapers for their home back in 2018, the duo discovered the gap in the market for wallpapers that read like artworks and were fully customizable in size, colour and scale.

Their designs are typically bold, sumptuous and dramatic, making an immediate impression with scenes that draw the viewer into the frame whether computer generated, illustrated or photographic. Having just launched 60 new designs for spring, some of our top picks include their botanical-illustration-inspired Summertime Floral, the whimsical and deliciously saturated Fish Tank (with its Life Aquatic vibes) and Improvisation, whose light and loose abstract geometric motifs provide an easily workable, slightly feminine backdrop. It’s definitely worth mentioning that their website is easy to navigate too, with a clean layout and clearly differentiated collections grouped by aesthetic.

www.groenjan.co.za

Romo

Begun in 1902, this fifth-generation British family-run business is celebrated for classic and sophisticated fabrics, wallcoverings, trimmings and accessories that fly the flag for modern luxury. As a design-led brand, they have a team of in-house designers and creatives who aim to produce products that are both timeless and relevant to today’s needs. Celebrating 10 years in the county this year, with showrooms in all of the major cities, Romo South Africa’s footprint extends beyond our borders and into the rest of Africa too. If it’s a vibrant look you’re after in a hard-wearing, contemporary-luxe fabric, their latest drops are where it’s at.

Their new collection of trimmings for example, called Jacuba, combines bold, contemporary design and lively patterning in juicy colourways with the practicality of solution-dyed acrylic for indoor-outdoor use. It’s a feast for the eyes and will undoubtedly add unique flair to your fabrics. If you’re into velvets, do check out two of their latest releases: Katori, and Nicoya. Katori offers an amped-up iteration of highly tactile, yet fire-retardant upholstery velvets in vivacious colours and patterns (think eye-catching stripes, geometrics and chevrons). Nicoya meanwhile takes this offering outdoors – yes outdoors – with a collection of sumptuous and deliciously soft-to-the-touch patterned and plain velvets in solution-dyed acrylic. Much of this collection was inspired by their popular Japura design which sees palm and fern fronds reimagined in a vintage tapestry-style aesthetic.

www.romo.com

Smart Art

Smart Art is a versatile printing company that puts the control into the client’s hands. With an easy-to navigate website, a wide variety of objects on which to print (from cushions, carpets and floor tiles to wallpapers and way more) and a customizable print service which allows you to use one of their designs or supply your own, they’ve made graphic printing extremely accessible (like Takealot.com accessible).

Launched with spring and summer in mind, their Boho Love collection is an ode to this eclectic and exuberant aesthetic, but the designs are given homegrown relevance with the incorporation of proteas, succulents, local birdlife and vegetables straight from our SA gardens. You can also expect a good dose of gold and monochrome patterning to bring the boho theme to life. We’re huge fans of their seamless wallpaper option, which is not only ideal for moist areas like bathrooms but also for large scale walls (seamless rolls can be printed up to 50 metres wide by 3 metres high) where joins are unwanted.

www.smartart.co.za

Eshanima Fabrics

We’ve previously mentioned this family-owned Woodstock based curtaining, upholstery and wallcovering brand’s dedication to a greener product and thus a more sustainable future. Their Future Threads collection of upcycled and recycled fabrics made from plastic bottles was a hit with us and this time Eshanima has our attention for their new ranges from Vescom (a sustainably focused Dutch textile brand) all of which speak to our love of pared-back luxury.

Linosa, Ogami and Orissa are three textile wallcovering lines that bring a luxe element to walls with their subtle colourways, understated designs and highly tactile composition. Linosa is a favourite for its textured linen base and deliciously earthy colourways, while Ogami brings just a hint of print in the form of a delicate moiré with a wider range of colours. Pushing the limits of luxury on one’s walls, Orissa is a 90% solid silk with a sumptuous, slubby weave – the kind that brings warmth and honesty to interiors, plus a reach-out-and-touch-me-aesthetic. The latter’s spectrum of hues is sublime, featuring decadent cocoa, fawn, mink, oat and more, all of which would be right at home in an understated, tonal interior.

www.eshanimafabrics.co.za

Words: Mila Crewe-Brown
Production: J-P de la Chaumette
Photography: Supplied