Vanessa Barneby and Alice Gates have cornered the market in country cool and boast a client list that includes rock stars and royalty. Pooling their experience in both ﬁne art and magazines, they hand-draw designs and use traditional printing techniques to produce brilliantly original wallpapers and fabrics with a quirky contemporary twist that have been featured in publications such as Vogue, Tatler and The Saturday Times Magazine. Everything is made in the UK.
Ex Vogue Living Editor, Vanessa Barneby graduated from Edinburgh University in 1999 and went on to study decorative painting, trompe l’oeil and restoration at Hampstead Decorative Arts in London. Her passion for furniture, textiles and print led to a position as an interiors stylist at House & Garden for 5 years.
A fellow Edinburgh graduate, Alice Gates went on to study figurative painting overseas before achieving a Masters in Fine Art at The City & Guilds of London Art School. Her vivid, often narrative paintings, rooted in fashion illustration, have been exhibited worldwide and featured in numerous publications. She has also collaborated with the fashion label Libelula, designing prints for their ready-to-wear collections.
Working from a converted barn in the Wiltshire countryside, Alice and Vanessa take inspiration from everything around them, from birds and bugs, foxes and pheasants, to stars and pineapples. There is often an element of surprise about their designs, classic ideas given a contemporary twist, often with a touch of humour designed to make you look twice. Purposefully not influenced by trends, they want their wallpapers and fabrics to stand the test of time.
One of the techniques used for their wallpapers is surface printing, a mechanised form of block printing, which uses thicker inks than most printing processes to give a lovely hand-painted feel. They also use gravure, which allows a fine level of detail that’s photographic in quality, and flexographic printing that’s much like surface printing but uses less ink to get a crisper finish with more detail. British designed and British made, all their papers are PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certiﬁcation) certiﬁed, which promotes sustainable forest management from well-managed sources. The fabric is printed near Carlisle in Cumbria and the wallpaper at one of the few remaining print works in the Midlands.
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