Design Milk favorites Calico Wallpaper unveiled a new collection of one-of-a-kind wallcoverings called Dawn designed in collaboration with top designers. Nick and Rachel Cope, co-founders of Calico Wallpaper, enlisted Ini Archibong, Sabine Marcelis, Dimorestudio and Neri&Hu to expand their signature collection, Aurora, with a series of gradient designs that aim to inspire hope and optimism during these challenging times. Each design was created during the summer and fall of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, requiring the designers to work remotely. Recognizing the impact of the global pandemic on individuals, communities and businesses, Calico Wallpaper is donating a portion of the proceeds to charities that were picked by the designers, like the Environmental Defense Fund and UN Refugee Agency, among others.
We laid the foundation for Calico Wallpaper during Hurricane Sandy in 2013. Though different from the present moment in so many ways, that time of uncertainty left us stuck in our Brooklyn home, looking for creative outlets to provide solace and ignite our imaginations. We want to remind the global design community—and everyone it touches—that the crises of today will also pass.
– Rachel Cope
Ini Archibong sought inspiration from the aquamarine blue of Lake Neuchatel, which is close to his home in Switzerland, as well as his daughter’s favorite color, pink, when creating Yemoja. The name Yemoja comes from a water spirit in the Yoruba tradition who’s also a patron spirit and protector of women and children. “My daughter is my reminder of our responsibility to leave a tenable future for the children whose earliest memories will be of this pandemic,” says Archibong. “With that responsibility comes the hope that the future which they will create will be inspired by the first unified global effort to sustain human life on this planet which we are experiencing right now.”
Based in Rotterdam, Sabine Marcelis created a golden ombré called Silhouette that was inspired by sunsets seen from her studio. The gradient begins in warm hues that blend to black referencing Rotterdam’s harbor industry seen in front of the horizon. “A sunset represents the closing of a day and the first signs and hope of a new day arriving,” says Marcelis, “and this is a view which very much inspires our projects and something we miss dearly during this lockdown.”
Oblio was created by Milan-based Dimorestudio to evoke the feeling of a warm embrace with muted shades that give nod to Asian references including lacquers and lanterns. Co-founders Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci wanted their colorway to offer feelings of comfort and the idea of traveling once it’s allowed again.
Vermeer is the work of Shanghai-based Neri&Hu, who were inspired by two paintings by renowned Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer. They pulled lemon yellow from The Lacemaker, referencing hope of 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 lapis lazuli blue hue.