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INTERIORS - JOHN BIDDELL Cole & Son Cole & Son Cole & Son


Cole & Son


Cole & Son, probably my very favourite wallpaper manufacturer, was founded in 1875 by John Perry, son of a Cambridgeshire merchant. In those days the company was situated in Islington, north London, an area famous for the 190 hand block printing companies working there in the 18th and 19th centuries.


Today, the Cole & Son archive consists of approximately 1,800 block print designs, 350 screen print designs and a huge quantity of original drawings and wallpapers, representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Amongst these are some of the most important historic wallpaper designs in the world. Cole & Son has provided wallpapers for many historic houses including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Some of you may remember there was a big hoo ha in the mid 90s when the Lord Chancellor’s office was being redecorated with the original Pugin wallpaper that was coming out at about £300 a roll. I was lucky enough to be visiting the Cole & Son factory at the time, and after having watched in awe as one very skilled man took a whole day to hand block print a single roll, I was gob-smacked that it was ONLY £300 a roll. Anyway, I digress.


Cole & Son’s brand new offering is a superb collection of wallpapers created in conjunction with world renowned interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, entitled . . . you’ve guessed it – Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Martyn is internationally revered for his trademark glamour and flair for the exotic. Martyn’s impressive mastery of a broad range of styles, paired with his unrivalled attention to detail and commitment to quality has earned him significant international acclaim. Born in Britain, he now lives in Los Angeles, and is a popular television personality and industry expert.


He is known for creating sophisticated and inviting interiors for Hollywood A-listers, among them Kendall Jenner, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Tommy Hilfiger and Cher.


The collection is an eclectic array of opulent contemporary designs, celebrating the diverse skill and unique craftsmanship of cultures around the globe, blending influences from both Eastern and Western culture. The range showcases the breadth of Martyn’s portfolio, with beautifully intricate motifs of lanterns entitled Fez (ha ha ha, just like that – sorry I couldn’t resist), and fabulous Persianesque tiles named Bazaar, to a truly stunning panel design called Bahia. Meaning ‘brilliance’, it derives its name from the beautiful Bahia Palace and surrounding gardens in Marrakesh. Its elegantly detailed Jali fretwork, elaborate lacelike masonry and decorative motifs in Gold and Stone have been painstakingly drawn and painted by hand. My out and out favourite though, and this will come as no surprise to regular readers (sit up straight both of you) is the magnificent Hollywood Palm. An instant classic, born out of a combination of oft used Cole and Son motifs and deco (there’s the clue) Palm Springs design, it comes in sumptuous metallic tones of Charcoal and Gold, Rose Gold, Silver and Charcoal, and Leaf Green.


These collections by renowned designers are absolutely lovely additions to our vast array of pattern books. But don’t just take my word for it – drop into our showroom and see for yourself.


JOHN BIDDELL - JOHN CHARLES INTERIORS 349 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B17 8DL T. 0121 420 3977 www.johncharlesinteriors.co.uk


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