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Audrey Sterk Designs

Report from the 2015 Architectural Digest Home Design Show

March 19-22/2015 Chelsea Piers, NYC

Audrey Sterk and  Tom Ayars
Calico Wallpaper booth and designers
Calico Wallpaper design  Aurora based on graduated dying of linen
Wolfum papers by Annabel Inganni made in LA
Farrow & Ball Feuille
Corey Damen Jenkins- Dining by Design at Pier 92
Stacy Garcia at  her Dining by Design room
Can you can go too far with matching patterns? Talk amongst yourselves...

The latest in wallpaper and the young designers who create them!

In case you missed the previous articles in this series  and

Starting closest to home is Nantucket based and inspired, Audrey Sterk Design. To quote her:  “All Audrey Home Collection wallpapers patterns began in hand-drawn form, lending them a unique bespoke quality. Inspired by discoveries in antique homes, traditional decorative motifs, island living and today’s transitional interiors.", Her designs are contemporary updates on traditional designs that work well in both historic and contemporary homes.

We are pictured in her booth at the show. She later posed with other important people like Martha Stewart.

Here is a video showing her process and inspiration:



I next spoke with Najee Wilson, one of the  young artisans at Calico Wallpaper out of Brooklyn, NY.

 (Pictured on the far right)

The company, which is named for their calico cat, makes marbleized paper on a large scale. These are scanned and then scaled to fit the wall of the project. Their wallpaper comes in five signature styles - Wabi, Lunaris, Night, Aurora, and Willow. There is no match or repeat on the paper giving it a custom look.

The Aurora collection was developed following extensive research in the arts of fabric dying - mineral pigments such as ultramarine and indigo are suspended in liquid and transferred by hand to organic linen. The result is 16 exquisite patterns ranging from simple to complex and delicate to bold.


Click to view a  video on the Calico Wallpaper process:




Premiering at The AD Home Show was a new wallpaper line from Wolfum with designs by Annabel Inganni . She is now located in LA but is formerly from Boston and trained at Emerson.

The papers are digitally printed on wallpaper stock allowing custom color ways and less outlay for printing.

Here is a link to an interview that I did with her:


On a visit to the Farrow & Ball booth I learned that their wallpapers have the ‘ground’ color hand brushed and then they are block or trough printed with their low VOC water based paint. Their printing process and using their paint instead of inks creates a raised pattern that you can see and feel. The papers are then glazed to make them more durable and washable. It is also easy to coordinate paint colors with their paper. Marine Home Center stocks Farrow & Ball paints and their wallpaper can be ordered in the design department


Leving the AD Show at Pier 94 we went to the Dine By Design event next door at Pier 92.

I talked with Corey Damen Jenkins formerly of Brooklyn but now based in Michigan. He is an HGTV design star.

He used de Gournay hand painted wallpaper panels  that were gorgeous and could be yours for only $130,000, but they are original art and are hung in such a way that you could take  them with you when you move. De Gournay  is a European company but has a showroom in NYC.



I chatted with  New York designer Stacy Garcia about wallpaper and paperhanging (What else?).

She has taken the route of licencing her brand new Paper Muse Collection in her new residential lifestyle brand  Stacy Garcia | New York to York Wallcoverings, taking advantage of their expertise in manufacturing and their network of distributors.

York is America's oldest and largest wallpaper manufacturer and has been making wallcoverings since 1895 in its original location in Pennsylvania. They make many of the larger designers papers and product lines.

Stacy and I  talked about the need for training, as paperhanging is rapidly becoming a vanishing art, even as there is a resurgence of interest in the use of paper in interior design.

In searching the internet I found that all of the wallpaper schools in the US appear to have closed. There were at least 4 major ones in the 1980's. There may be some still open in the UK and in Australia and there are how to videos on the web, but there is no substitute for hands on experience.

Tune in next week for the promised article on wallpaper in small bathrooms and other difficult spaces. Link below:

Nantucket Preservation Trust has designated June as Preservation month. There will be a wallpaper symposiumJune 12th at 5:30 at the Athenium with Moderator  Melanie Gowen (Chronicle Captain of Design and Lifestyle) panelists Tom Ayars(me),with Audrey Sterk and special guest Gary McBournie (

Please comment so I know that you are there or email me if you have any questions or suggestions. 

Tom Ayars has been hanging wallpaper professionally since the early 1980s. He attended wallpaper school in Columbus, Ohio and then did a two year apprenticeship with a third generation paint and paperhanging contractor in Ithaca, NY.  Tom and his wife Kathy purchased a cottage in Nantucket Town in 2010, after being longtime visitors to the island, and are transitioning his business to Nantucket from New Haven, CT. Tom is passionate about paper and can be reached at  [email protected]