Little Greene Paint Blog

  • Take flight with Little Greene wallpapers

    On a breezy English Summer evening, the much loved chorus of birds twittering can be heard floating through many an open window. They’re the creatures that perch in our gardens, subtly bringing them to life. Sketched by artists and adoringly studied by watchers, the notion of birds can be equally as joyful inside the home.

    Little Greene’s Great Ormond Street wallpaper in Verditure features cool silvery Salix tones combined with a warmer Aquamarine which instantly brings tranquillity and a soothing coolness to a room. Closely based on one of a multi-layered group of papers removed from an early 18th century terraced house opposite the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. The design was machine-made on cellulose paper in the late 19th Century.

    Gt Ormond St - Verditure L-R Great Ormond St in Verditure, Great Ormond St in Parchment

    Another wallpaper that celebrates the intricate colours and movement of the great outdoors is our Crowe Hall Lane in Charme. A large-scale, late 19th century wallpaper with a bold pattern of exotic birds and flowers. The paper had originally been used in a curving stairwell in Crowe Hall, a Suffolk manor house where the vertical nature of the trailing pattern emphasised the height of the room. It is likely to have been hung around the turn of the century and was recovered during extensive conservation work to the house much later. The wallpaper can be paired with French Grey (113) and Pale Lime (70) to create a gentle dash of colour that almost makes the birds flutter from the wall.

    Crowe Hall Lane L-R Crowe Hall Lane in Charme, Crowe Hall Lane in Paradise

    Visit www.littlegreene.com for more wallpaper inspiration.

  • All for Florals

    Nothing says Spring more than a carefully selected vase of fresh blooms clipped straight from the garden.

    The full effect of a beautifully arranged bouquet can quite often seem far too short lived but you can continue to appreciate the beauty of fresh flowers by drawing focus to a floral print wallpaper in your home.

    09 Bouquet Bonbon

     

    From the archives of the recently renovated Whitworth Art Gallery, Little Greene’s wallpaper, Bouquet originates from a collection by celebrated wallpaper manufacturer John Line & Sons. The print embodies the 1950’s freedom of expression and palpable spirit of adventure. The loose freehand lines used on the paper are typical of the time. The bouquets depict blossoming tulips, lily of the valley and the arching stems of Solomon’s seal.

    11 - Grosvenor Street-Alchemy

     

    Delving further back into the archives uncovers the early 19th century hand-blocked wallpaper, Grosvenor Street. The paper was the last but one in a ‘sandwich’ of 17 layers of wallpaper taken from this property; a prize artefact in the English Heritage archive and one which singlehandedly documents a period of over a hundred years of historic wallpaper from one site. The wallpaper features a bold trailing floral print on a pin-print honeycomb background.

    07 - Carlisle Street - Metal

     

    The calming Carlisle Street offers a more neutral approach to toned down florals. The original wallpaper that inspired this design, found at a property in Carlisle Street in Soho, London, is actually a much more complex pattern than the design we have extracted from it. By removing the solid stripes and extraneous leaf trail, we are left with a wallpaper that achieves all-over pattern and an elegant stripe at the same time. Using traditional surface-printing methods, which originally would have applied paint rather than ink, the production of Carlisle Street reflects very closely that used in preceding centuries: it also gives it a delightfully tactile feel and slightly textured appearance.

    For more wallpaper designs and inspiration visit www.littlegreene.com

  • Moments of Colour at Mosbuild

    Here at Little Greene, our ‘Moments of Colour’ installation has had a busy few months. This week, it completed its final appearance at Russia’s Mosbuild exhibition with excellent feedback from visitors.

    DSC_0924

    Following on from our collaboration with high-end fashion designer Edeline Lee, guests were invited to view the room sets complete with colour co-ordinated models.

    DSC_0589

    Almost resembling an oversized dolls house, the rooms effortlessly bridged the gap between interiors and fashion, providing inspiration through both the interpretation and the personality of colour.

    DSC_0675

    The rooms featured the following colours from L-R: Mister David and Shirting, Bone China Blue, Serpentine and Orange Aurora, Green Verditer and Atomic Red.

  • Safe Haven

    At Little Greene, we are delighted to be collaborating with breast cancer support charity, The Haven on the development of their fourth regional centre in Titchfield, Hampshire.

    We are supplying 200 litres of paint to the grade II listed property which will offer support to nearly 3,000 breast cancer patients in the region.

    250ml Tins

    Founded in 1997, the charity offers one-to-one specialist care to breast cancer patients through their free services including counselling and complementary therapies. There is currently no breast cancer support service in the region so the charity hopes to help the 2,700 women treated for the disease each year in Wessex hospitals.

    Focussing on offering emotional and practical support, the charity also works with the NHS to ease the physical side effects of breast cancer.

    The renovations to the listed property will include a reception area, library, group therapy space, kitchen and four one-to-one therapy rooms. The outdoor space will be home to a relaxing visitor garden.

    Work on the building began on the 19th of January and the charity hopes to be up and running for users by October 2015.

  • Little Greene Exterior Paints: two dynamic new finishes added for Spring

    Next week we will be launching two fabulous new finishes to add to our exterior paint range. The ‘exterior family’ already includes high-gloss paints for exterior woodwork and sumptuous matt finishes for brickwork and render; all formulated using the same technical expertise used to develop paints for bridges, castles and even lighthouses!

    1 - Mister David Open Front Door

    Following extensive market research, two new low-sheen finishes, both designed specifically for exterior woodwork, joinery and metalwork, will be added to the range: Intelligent Exterior Eggshell and Tom’s Oil Eggshell.

    So, what’s so special about these new finishes? Here’s a bit of (not blindingly!) technical information, which explains them both in greater detail:

    • Intelligent Exterior Eggshell is the choice of the modern consumer. A very durable, water-based, low VOC and virtually odourless paint, it’s easy to maintain and weather resistant. This high performance, opaque wood finish has excellent penetration and inhibits mould and algal growth. Self-priming, it can be applied straight onto new and bare wood, as well as to suitably primed metalwork. One of the smartest and most environmentally-friendly choices for exterior joinery, Intelligent Exterior Eggshell has an elegant, smooth appearance that belies its inherent strength and durability. Available in all shades, the paint is surface dry in 4 hours, and can be recoated in 16 hours.
    • Tom’s Oil Eggshell is the preferred finish of one of Little Greene’s senior chemists, after whom it was named! It’s also a traditional finish much beloved of professional decorators – oil-based and therefore extremely practical and hard-wearing, it has excellent flow, a beautiful low sheen and is fully weather resistant. Also available in all colours, this charming, washable paint is suitable for exterior woodwork and metalwork. It is surface dry in 4 hours and can be recoated in 16 hours.

    8 - Potting Shed Detail

    Right, those are the facts, but why not let the products speak for themselves? What better time to spruce up the outside of your home, exterior joinery, garden furniture or potting shed? Or even your bird feeders?! With our amazing new finishes, you’ll have the job done in no time and be sitting back admiring the fruits of your not-so-arduous labour!

    These products were unveiled at Maison et Objet in Paris on 23 January, and are available to buy next week. The full paint range will be available nationally and internationally through Little Greene’s network of distributors, as well as via mail and phone order and online at www.littlegreene.com.

  • ‘Painted Papers’ from Little Greene: a definitive compendium of striped wallpapers, produced using traditional printing methods

     

    For our eighth collection of wallpapers, we have once again turned to the archives. ‘Painted Papers’ is a comprehensive compendium of striped wallpapers, which celebrate the historic and harmonious marriage of paint and wallpaper.

    More than ‘just plain stripes’, all ten designs in ‘Painted Papers’ have been reworked from historic patterns sourced from several archives, including those at English Heritage and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. Faithful to the period in which they were designed, and with many of the colourways also boasting an authentic historic provenance, the wallpapers are nonetheless highly relevant for the 21st Century interior.

    Using traditional surface-printing methods, which originally would have applied paint rather than ink, the production of these papers reflects very closely that used in preceding centuries: it also gives them their delightfully tactile feel and slightly textured appearance. In the early 1800s, the invention of continuous rolls of paper facilitated huge advances in block printing and subsequent surface printing techniques. At the same time, a new fashion for stripes in interior decoration began to emerge. Regency style was heavily influenced by the sudden influx in international commerce, whilst a grander architectural vision brought fresh ideas about space and decoration. Consequently, designers of the time gained a first-hand awareness of how colours and pattern, both in fabrics and on walls, could help shape a room, rather than just adorn it.

    BROAD STRIPE (c.1825)

    A classic ‘Roman’ or Regency proportioned stripe, originally produced in the early 19th Century using the ‘open trough’ method. Using this technique, stripes were created by bands of paint seeping through holes or slots in the bottom of a wooden trough onto the surface of the paper as it was pulled beneath. Striped wallpapers manufactured in this way are characterised by a brushed finish which was later superseded by a flatter print achieved with 19th Century rollers, as can be seen in these papers. The grand scale of this particular stripe is tempered by the restricted use of colour – in each case the stripe sits on a softer ground of the same hue, creating a wallpaper that brings a relaxed structure to a room, without being too formal.

    Broad Stripe

    CARLISLE STREET (c.1890)

    The original wallpaper that inspired this design, found at a property in Carlisle Street in Soho, London, is actually a much more complex pattern than the ‘Painted Papers’ design that has been extracted from it. By removing the solid stripes and extraneous leaf trail, what remains is a wallpaper that achieves all-over pattern but, at the same time, highlights an elegant stripe.

    Carlisle Street

    CAVENDISH STRIPE (c.1965)

    In keeping with its sister wallpaper ‘Marlborough’ from Little Greene’s London Wallpapers II collection, the age of the paper on which this design is based is perhaps misleading in terms of its provenance. Dated at 1965, this particular fragment emerged during English Heritage’s restoration work at Marlborough House on Pall Mall, London, though this paper itself was undoubtedly based on a much earlier original. In Little Greene’s interpretation, the motif – which was in fact a flock – has been completely removed to leave a cleaner, more versatile stripe. In keeping with authentic methods of production, the background strié effect is achieved using a horsehair brush, with the stripe and gilded edges printed on top.

    Cavendish Stripe

    COLONIAL STRIPE (c.1840)

    This design is an accurate reproduction of one of several wallpapers found in a private residence in St James Place, London, dating from around 1840. Its ornate, decorative detail gives it a subtle artisan quality, and the original, richly-coloured blue and red colourway, faithfully reproduced for this collection, is very typical of the Regency era.

    Colonial Stripe

    ELEPHANT STRIPE (c.1850)

    Taking the exact proportion and structural quality of Broad Stripe, each band in this more complex version comprises 42 ‘pin stripes’, creating a sharper, more contemporary look that appeals at first glance and offers even more on closer inspection. Given its finer proportions, this design would have been virtually impossible to print before the arrival of the surface print roller in around 1840.

    Elephant Stripe

    OMBRÉ PLAIN / OMBRÉ STRIPE (c.1956)

    Very much a 20th century design, this is a 1950’s English pattern found at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. A band of fine, white stripes over flat grounds, it is actually the space between stripes that creates the subtle optical movement. The more complex striped versions contain an additional three ground colours each, and the ‘plain’ versions are produced in matching colourways to coordinate specifically with the different elements of the stripe, offering a highly flexible range of papers to be used in combination in traditional and contemporary homes alike.

    Ombre Stripe

    PAINT SPOT (c.1830)

    This design is a faithful reproduction of an historic French wallpaper. Perhaps surprisingly, the original hails from 1830 and was printed in a bold combination of yellow and pink. Particular attention is paid to the paint reticulation (also known as the seaweed effect) evident within the printed spot element, in giving orientation – there is a definite right and wrong way up for this paper to be hung!

    Paint Spot

    TAILOR STRIPE (c.1968)

    Another 20th Century stripe, each of the papers in this design contains a judicious balance of six tightly packed colours, giving every one an overall theme and several opportunities for picking out painted walls and trim. It has been inspired by the way designers would ‘tag’ colours together when referencing interior design schemes, and as a consequence is inherently close to the way colours were handled by the fashion industry too.

    Tailor Stripe

    TENTED STRIPE (c.1845)

    Originally produced as a design on fabric, the larger scale production of this classic 19th Century stripe was a natural development from the early ‘open trough’ printing method referred to in ‘Broad Stripe’. Its name is taken from the Regency fashion of hanging fabrics in a room to create a ‘tented’ effect. The proportion of the elements within these stripes was typically fairly consistent, but the scale on which they were reproduced (and used) varied considerably. Having been shown extensively in its own right as a stripe, the design was subsequently popularised as a background to a range of larger overprinted designs, including French damasks.

    Tented Stripe

    THAMES (c.1851)

    Faithfully reproduced, but increased in scale, from an eye-catching piece in the English Heritage archive, this historical panorama of the capital was published by London Illustrated News in 1851. The hand-drawn, hand-painted scene depicts the buildings and landscape along the river Thames at that time: it has subsequently been re-mastered to include a repeating section, meaning it can be now hung as a continuing frieze. The original would have been shown at cornice height, but for rooms of a more ‘conventional’ scale, it has been created to sit comfortably at dado or skirting height as well.

    Thames

    ‘Painted Papers’ will be launched in Paris at Maison et Object and Deco Off this weekend. The collection will be available nationally and internationally through Little Greene’s network of distributors, as well as via mail and phone order and online at www.littlegreene.com.

  • New Wallpaper Collection – ‘Painted Papers’

    On 23rd January we will be launching our new wallpaper collection ‘Painted Papers’, a definitive compendium of striped wallpapers produced using traditional printing methods.

    More than ‘just plain stripes’, all eleven designs in ‘Painted Papers’ have been reworked from historic patterns sourced from several archives, including those at English Heritage and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. Faithful to the period in which they were designed, and with many of the colourways also boasting an authentic historic provenance, the wallpapers are nonetheless highly relevant for the 21st Century interior.

    Each wallpaper has been produced using traditional surface-printing methods, which originally would have applied paint rather than ink, the production of these papers reflects very closely that used in previous centuries: it also gives them their delightfully tactile feel and slightly textured appearance.

    Managing Director, David Mottershead expands on the collection: “In reviving these historic designs we have tried to create a collection to serve homes of all ages and decorative styles. There are also offerings from the early and mid-twentieth centuries, in colourways to suit both the timeless and the cutting-edge interior. As with our previous wallpaper collections, we have judiciously selected paint colours to coordinate or complement each design and tone, to aid selection and encourage the end user to be adventurous.”

    ‘Painted Papers’ will be launched at Maison et Object on 23 January 2015. The collection will be available nationally and internationally through our network of distributors, via telephone (0845 880 5855) and online (www.littlegreene.com).

    More information to follow next week on the new designs. Keep a lookout on our Facebook & twitter pages.

    PP

  • Little Greene & LANE Collaborate – Twin Tone Lampshade

    We have recently collaborated with interior design boutique, LANE to produce six new stunning colourways for their Twin Tone Lampshade. The Twin Tone Lampshade is a pendant lampshade with a simple, beautiful and clean aesthetic. Each lampshade has two different Little Greene colours to form the shade (an inside colour & outside colour).

    Lane products are exclusively designed by creative team Joff and Ollie, who draw inspiration from their experience working as graphic designers, combined with their collection of graphic design from around the world.

    The lampshades are 100% British, made by British craftspeople using high quality materials to ensure that you receive a durable & stylish lampshade whilst giving your home a contemporary Little Greene touch. The lampshades are available in six different Little Greene colour combinations:

    • Loft White and Jack Black: a graphic combination of true white with absolute black, originally produced using soot collected from a burning oil.
    • Serpentine and Orange Aurora (‘50s): a harmonious mix of a mid-grey and a popular accent colour from the 1950s.
    • Basalt and Brighton (‘60s): a timeless blue-black teamed with an extremely versatile, very clean blue-green shade hailing from the 1960s.
    • Loft White and Orange Aurora (‘50s): a true white combined with the successful ‘50s orange shade.
    • Brighton (‘60s) and Mister David: the vivacious, coastal blue-green paired with an uplifting yellow, designed to capture the effect of sunshine in French kitchens!
    • Light Peachblossom (R) and Carmine (‘60s): an effective mixing of eras and tones – marrying a distinctive, dusky pink Regency shade with a more vibrant pink from 1968.

    Retailing at £65, the limited edition Lane ‘Twin Tone Lampshades’ will be stocked in the Little Greene showroom in Marylebone (020 7935 8844020 7935 8844 marylebone@littlegreene.com). They will also be available via www.lanebypost.com/shop and stockists nationwide from 24 November 2014.

  • Little Greene Supporting 'The Haven' Charity

    We would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who took part in our Breast Cancer Awareness campaign this October. We’re delighted with the fantastic response from our customers and stockists who sent us some wonderful photographs showing their support for ‘The Haven’, our chosen charity.

    We managed to raise a fantastic £9435.62 for ‘The Haven’ charity which will go towards helping those suffering from the emotional impacts of breast cancer.

    This year, we have encouraged our stockists to get involved in our Breast Cancer Awareness campaign through social media and we received some very creative photographs from our stockists on Facebook & twitter. ‘Callaghan Interiors’ dressed their whole shop in pink and John Charles from John Charles Interiors dressed up as a lion from The Wizard of Oz wearing one of our aprons! Many stockists posted their photos on twitter & Facebook holding our #LittleGreeneBCA sign.

    We decided to give ‘John Charles Interiors’ the prize for being our most creative (see image below). They have donated their £250 prize to Prostate Cancer UK.

    We would like to say a huge thank you to ‘Callaghan Interiors’, ‘Brewers Exeter’, ‘Brewers Sittingbourne’, ‘Ashby Decs, Brewers Lewisham’, ‘Unique Interiors’, ‘Kent Blaxill’, ‘John Charles Interiors’ and ‘Architectural Ironmongery’ for entering our stockist competition and supporting ‘The Haven’ charity with us this October.

    You can see all the photos sent in from our stockists below.

    'John Charles Interiors'

    'Callaghan Interiors'

    'Architectural Ironmongery'

    'Brewers - Sittingbourne'

    'Kent Blaxill'

    'Brewers - Lewisham'

    'Brewers - Exeter'

  • Women's Institute - Little Greene Makeover Competition

    We had a fantastic response from Women’s Institutes across the country and would like to thank everyone who entered the competition.

    We have recently announced the winners for our Women’s Institute - Makeover competition. We asked institutes throughout the UK to tell us why they were worthy of winning a Little Greene Makeover. The prizes were as follows:

    1st prize - £1000 worth of paints and/or wallpapers, colour consultation and £500 towards decorating costs

    2nd prize - £500 worth of paints and/or wallpapers and £250 towards decorating costs

    3rd prize - £200 worth of paints and/or wallpapers and £100 towards decorating costs

    After a long and difficult review of all our entries, it was decided that The Hopwood Women’s Institute deserved our 1st place prize due to their sheer determination to restore & rejuvenate their historic institute on the eve of their centenary year after recently being forced to move out due to their building being too dangerous to function in.

    For 2nd place, we decided that The Aughton Women’s Institute’s application was our most creative entry with the inclusion of their old poem written for the institute in 1991.

    3rd place went to Germoe & District Women’s Institute for having the most interesting institute consisting of their WW2 bomb shelter telephone exchange.

    We have decided to give every institute a £50 Little Greene voucher for participating in our WI Makeover competition. We look forward to updating you on the progress from our competition winners in the future, so keep a lookout for further updates!

    Again, we would like to thank everyone who entered the competition.

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