Unlocking the Secret: The Art of Perfectly Pairing William Morris Wallpaper with Wall Colours

Unlocking the Secret

The Art of Perfectly Pairing William Morris Wallpaper with Wall Colours



Dearle’s vision for pattern 'Helena', designed in 1891 as a woven jacquard, reflects his profound fascination with the detailed textiles of Persia and Turkey, which held his gaze during his peak as a designer. The intricate pattern of the design seamlessly blends artichoke flowers against a backdrop of acanthus leaves and fritillaries


Step into the timeless elegance of William Morris wallpaper and embark on a journey to transform your living spaces. Renowned for its intricate patterns and organic motifs, Morris wallpaper is a symbol of sophistication and artistic refinement.

In celebration of collaboration and creativity, Morris & Co. has now introduced a new fabric and wallpaper collection, "Morris & Friends." This collection pays homage to the artisans and visionaries who have shaped the brand's legacy, from iconic figures like J.H. Dearle and Edward Godwin to lesser-known yet equally influential artists like Kate Faulkner and May Morris. The collection showcases the vibrant contributions of these remarkable and timeless designs of past and present, resulting in a celebration of artistry and collaboration throughout the ages.

 And to celebrate the new collection, we are going all out on Morris design and have created a comprehensive fusion guide! Because, the magic truly happens when the unmistakeable Morris patterns are paired with the perfect wall colour, creating a harmonious mix of classic and contemporary, that breathes life into any room.

In this guide, we'll delve into the art of combining William Morris wallpaper with wall colours, unlocking the secrets to creating a space that is both captivating, inviting and unforgettable!

So, let's get started.


1. Choosing the Right Wallpaper

Before we dive into the world of wall colours, let's first select the perfect William Morris wallpaper for your home. Whether you're drawn to the swirling tendrils of "Pimpernel" or the Pomegranates and Indian-inspired motifs of "Little Chintz", each design tells a story and sets the tone for your interior aesthetic. Consider the scale of the pattern, the colour palette, and the mood you wish to evoke in the room.


 Inspired by an earlier design (Bachelors Button, 1892) 'Leicester' encapsulates the romance of the medieval past that so inspired Morris and was designed by John Henry Dearle in 1912. Gracefully arching leaves are punctuated by mid-scale blooms


2. Pairing Patterns with Unicolour

Once you've chosen your Morris wallpaper, it's time to play matchmaker with wall colours. One timeless approach is to select a wall colour directly from the wallpaper itself. Pick out a subtle hue from the pattern to create a cohesive backdrop that allows the wallpaper to take centre stage. For example, if your wallpaper features hints of sage green, consider painting the remaining walls in a soft, complementary shade to enhance the botanical theme.



 Newly reimagined from the fabric original for wallpaper, 'Bamboo' has been adapted from a design by E.W. Godwin in 1872. Like Morris, Godwin was dedicated to beautifying the home, with Oscar Wilde referring to him as “one of the most artistic spirits of this century in England.” Godwin was also highly influenced by Japanese design and often used bamboo motifs in his work


3. Contrast and Complement

Alternatively, you can opt for a more daring approach by choosing a wall (even woodwork and metal, see omage below) colour that contrasts with the Morris wallpaper. This juxtaposition adds depth and visual interest to the room, highlighting the intricate details of the wallpaper while infusing the space with personality. Experiment with bold jewel tones against a neutral backdrop or pair a vibrant accent wall with a monochromatic Morris design for a striking yet balanced look.


Whimsical and full of nostalgic charm, 'Meadow Sweet' is a symmetrical plant motifs are arranged in a formal design over this wallpaper typical of the Arts & Crafts style. Originally designed by J.H. Dearle in 1904

First produced in 1876, 'Honeysuckle & Tulip' was an early Morris fabric design depicting entwined foliage and floral motifs in a mirrored pattern repeat. The effect is of a trellis circling large multi-petalled tulips and stylised honeysuckle


4. Creating Visual Flow

When combining William Morris wallpaper with wall colours, it's essential to consider the flow of your space. Maintain visual continuity by selecting wall colours that transition seamlessly from one room to the next, creating a cohesive and harmonious atmosphere throughout your home. Use accent colours strategically to tie different areas together, ensuring a cohesive design scheme that feels both cohesive and dynamic.

Fruit or Pomegranate as it was originally known was one of Morris earliest wallpapers first produced in 1864


Swirling, tendrils bowed in the wind, is William Morris’s 1876 design, Pimpernel. Still beloved today for its potent energy and tender floral form, it was once the design of choice for William Morris himself when wallpapering his own dining room in Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire

5. Enhancing Natural Light

Harness the power of natural light to accentuate the beauty of your Morris wallpaper and wall colours. Opt for lighter hues to maximise the sense of space and luminosity in rooms with ample sunlight, allowing the patterns to shimmer and dance with each passing ray. Conversely, in rooms with limited natural light, embrace darker, richer tones to create a cosy, cocoon-like ambiance that invites relaxation and intimacy.

Three brand-new colourways
transform Kate Faulkner’s 1879 design into an ideal fabric solution for contemporary upholstery. Designer Faulkner was the sister of Charlie Faulkner, one of the founding members of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in 1861

Dearle’s 'Helena' (as in our title image) brightens up this room immensley. For additional cosiness, simply replace the neutral skirting boards and radiator (and even the ceiling if you are daring) with the beautiful dark green shade within the wallpaper


To Sum Up

Incorporating William Morris wallpaper into your home is a celebration of artistry and timeless design. By carefully selecting wall colours that complement and enhance your chosen wallpaper, you can elevate your living spaces to new heights of sophistication and style. Whether you opt for subtle harmonies or bold contrasts, the key lies in creating a balanced composition that reflects your unique personality and aesthetic sensibilities. So go ahead, unleash your creativity, and let the walls of your home become a canvas for inspired living.


Ready to embark on your own design journey?

Explore the Grace & Holmes Collection and discover a curated selection of furniture and accessory designs waiting to adorn your rooms. Elevate your home with timeless elegance and make every room a masterpiece. And keep our eyes peeled for the new G&H wallpaper collection coming soon!


Unlocking the Secret: The Art of Perfectly Pairing William Morris Wallpaper with Wall Colours was first published here at: www.graceandholmes.com. All photos: https://morrisandco.sandersondesigngroup.com/

The fields marked with * are required.