How Dutch Porcelain Inspired This New Coverings Line

ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN | BY | November 15, 2017
Delft Touch
Designer Nicolette Mayer worked with a team of artisans to translate classic Royal Delft ceramic pieces into two-dimensional images using a series of photographs.

Designer Nicolette Mayer was just 12 years old when she moved to the United States from her native South Africa, but she never forgot the Dutch porcelain of her childhood. “I grew up fascinated by the confluence of cultures in South Africa, and one of my fondest memories is of blue-and-white Delft ceramics,” says Mayer.

Flash forward to the Maison&Objet fair in Paris two years ago: Mayer found herself a few booths down from the Royal Delft display, so she approached them with the idea of collaborating on a wallpaper and fabric collection.

The result is the first worldwide licensing agreement to bring the company’s nearly 365-year-old signature patterns to the coverings and soft goods market. The offerings, which are available through Scalamandre, consist of swoon-worthy looks printed on a range of surfaces, including metallic grass cloth and pearlescent wallpaper, as well as fine Belgian linen.

For the wallpaper panel called Garniture (shown above), Mayer was inspired by decorating schemes straight from the pages of history: The design is based on the matching sets of porcelain vessels that garnished the mantels, doorways and cupboards of great manor houses from the 1640s through the 1700s. That the paper features vases packed with painterly tulips is another nod to the porcelain company’s Dutch heritage.

Other patterns feature such iconic elements as peacocks, urns and the highly collectible pyramid-shaped vases known as tulipieres–once a prized possession of Europe’s kings and queens. While many of the designs remain faithful to the spirit of Royal Delft, there are a few exceptions, such as the Flora & Fauna pattern, which features scattered blooms on a field of bold colors ranging from acid green to electric blue.

“We wanted to do something more modern and edgy, so we took some poetic license,” Mayer says, though the majority of the collection does stay true to the legendary two-tone palette. “There’s just something so crisp and classic about blue and white together. It’s a color combination that speaks across cultures.”

PHOTO: Brantley Photography