Brett Beldock

Wallpaper brand Brett Design has released a new collection complete with 25 hand-painted designs. This season, owner Brett Beldock found inspiration in diverse sources, from design-world legends architect Zaha Hadid and decorator Mario Buatta to liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, imbuing her playful, polychromatic work with a wealth of references. Beginning in fashion and then launching forward into decorating, Beldock’s career has transformed with supernatural ease, guided by her flair for color and savviness for the next big thing. In 2004, she decided to try out hand-painted wallcoverings as a minor supplement to her namesake furniture line. Now, in 2020, wallpaper is the keystone of her brand. “I always try to keep learning and looking at new artists,” she says. “You have to keep pushing.”

Along with her new wallpapers, Beldock is currently in the twelfth season of a collaboration with modern retailer CB2. Each year, she draws thousands of sketches based on trending keywords that the company sends her, resulting in a rich CB2 line loaded with statement pieces like a shearling upholstered canopy bed to creative details like a brass, leaf-inspired cabinet pull. Her wallpaper can be viewed on Incollect, and purchased through Profiles, Hewn, Karen Sacks, Cloth and Kind, and Harbinger LA.

Brett  Beldock introduces her new collection.

Each season, Beldock loosely organizes her wallpapers into seven categories. Here, we explore her new designs for Fall 2020.

  1. "Quoting Old:" Drawing Inspiration From Historic Art & Artists 

  2. The English Penwork Wallpaper

Left: The Cocktail Lounge Wallpaper in Bronze  Right: The Eyes on You Wallpaper in Gold with the Haze Side Table, also from Brett Design.

Like many devotees of the late Mario Buatta, Beldock reveled in the exhibition of the decorator's personal collection at Sotheby's last year. Buatta’s Chinese export reverse-glass paintings of elegant women captured Beldock’s imagination; to update the aesthetic intention for a 21st-century American audience, she created a design evocative of the original figures and dressed the women in fashionable, contemporary clothing from Dries Van Noten, Valentino, and Zara. The auction also included a number of 1860s Indian penwork boxes and tables featuring ivory carvings with black inlay. Inspired by the antique craftsmanship, the wallpaper that she ultimately designed is a gridded procession of black-and-white images. In the first, a woman in a high, loose ponytail is dressed in a sculptural, floral top and leopard-print shorts as she lounges on an ornate dais. Other of the designer's high-contrast panels showcase South Asian imagery interspersed with modern American urban life, such as a woman stretching after a run or two people crossing paths on a dog walk.

The last two wallpapers in the collection range on the absurd. One includes scenes from a Mad Men-era cocktail lounge, including a sketch in which a leash tethers a wandering peacock to a woman in evening dress. The eclectic design is available in bronze, gold, pink, and poppy red. For the last wallpaper in the category, Beldock drew her own eye, lashes coated to excess with mascara, and the eye of French writer John Cocteau. Splashed together across a black background, with colorful irises scattered throughout, the effect of the eyes is surreal and charming.

  1. Architects: Zaha Hadid, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe & Lilly Reich

The My Corb Wallpaper

Left: The Barcelona Wallpaper. Right: The Zaha Wallpaper with the Howard Bench.

  1. Within the Fall Collection, Zaha Hadid and Le Corbusier each have a wallpaper named in their honor. Hadid's wallpaper, Zahaincludes expressive, curved lines referencing the British-Iraqi architect's avant-garde style. The colorful mural, My Corbreflects the stark silhouettes of Purism, a school of art theory cofounded by Le Corbusier that saw itself as the successor to Cubism. The third wallpaper influenced by an architect, Barcelona, was titled after the Barcelona Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in 1929. A hallmark of modernist design, the Pavilion is known for its reliance on simplified forms and luxury materials like marble, red onyx, and travertine.

  2. Florals: Precise & Petite, Abstract & Painterly 

Left: The Juniper Berry Carnations Wallpaper in Clay. Right: The Velvet Flowers Wallpaper.

Beldock notes that large, free-flowing murals have been in style for years. Now, their opposite small, concise, Liberty of London-style prints are fashionable as well. One of her new wallpapers is a carnation print with juniper berries woven throughout. The print was inspired by Isabel Marant, a French designer known for upscale feminine clothing that is pretty and yet never precious. Another influence was Brett's visit to the new Phillips auction house in Southampton, New York, where she discovered a painted velvet tapestry. Recreating the lush, textural quality, she designed a pattern of loose, painterly roses. Blurred flowers in other prints are reminiscent of the hazy watercolors of Lourdes Sanchez and encaustic paintings of Betsy Eby.

  • Animal Prints 

The Paco Wallpaper in Black on Silver with the Holiday Bookcase.

Animal prints from Beldock include elegant zebra, tiger, and leopard, as well as delicate, wispy feathers that float across muted shades of taupe, peach, and periwinkle. To create the tiger print — called Elliot’s Tiger — the designer based the angular stripes on close-up photographs of Elliot, her boxer dog’s fur. A vintage cheetah-print top from Paco Rabanne, a fashion legend who never shied from extravagance, was the model for the Paco Wallpaper; the pattern is reproduced on gold mylar for an additional dose of glamor. Referencing Elsie de Wolfe, who popularized them, Beldock states that an animal print can be combined with any pattern including stripes, florals, and other prints. "I do think it's a neutral," she says.

  1. Landscapes & Murals

The Togetherness Wallpaper is shown here with the Ruby Cabinet.

This season’s landscapes from Brett Design range from abstract and kaleidoscopic in color to a romantic, gold-tinged pictorial featuring a river winding between two mountains. Many of her wallpapers share aesthetic similarities with the European Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Others, such as an upcoming series to be released later this fall, reference Japanese watercolors. During quarantine, she has been studying videos of Japanese watercolors and experimenting with the technique, painting structural shapes and overlapping colors. Of the oversized forms within her murals, she says, “I think, because we’re all hemmed in right now, big and loose is important.”

  1. Words: Thoughts on the Moon & Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Left: The Notes from the Moon Wallpaper. Right: The RBG Wallpaper with Bob's Bar.

Two wallpapers in this season's collections showcase images paired with text. One moon-printed paper features quotes about the moon from various literary sources including Carl Sandburg, Maya Angelou, and Haruki Murakami. The second wallpaper was sketched after Beldock received news of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. In the design, sketches of elaborate collars are accompanied by scrawled notations that describe the Justice’s life and legacy, such as “advocate,” “dissent,” and “women’s rights.”

  1. Children: For the Nursery or Playroom

Left: The Ice Cubes Wallpaper. Right: The Lollipop Trees Wallpaper in Chocolate with the Howard Bench.

In every collection, Beldock creates a few patterns appropriate for nurseries and children’s bedrooms, although they can be used in other spaces for an extra pop of whimsy. Often abstract with hues as bright and syrupy as popsicles, the children's patterns allow her to explore with the free association of form and color. One notable print from this category references Billy Baldwin, who was himself inspired by the irreverent color experimentation of Matisse.

Shop the latest collection from Brett Design.