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Lemon’s new groove

Jan 30, 2020 | Design

This 1970s-inspired wallpaper range is retro cool personified

Sometimes evolution in design requires looking back for inspiration as well as to the future, and drawing on the nostalgia of the past to create a forward-feeling present. As an advocate of simple but strong design and the power of using fewer pieces to create a more impactful scene, Lemon is always looking at ways to push the proverbial envelope and draw on fundamental design principles in the pursuit of timeless spaces.

For its latest wallpaper collection – New Wave – founder Kevin Frankental dug into the archives for creative content. Inspired by seventies tones and simple retro checks as a starting point for the range, he went a little deeper, and examined the mood of the decade beyond just the aesthetics, to lend the collection some cultural heft.

Tom Wolfe’s ‘The Me Decade’ – an essay first published in the August 23, 1976 issue of New York magazine – proved a strong source of inspiration when formulating the concept behind the new collection. An examination of the move towards individualism in the 70s – away from the communitarianism of the 1960s – the piece describes the decade as a time of the ‘Third Great Awakening’.

Frankental has taken this social commentary and given the concept a tongue-in-cheek interpretation with, as he describes them, a range of ‘in your face’ designs. The overscaled checks and plaids demand attention, and while simple and understated in their makeup, make a bold interior statement by virtue of their simplicity and striking colour combinations. “This is definitely the most playful and irreverent collection we’ve done so far – we wanted to have a little bit of fun with it,” he says.

When it came to naming the designs Frankental took the concept still further – designs with titles like ‘Me, Me, Me’, ‘Me and Mine’ and ‘Me Decade’ demonstrate the lighthearted nature of the collection and inspire a playful approach in their application.

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