Hand-printed Wallpaper from Sarah & Ruby

Sarah Schwartz, one-half of the Sarah & Ruby Design Studio, got her start in business as an patent attorney.

Then came her epiphany: “As a lawyer I wrote patent applications, but I enjoyed drawing the images,” she says. “I’m good at math and science but I have a passion for design – and it took a long time to realize that.”

And so she headed for design school. Now, the online studio that bears her name, along with Ruby Geisler’s, focuses on all things handmade.

That means tiles, artwork, pillows, fabric – and wallpaper.

“Machines are beautiful, but the printing process makes the designs flat,” she says. “The handmade process – from time-tested artisans who’ve done it for centuries – has a lot of value, and it’s less disposable than what’s made by machine.”

She’s talking about the Indian artisans who take the patterns she designs, carve them into wooden blocks six or seven inches square, dip them in ink and press them into cellulose-based paper.

“It will never be the same print every time,” she says. “Each time you put it down – you ink it up and place it on paper – and every time, it’s different.”

The patterns they design are deliberately bold, and suited to their medium. “The question is: what can a block do, and how do we push that limit?” she asks. “So there are abstract geometrics, but they’re organic, and some are based on leaves.”

The wallpaper is often use on a single “statement” wall in a bedroom or bath. “Think of it as a large piece of artwork,” she says. “Some people put it on the ceilings.”

They carry 12 patterns with four different color ways for each. And if you’re unsure how it might look, snap a pic and send it to her. “We’ll create a visual mockup so you can get an idea before you buy it,” she says.

Since a double roll runs about $490 (with discounts to the trade), that would be the smart way to go.

For more, go here.

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