Classic, Modern ‘High Tide’ for Walls

General / People / Places / Products / August 4, 2015

Trae King and Lauren Love are at it again.

The husband-and-wife team, owners of Abnormals Anonymous, have introduced a striking new line of wallpaper designs that are classic and modern at once.

They’re called “High Tide,” and they reference familiar critters who live in the sea. That’s appropriate, since the couple has studios on Bainbridge Island, Wash. and Venice, Calif.

“We’re into the coastal feel – we want to have something lively that feels as though you have a friend on the wall – something to come home to that has personality,” King says. “We want to put into our papers an aspect of fun – that’s our core inspiration.”

So they gave their critters names. Like Ernest the Seahorse, Holden the Anchor and Wheel of Fortune for the Lotus Root. Those three join their predecessors, Mr. Blow the Blowfish, Spot the giraffe and two elephants talking called Gothic.

There may be a strong sense of irony and humor, but a there’s a serious side to what the couple is doing too. “As always, it’s a way to bring classic elements into a modern design,” he says. “It’s the same direction we’ve always had – the images are quite large, like the seven-inch anchor that’s very bold.”

They develop their own colors, styles and prints, because though they love wallpaper, they weren’t seeing much they liked. “We did it ourselves in an abnormal approach,” he says. “It’s something we see and eyeball, and it’s really graphic.”

They use an eco-minded process for printing with non-solvent and VOC-free inks, offering vinyl for commercial jobs,  a 31-percent  post-consumer recycled content for LEED applications, Mylar, and standard papers. It’s all fully customizable, from changeable palettes and ground materials to one-of-a-kind, site specific designs.

The “High Tide” price range is fairly reasonable too. Wheel of Fortune is $100.75/linear yard; Holden is $117.15/linear yard and Ernest is $145.15/linear yard.

With a look as bold at that, they’re worth every penny.

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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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