New Wallpaper Collaboration Brings NYC’s Past To The Present

How would the glamour of NYC’s past look on your walls in the present? Thanks to a new collaboration between Tempaper and Novogratz, you can easily see for yourself. Tempaper first transformed design over a decade ago with their peel-and-stick wallpaper. More recently, they teamed up with designers Rob and Cortney Novogratz. The married couple who have been restoring a classic Greenwich Village townhouse on New York City’s Waverly Place, finding inspiration in the layers of Old New York they uncovered along the way. Ultimately, the collaboration led to the Waverly  Collection—inspired by the past but applied via a wallcovering that’s state of the art.

Waverly House.

Waverly House.

When Renovation Becomes Inspiration

“As we pulled back walls, we found vintage wallpaper patterns and unique color palettes,” say the Novogratz of their inspiring renovation. Their research shed even more light on the subject. “We found old photos of this home and even had someone reach out whose family member had worked on the home years ago.” They loved the building so much, they even chose to feature its facade on one of the collection prints, appropriately called Waverly House.

The couple describes the collection as a mix of old New York style and timeless Parisian flair. “Great Parisian design seems to transcend time,” explain the Novogratz, “a more traditional yet timeless beauty.” Meanwhile, they say its Old New York style is “captured in the artists that occupied the space—the rebel nature that was needed to survive in New York.” The juxtaposition of glamour and gumption calls to mind the setting of an Edith Wharton novel.

Daisy Bloom (left) and Feather Palm (right).

Daisy Bloom (left) and Feather Palm (right).

Capturing Nature in Sophisticated Colors

Part of the collection’s timelessness is its centering of nature. This ranges from fields of flowers in Daisy Bloom to the rippling leaves of Feather Palm. “We have more wildlife that we let out of the bag too early, as we loved it so much,” the Novogratz admit. “Zebras in Love—from the last addition to our Tempaper collection—was also inspired by this home.” And though their equine spirit is captured here again in the new Zebra Marble pattern, this time, pride of place belongs to creatures of the air. “The favorite this time is the Family of Cranes pattern,” the Novogratz say. “We love them all, but this was the first one we installed into our daughter Tallulah’s first NYC apartment.” 

Family of Cranes (left) and Zebra Marble (right).

Family of Cranes (left) and Zebra Marble (right).

The collection’s palette is strong, yet sophisticated. Those cranes take flight on a vibrant field of Dusty Rose, and Feather Palm fronds seem seaworthy in a cornflower-esque Waverly Blue. But color isn’t the only choice. Though the wildflowers populating a print called Tallulah Belle look sprightly in red, blue and green, they really pop in black and white. “We wanted this collection to be artful and bold,” offer the Novogratz.  “While there are florals in the collection, the personality of the collection is not one of a wallflower.”

Tallulah Belle in multicolor (left) and black and white (right).

Tallulah Belle in multicolor (left) and black and white (right).

Throwback to the Future

The collection’s deft nods to past patterns further emphasize how very now Tempaper’s peel-and-stick application feels. “Tempaper is a high-quality, peel-and-stick wallpaper,” says Tempaper co-founder and creative director Jennifer Mathews. “We incorporate the beautiful elements of traditional, artisan wallpaper such as metallic inks, textures, and matte finishes. Yet the product’s utility is state-of-the-art in its easy application and removal.”

“Tempaper have been great partners for many years. They bring production, style and a unique product,” add the Novogratz. They also note that the Tempaper application process is “a fun DIY that you can do with your family. It’s not intimidating to try—and a great value.”

And though the Novogratz will continue to find inspiration in their Waverly Place renovation, they promise that their next designs will have a flavor all their own. “The past always informs the present,” they say. “But once we work on a new project, we want it to be unique.”

The Waverly collection includes six new prints across eight colorways and is available at tempaper.com.

Can’t get off the walls? Read about Tempaper’s Curiosities Collection here.


Paul Hagen is a writer and editor for aspire design and home magazine.

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