A Case for Southern Wallpaper

Three artists release lovely new patterns to refresh your home

Photo: Brier & Byrd

Brier & Byrd's Bisque Mushroom wallpaper.

Virginia, like England, is a land where wallpaper reigns, no matter the trends. And growing up in Old Dominion definitely spurred my love of papered surfaces. Give me all the old favorites—every colorway of Colefax and Fowler’s iconic Bowood motif, acres of Jean Monro’s Rose & Fern, and a healthy dose of Chou Chou de Jaune by Sister Parish—on ceilings and lampshades and, of course, walls. 

Now, though, new, modern Southern wallpapers have sprung up to complement those tried-and-true options as well as an in-vogue maximalism in design. These three stunning collections recently released by regional artists particularly inspire.

Kiki Slaughter

The abstract painter and Virginia native released a collection in September based on six of her larger-than-life paintings, and if you can’t quite take the wallpaper plunge, Slaughter’s prints grace coordinating fabrics as well. I’m partial to the scale of the “Doodles” print.

The Chalkboard Scribble, Cloud Doodles, and Earth Shapes wallpapers.

Lulie Wallace

Fans and collectors of Wallace will appreciate the Georgia-based artist’s latest releases. Wallace is like the John Grisham of pattern—she creates compelling new material with gusto and never runs out of intriguing ideas. This time, as always, I’m drawn to her play on florals, especially the “Avery,” a beguiling, blossom-drenched stripe.

photo: Lulie Wallace
The Olivia, Willow, and Avery wallpapers.

Brier & Byrd

Senses of humor and of whimsy go a long way in my book, and I suspect many Southerners agree with that sentiment. That’s exactly why patrons from New York to California to Palm Beach feel drawn to the work of the Charleston, South Carolina, watercolor artist Lia Burke Libaire. This past summer she cofounded Brier & Byrd to interpret her playful renderings on the fantastical scale of wallpaper panels. “Mushrooms,” anyone?

photo: Brier & Byrd
The Bisque Mushroom, Espresso Geranium, and Bisque Botanical wallpapers.