Image credit: Malabar wallpaper by Cole & Son
I love paisley on all sorts of levels. It’s a curious thing.
The basic motif or buteh comes from Persia but the name comes from Scotland.
The poshest goods have it as a pattern and yet it’s often been used as a symbol of decadence and rebellion by everyone from Oscar Wilde to John Lennon, who had his Rolls Royce painted in bright yellow and paisley.
It was key in helping Liberty’s make its name as the go-to place for sophisticated, arty, bohemianism. And His Purpleness, Prince named his house and his record company after it.
Image credit: Huffington Post
Mostly though, I has a special place in my heart because the best pair of pajamas I ever owned – heavy silk and golden brown – were printed with it.
When they wore into holes, I knotted the top into a sort of cuddly bunch and my son slept with it as his beloved ‘silky’ until he was almost a teenager.
In home decorating terms, it has that arty sophistication that lifts a room from pleasant to fabulous.
Cole and Sons make the best paisley wallpaper.
It can be outre and bohemian but also calm and cool, as this version proves.
Image credit: Rajapur wallpaper by Cole & Son
So whether you plaster your walls with it, wrap yourself in a Liberty shawl, or dress a sober suit with a vivid tie, you’ll always be treading the line between conformity and unruliness, rich luxury and unfettered rebellion.
I think Oscar Wilde would have approved.