Rachel Cope on Finding Beauty in Troubled Times

This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is Rachel Cope, creative director of Calico Wallpaper, the wallpaper company she co-founded in 2013 with her partner, Nicholas Cope.

For this week’s Milkshake, we asked Rachel about a design hurdle – something that looked easy, but wasn’t. Her response: the process behind Oceania, a gorgeous new collection of wallpapers inspired by the depths of the sea. “I created [Oceania] using a salt-resist process by sprinkling salt into a watercolor painting,” she says. “And I had to create this on a very large scale to make a non-repeating wall mural – I found that to be quite a challenge.”

We also talked to her about her family’s decision to trade Brooklyn for rural upstate New York – and how that move, and challenging moments from the past year, have spurred her creative development. “Now that I’m in nature, I think I’m even more inspired by my surroundings and I have more mental space and time to really focus on the design process,” she says. “I’ve been making a little bit more of my personal work, too. During the peak of the pandemic, I had a lot of time with my kids, and I needed some type of creative outlet – so I started creating watercolor paintings with them, and I ended up loving how they turned out. I was able to channel all of my anxiety into these artworks.” Those pieces will appear in a new collection, launching this fall.

Also in this Milkshake: the biggest mistake people make when considering wallpaper for their own homes. Tune in for some professional counsel on how to make this high-impact decision.

Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.

Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.

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