Wallpaper that holds history

Little Greene introduces ‘National Trust Papers IV’ the fourth installment of authentic wallpaper designs derived from National Trust properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The National Trust Papers IV collection officially launched on Monday, January 22nd and is available for purchase at the Little Greene Greenwich store and online at littlegreene.us.

This versatile and eclectic collection features eight historic wallpaper designs, that have been adapted and recolored across  42 colorways for use within the modern home. Working in collaboration with Europe’s largest conservation charity, each design  has been created from original patterns found at several of the National Trust’s historic houses, with the addition of one design that  has been recolored and revived from the Little Greene archive. The source material for this collection represents over 250 years of  British decoration, whilst the judicious use of color brings a contemporary nuance and breathes new life into these historic designs. 


Employing a spectrum of printing methods, from traditional surface printing to cutting-edge digital machines, the collection comprises  an array of exotic birds, stylised florals and scrolling trails alongside ditsy print florals and large scale tropical murals.  

Little Greene’s Creative Director, Ruth Mottershead, comments: ‘Working with the National Trust to uncover and revive these incredible  historic designs is a real honor for us all at Little Greene. Designs within this collection date back to 1770, yet still endure, feeling fresh  and relevant today. Showcasing these historic patterns in their new colorways in contemporary spaces and modern design schemes has  reinvigorated them, ensuring they can be enjoyed for years to come.’ 

Becky Stanford, Head of Brand Licensing at the National Trust: ‘Working with Little Greene continues to delight. The way they bring  the prints and patterns from the places in our care, to life for the modern home, is a fabulous showcase for the timeless designs we look  after. In one collection they’re able to shine a light on a wide range of designs and styles, drawing out how nature has always been  a source of inspiration; a reminder of how precious it is, now more than ever. As well as bringing joy to homeowners, the income from  these collections allows us to continue to look after these inspirational places for everyone to enjoy, and we remain very grateful for all  their support.’ 

A contribution from the sale of every roll of Little Greene wallpaper is made in support of the National Trust’s important work caring for  500 places, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including 780 miles of coastline, historic sites, 250,000 hectares of countryside  and green spaces, ensuring that people and nature thrive – now and for ever. 

The ‘National Trust Papers IV’ collection will be launched on Monday, January 22nd, 2024. 

National Trust Papers IV:  

Aderyn – Erddig c. 1770 

In the late 18th century, Erddig in Wales was the family home of Philip Yorke and his wife Elizabeth. They would have selected this  hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, lavishly decorated with exquisite birds and flowers, for guests staying in the property’s State Bedroom.  The original painting was delicate and keenly observed, with birds appearing in pairs; a subtle nod to the Chinese concept of the  interconnectivity of opposites (yin and yang). The flowers seen here include magnolia (symbolising feminine beauty) and peony (symbolising  eminence). Elements have been taken from the original to create a versatile and contemporary bird and floral trail, in five glorious  colorways.  

Capricorn – Early 19th century 

This mural is inspired by sections of historic early-19th-century panels by Velay and Zuber, and has been repainted by hand to reflect  idealised and stereotypical depictions of landscapes that were considered at the time to be ‘romantic’ or ‘exotic’. This contemporary  reproduction features luscious landscapes, incorporating monkeys and tropical birds across three panels. Produced in one neutral and three  colorful variations, this paper is designed to bring dynamism and interest to any interior. Supplied in a standard 33 ft roll, there are three  drops, each (up to a maximum of) 128” in height, which hang in sequence and can be repeated around the room. 

Bamboo Floral – Kingston Lacy Estate c. 1790 

This design has been based on small painted sections of Chinese wallpaper found at Kingston Lacy Estate in Dorset, England. Little is known  about these fragments, of which around 200 have been identified, and it is unclear whether the print was actually used in the house itself.  Imported Chinese wallpapers were hugely popular in 19th-century manor houses, and the paper hangers would have cut out individual  elements and pasted them on top of the panels, to give the wallpaper its panoramic flow. It’s quite possible these fragments were left over  from that process. Reshaped into a repeating pattern for the modern interior, this design has been surface-printed and produced in five fresh  colorways, with a contemporary pop of color on each. 

Spring Flowers – Standen House c. 1910 

Standen House in West Sussex, England is one of the country’s finest examples of an Arts & Crafts house, designed by Philip Webb with  interiors by William Morris. This small floral design, featuring an array of spring flowers, is typical of the way designers of the period  were inspired by flowers and foliage and how they stylised these forms to bring nature inside. The surviving piece of this paper is in a  monochromatic colorway of blue and white, but otherwise little is known about the history of this specific design. Now colored in six  differing ways, it is offered in two gentle neutrals and on four stronger grounds.  

Great Ormond St. c.1890 (From the Little Greene Archive) 

Recolored and revived from the Little Greene archive, this colorful parrot motif is closely based on one of a multi-layered group of papers  removed from the ground floor rear closet of a very early-18th-century terrace house opposite Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital  in London. This design was subsequently machine-made on cellulose paper in the late 19th century. Available in seven, surface-printed  colorways. 

Burges Butterfly – Knightshayes Court, Devon. c. 1878 

Adorning the walls of the Boudoir at Knightshayes Court in Devon, England, ‘Burges Butterfly’ was designed by Gothic Revival architect and  designer William Burges (1827–1881) and is an obvious relation to another wallpaper of the same origin, ‘Burges Snail’. Just like the Snail,  the design has no deeper historic association with Knightshayes Court, Burges’s only complete country house, but is another Burges pattern,  influenced by his passion for the architecture and art of medieval Europe and Asian-influenced design. This fun, charming paper has been  faithfully reproduced in five contemporary, surface-printed colorways. 

Mosaic Trail – Felbrigg Hall c. 1885 

An elegant, floral trail with sophisticated tonal variation – little is known about the history of this paper, but it is likely to originate from the  Aesthetic movement in the late 19th century. The pattern replicates a tiled mosaic, achieving a charming, informal finish with subtle shading  effects. The design has been reproduced to reflect the original in four smart, graduated colorways, surface printed to replicate the mosaic  effect and to enhance the texture and tonal variation of the colors.  

Ditsy Block – Felbrigg Hall c. 1900 

Found at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk, England, this attractive floral lattice is one of the most interesting wallpapers at the property. Its location  arouses curiosity, as the wallpaper is from an attic room believed to be a former staff room – an unusual location to hang an ornate  wallpaper at the time. The paper is likely to have been woodblock-printed and the original also features painted ‘braiding’ at the top of the  design, mimicking that of damask furnishings. Produced in six contemporary colorways, this design has been surface-printed to authentically  reflect its original manufacturing method.

About Little Greene:  

With a small factory in the foothills of Snowdonia and a Head Office based in Manchester, England, Little Greene is an independent, family-run business and the only manufacturer still producing a complete range of traditional and modern decorative paints for all areas of the home alongside a diverse range of wallpapers spanning 200 years of decoration.  

See Also

Little Greene’s environmentally-friendly, child safe and water-based paints are available in finishes for walls, ceilings, floors and exteriors.  They are designed to complement an unrivaled collection of authentic archive wallpaper designs, adapted and re-colored for the  contemporary interior.  

The pigments used in the paints and to print the wallpapers are completely non-toxic and sourced inside the EU thereby ensuring they have  both environmental certification and are free from any chance of being associated with slavery or child labor.  All wallcovering products comply with the European Product Standard EN 15102:2007+A1:2011.  

The company has committed to a dedicated programme of recycling and uses sustainably-sourced packaging and paperwork for its  administration and distribution.  

There is Greene-thinking at all operational levels, including a continual waste reduction programme, increased recycling and ongoing work  to minimize the impact of emissions and transportation. Visit www.littlegreene.us for more information and inspiration.  

About The National Trust:  

The National Trust for England, Wales & Northern Ireland is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people: Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley, who saw the importance of the nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. Today, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they continue to look after places so people and nature can thrive.  The challenges of the coronavirus pandemic have shown this is more important than ever. From finding fresh air and open skies to tracking a  bee’s flight to a flower; from finding beauty in an exquisite painting or discovering the hidden history of a country house nearby – the places they care for enrich people’s lives.  

Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 780 miles of coastline and  500 historic properties, gardens and nature reserves. In 2021/22 they received 20 million visitors. The National Trust is for everyone – they were founded for the benefit of the whole nation, and our 5.7 million members and over 44,000 volunteers support our work to care for  nature, beauty and history for everyone, forever. www.nationaltrust.org.uk 

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