There’s a charming little tea shop called The Mad Tea Pot that transports you to another world. So many places are just constructed themes so it’s cool to experience one that succeeds in creating an authentic environment. First of all, I was delighted they were using wallcoverings. They hadn’t done the obvious which is to cover walls but clad crockery cupboards in an allover pattern of light penciled freehand drawings of tea paraphernalia – a jabber of kettles and cups and cupcakes echoing Lewis Carroll’s touch in Alice in Wonderland.
Wallcoverings decorate. We know that. But more, importantly, they transform, reinvent a space, create from scratch a new reality. Going back in time, we at Lab Nilaya revisited the very first ad we created for our brand and the first thing I was struck by was the fact that the team had succeeded in creating a new visual story. The image conveyed a new reality, not a tableau you could download from anywhere. It had been carefully and thoughtfully put together. Even the objects were newly conceived. The bicycle, for example, had been modified with the help of one of our designers who is a cycling enthusiast, with leather bound handlebars which in turn had been inverted, the saddle customized, the satchel lovingly selected, the wheels slightly larger than the usual and the overall effect being ever so stylish and hipster. We could’ve just used an existing bike. But when you look at our ad you realize everything has a unique energy which then contributes to the uniqueness of the whole tableau.
Energy is a good word here. Things made from scratch, put together by different people, using different abilities and skill sets, all of them focused on a single purpose, create an energy that makes the creative output what it is. I don’t know if you can feel the various people and their energies in this image but I like to feel you can.
Each prop adds enhances the overall effect. For instance, we absolutely love the creations of iconic Danish designer, Arne Jacobsen, hence the simple, streamlined sofa. Then there's the wallhanging with the simple motifs. You might realise all of them were created not as props but as actual objects – the sofa is very comfortable and a part of our library. I think this is an authenticity that is transmitted to the overall picture.
And the wallcoverings? What about the wallcoverings? If you notice they hardly fade in the background. They are companions to all the lovely objects that they are a canvas for. Each strong element comes together harmoniously much like a jazz ensemble. The ceiling lamp with its outstretched rods and large globes offers depth and dimension and gives the room a very modern feel. The wallcoverings are high on personality – powerful geometrics, contrasting muted and strong shades offset by a very dramatic floor pattern. What we have – is a whole new world that speaks to us, triggers emotions and stirs us, making us believe in new possibilities. That to me is the primary function of wallcoverings – the creation of something new and delightful that takes you away from the ordinary.
So, this is the story of the ad that we lovingly created. An ad that draws you into a visual story with an underlying energy, that of different people, different ideas, beautiful elements, powerful wallcoverings, all coming together in a beautiful whole.