It's no wonder the enchanting, hand drawn, illustrated wallpapers of Sian Zeng have caught the attention of publications such as The Sunday Times and Elle Decoration. Her designs have been long adored by creatives all around the world. Inspired by dream-like, fairytale narratives, Zeng's beautiful work offers consumers interesting ways to bring both art and storytelling into their homes.
Recently, we spoke to Zeng to find out more about her design process, as well as how she has used her designs to decorate her 770-square-foot abode. Keep scrolling for a breathtaking peek inside.
How She Designs Narrative-Led Wallpapers
Zeng finds inspiration in anything that tells a story—ballet performances, movies, photography, etc.—and particularly likes the works of British photographer Tim Walker.
"I gravitate toward nature in my designs, as I think it helps bring a sense of calm to a space. When designing a wallpaper, I like to imagine it's a backdrop to a theater set," says Zeng, who explains that the sheer size and scale of wallpaper impacts how she approaches its design.
"When you do a sketch or watercolor for a frame, you only need to consider the size of your paper, and perhaps the style of the room where it will hang. But when painting a wallpaper mural design, you need to consider how it’s going to repeat in a typical room," she notes.
"This means thinking about how big the individual elements will have to be in order for it to look striking—both up close and from far away."
Decorating Her Kidbrooke Village Flat in Greenwich
When Zeng and her husband, Sebastian, first saw the flat that was to be their new home, they fell in love with its huge terrace, and decided to turn it into their own urban jungle by building trellises and adding plants.
"Prior to moving in, we didn’t own a lot of furniture, so we had to order most of it in advance before even stepping foot into our new home," Zeng states. "Creating mock-ups not only helped me plan our purchases, but also allowed me to imagine what the space would look like remotely."
"We envisioned a space that was minimal, but not at all sterile. A place that was full of design, yet still cozy. A home where we were able to relax with our friends on the weekends."
"Above all—taking inspiration from our huge terrace—we wanted to bring nature indoors, and find a way to have an outside-meets-inside feel."
Naturally, Zeng used her own wallpaper to help achieve these goals. She decided on the wallpapers for the different rooms first, then color-coordinated the furniture items to complement her choices.
"Before we moved in, I collected fabric cuttings in my notebook. It was a combination of my wallpaper samples and any inspirational images I found online. I would then divide these into sections of the apartment, based on color and mood. This process helped me conjure an overall feel for the apartment, and determine the color palettes of each room."
Shop Sian Zeng's Wallpaper
To learn more about Sian Zeng—or to shop her mesmerizing wallpaper collection—check out her website.
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