Silk-screened wallpaper melds different design traditions

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

The Sister Cities Collection from Grow Home Grow includes the playful, modern Stockholm: La Paz wallpaper.

A certain wunderkammer — or "cabinet of curiosities" — aesthetic defines the hand-printed wallpaper, fabric and tile of Grow House Grow. The Brooklyn-based design studio, helmed by Katie Deedy, specializes in "narrative-inspired pattern work" that’s playful, referential and unexpected. In any given piece, there’s more than meets the eye.

Take the Alexandria wallpaper, for example, with its spare "eye of knowledge" pattern. Paying homage to the Royal Library of Alexandria — founded by Ptolemy in the third century B.C. and famously destroyed in a fire — it comes in three different colorways described in ancient nomenclature (Hypatia, Kemet and Serapis). The backstory adds surprise: In this case, there’s more to eyes than meets the eye.

Our favorite collection, though, is Sister Cities, which combines different design traditions and distinctive features of "twin towns" (regions of the world that have made voluntary alliances) to yield three entirely unique wallpapers. Chicago: Mexico City, for example, melds linear Prairie School design with geometric Aztec-inspired patterns, while Marseille: Marrakech pairs Provence’s ubiquitous cigale (cicada) with Morocco’s ornate tile work. Our favorite is Stockholm: La Paz, which captures the mountainous Bolivian landscape in clean, simple lines reminiscent of Scandinavian design.

The silk-screened Grow House Grow wallpaper doesn’t come cheap: A single roll costs $180, and there’s a two-roll minimum per order. But it’s also the perfect focal point for an accent wall or, optionally, a print ($48 each) suitable for framing. However it’s displayed, it serves double duty as wall covering and conversation piece.