IF you’ve ever dreamed of living in a penthouse apartment with sweeping views of the city skyline, then now’s the time to put it all into perspective. Forget those expensive mortgages and simply go house-hunting among the wealth of homeware which celebrates buildings, architecture and spectacular cityscape views.
Inspired by the urban street style which has also featured on fashion catwalks, interior designers are finding ever more imaginative ways to incorporate urban scenes, iconic landmarks and views into everything from wallpapers and bathroom basins to room screens and accessories.
“The cityscape interior trend is set to capture the imagination of armchair travellers and more ambitious adventurers alike,” says Kirsten Bridge, founder of interiors company Lily & Lime. “Glamorous fashionable meccas of the world - London, New York, Tokyo, Milan and Paris - and their iconic skylines are being translated onto
murals, artwork and soft furnishings. These combine brilliantly with high-gloss monochrome furniture for an edgy urban look.”
Sam Wingate, 25, is just one young designer who has benefited from the look’s popularity and his ‘Mr Wingate’ cushions, featuring his architectural illustrations of London pubs and buildings, are a bestseller at ultra design-savvy store Selfridges. “People have a tremendous attachment to buildings,” says Wingate. “Using urban architecture as art in homes reflects a growing appreciation of design, and the variety and beauty of city streets.”
While having a bird’s eye view of the world’s renowned capitals used to be the preserve of the rich, photo wall cityscapes have changed all that. What were once dismissively termed ‘murals’ - remember the palm-fringed beach scenes of yesteryear? - have been reborn thanks to digital technology.
“Requests for graphic city skylines have never before been so popular,” says Debbie McKeegan, creative director of Digetexhome, a company specialising in reproducing famous city locations on wallpaper and artwork. So play ‘housey housey’ with this choice of homeware and transport yourself far beyond home sweet home to the ‘des res’ of your dreams.
Build up the style
Banish estate agents and simply choose a decorative version of the home and location you desire by opening the door to the look and evoking it with wallpaper. “We’ve seen the rise of cityscapes and urban buildings
in wall coverings over the past few seasons,” says Paula Taylor, colour specialist at wallpaper company Graham & Brown.
“The trend’s moved from simple stark black and white photography to a much more abstract approach with accent colours, colour washes and pattern fill. This makes it much easier to incorporate a favourite scene into a home as these designs have a softer and much more relaxed look.” The team’s monochrome tile-effect NYC paper features New York landmarks and its Cityscape has an abstract graphic inspired by towering buildings.
Bird’s eye view
“There’s a real desire for urban sophistication - and featuring architecture, buildings or famous urban views in the home is part of that trend,” says Tim Bennett, managing director of ID-Wall, specialists in photo wall decor which can be made to bespoke sizes. “Paying a premium for a penthouse perched high over a city is out of reach for all but a few, but a stunning photo wall can be the next best thing. Customers request their favourite location, which we can also reproduce from photos, and increasingly those are cityscapes whereas a few years ago the top choices were rural or coastal scenes.”
Your plate or mine
Fans of architecture have long coveted the artistic ceramic work of design duo Hannah Dipper and Robin Farquhar, who have been reproducing building designs on homeware since 2004. “My work as an undergraduate concentrated on the use of geometry in modernist buildings and our preferred architecture involves plentiful prefabricated concrete,” says Dipper, who runs the company People Will Always Need Plates with her partner.