Explore the Power of Pattern with Newmor: Watch the Full Panel Discussion!

Design Insider recently hosted a panel discussion, “Power of Pattern,” in partnership with Newmor Wallcoverings, supported by Panaz, Print Pattern Archive, and Telegraph Contract Furniture.

Held at the Monastery in Manchester on June 6th, the event featured Rose Campbell from Newmor, Sarah Wakefield from Jolie, and Cheryl O’Meara from Print Pattern Archive, moderated by Alys Bryan of Design Insider. The speakers shared extraordinary insights into their experiences and expertise in working with pattern.

The discussion emphasized why pattern is the essential tool interior designers need at the top of their design toolbox. Key points included the evolution of luxury to emphasize comfort and authenticity, the importance of sustainable pattern design, and patterns’ role in brand storytelling. David Johnston, Managing Director of Newmor, praised the event as a great opportunity to explore the changing landscape of commercial interiors and the crucial role of pattern.

Watch our conversation in full or enjoy the conversation highlights below:

When discussing historical perceptions of luxury and the role of pattern, Sarah Wakefield noted that luxury was once associated with ornate patterns and heavy materials like marble and brass. Today, luxury focuses more on comfort, authenticity, and emotional resonance. Organic shapes and curves in patterns can make a space feel relaxed, while geometric and bold patterns can energize and focus it.

Cheryl O’Meara highlighted the importance of sustainability in pattern design, emphasizing timeless designs that extend product life and reduce waste through upcycling and circular economy practices. She stressed that designs should have lasting appeal, contributing to sustainability by promoting longevity and reuse.

On incorporating heritage designs into modern schemes, Sarah shared that her studio often revisits archive patterns, tweaking colours to fit contemporary contexts while preserving their vintage charm. This approach breathes new life into old designs, ensuring they feel fresh and relevant in modern settings.

Rose Campbell discussed the melting away of traditional divisions between commercial sectors. She observed a significant shift towards flexible and emotionally resonant spaces, accelerated by the pandemic. People now seek comfortable and meaningful environments in homes, offices, and hospitality settings. The emotional connection and nostalgia associated with patterns are crucial in creating these versatile and appealing spaces.

Cheryl emphasized that pattern can effectively convey a brand’s values and history. Patterns evoke emotions and memories, similar to how music transports someone to a different time and place. This emotional connection subtly infuses a space with the brand’s identity, making pattern a vital tool for storytelling and brand communication.

Sarah elaborated on how different patterns and colours evoke various emotions. Her studio uses colour psychology to design spaces that feel either calming or invigorating. Blues and greens create relaxing environments, while reds add a competitive edge to wellness spaces. The choice of material and pattern scale also plays a crucial role in achieving the desired emotional response and user experience.

Rose explained the significance of texture in pattern design. Newmor focuses on intricate embosses that can take years to perfect. Pairing the right design with the right emboss creates a tactile experience that enhances the overall aesthetic. For instance, the “Vintage Verdure” pattern on the Cambria emboss looked and felt like a French tapestry, demonstrating how texture adds depth and authenticity.

Cheryl recounted developing a mental health listening service in a home-like environment. The goal was to create a warm, inviting space that reduced intimidation and vulnerability. Using prints and patterns that evoke comfort and familiarity helped establish a sense of calm and trust, showcasing the power of pattern in influencing emotional well-being.

Sarah discussed her studio’s approach to colour psychology in interior design. Each colour impacts mood and behaviour. For example, red evokes competitiveness and energy but also danger, making it ideal for wellness spaces. Conversely, blues and greens create calming environments. Understanding and applying colour psychology helps design spaces that align with clients’ desired emotional outcomes.

Cheryl explained that many motifs within patterns are derived from nature, resonating deeply with people. From stylized foliage in Art Nouveau designs to 1960s retro daisies, motifs often reflect the natural world. Even abstract or geometric designs tend to have roots in natural forms, suggesting a deep-seated human connection to nature in design.

Rose and Cheryl shared insights on modernizing archive patterns. Cheryl described the archive as a rich source of inspiration, allowing them to recolour and reinterpret old designs for contemporary tastes. Rose emphasized selecting the right textures and bases to complement the patterns, creating a cohesive collection. Their collaboration demonstrated how historical designs could be adapted and modernized while maintaining their original charm.

Cheryl discussed how patterns can subtly infuse brand values and history into a space. Bespoke wallpapers with historical or culturally significant motifs convey trust, stability, and longevity. Patterns create an immediate emotional connection, making them a powerful tool for brand storytelling.

Sarah explained that the scale and placement of patterns are crucial in directing attention and influencing behaviour in commercial spaces. Large-scale patterns create focal points, while smaller, subtler patterns add depth and interest without overwhelming the space. This strategic use of pattern and texture helps guide visitors through a space, enhancing their experience and engagement.

This panel discussion highlighted the multifaceted role of pattern in design, from evoking emotions and supporting sustainability to reinforcing brand identity and enhancing user experience. The insights from Sarah, Cheryl, and Rose emphasized the importance of collaboration, creativity, and understanding both historical and contemporary design principles.

Find Newmor on Supplier Finder

Supplier Finder is the UK’s only search platform for accredited suppliers of commercial interior furnishings.

At Supplier Finder, our mission is simple: to help you find the perfect commercial furnishing suppliers for your interior schemes and projects. We understand the importance of having confidence in the suppliers you specify and the products that bring your designs to life. That’s why each supplier featured on our platform is accredited through Commercial Interiors UK’s rigorous membership application process. This ensures that you engage with only the best in the industry!


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
View all posts by Alys Bryan →