Elizabeth Roberts looks to the past for her new wallpaper collection

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“It all starts with a historical reference,” says AD100 architect Elizabeth Roberts, New York’s prominent townhouse whisperer. So when fellow Brooklyn-based Calico Wallpaper asked her to collaborate, the proud curator immediately turned to the past. With the help of a Cambridge-trained historian in his office, Roberts delved into the scenic designs of yesteryear, particularly the hand-drawn paintings of distant landscapes that predated repeat printing technology.

Architect AD100 at work on the design in his Brooklyn office.

William Jess Laird

To put a personal touch on this tradition, she turned to her own proverbial garden: Prospect Park. A 1910 postcard of the iconic cityscape has now given way to a commissioned wallpaper, first made as a 20ft wide ink drawing using his signature drawing techniques. (Title Scenic, the pattern is available in eight colorways.) “It’s a fresh take on something that has hundreds of years of history,” says Calico’s Nick Cope, adding, “The non-repeating murals were such a great inspiration when we founded the company.” Roberts envisions it in a multitude of spaces, from a modern loft to a brownstone living room floor dripping with architectural details. Is there more to come? “I’m not done,” she reveals. “I want to do a next botany.” calicowallpaper.com

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