Covering It All

With quite the pedigree (her father heads up York Wallcoverings), Carey Lind Jacobs pours her passion for wall coverings into her interior design business and vice-versa. Inspired by her talent and enthusiasm, we asked Jacobs for the scoop on wallpaper trends and what inspires her most.

Long Island Pulse: How did you get started designing wallpaper?
Carey Lind Jacobs:
I grew up in the business. My father bought York in 1980 [and] while I had always been involved in the wall coverings industry, either cutting samples or helping in a warehouse, it wasn’t until I was older that my dad encouraged me to work at York. I started in marketing, but soon after, I got a real taste for the studio—I couldn’t get enough! I soaked it all up and started to influence the designs of some of the lines, and then eventually created my own books of papers.

LIP: Your wallpaper books are very popular, what made you transition into becoming an interior designer?
My husband and I worked on renovating our home as well as others. That sort of morphed into my decision to become an interior designer. Of course, I couldn’t stay away from wallpaper for long. As a result of working in the design business, I decided to come back to design new books for York.

LIP: How has working with interior design clients changed your perspective on designing wallpaper?
Working with clients really gave me a new perspective on what papers worked, where certain designs can be used and also the tastes and styles my clients were asking for. I really saw quite a change. Customers wanting to use wallpaper didn’t want their grandma’s version circa 1985. They wanted designs that were more reflective of their current tastes and that were more eco-friendly. There has been such a resurgence by the wallpaper industry to answer that call and it goes beyond how the paper is constructed but also what has been added to it.

LIP: What’s on trend right now?
Nothing’s hotter than textured and tactile options right now. We’ve been infusing our designs with glass beads, mica chips and grass cloth. Also, flocking has made a huge comeback. It’s all about the feel of the paper. The wallpaper industry has reinvented itself and sometimes it’s by using new technology to create but sometimes it’s still by using those same old presses, as we often do at York, but freshening up the designs.

LIP: Where does your inspiration come from?
I’ve been known to take a napkin if it inspires me! I’ve always loved textiles. I’m also always taking photos with my iPhone; it could be a pretty pattern in nature or a fabric I’ve seen. York has such a tremendous amount of old papers and textiles. That’s really the fun part about working there, digging through the archives. Sometimes we’ll reinvent them, or sometimes, we’ll simply change the colorway for a fresh new approach. My wallpaper inspiration also comes from a client’s need. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, we’ll work to create something new, which is always so exciting. Clients love when their paper is hot off the press before anyone else can use it!

LIP: How do you work in wallpaper with your clients?
I usually find that clients are unaware that these new, exciting papers exist. And then when they are introduced to them, it’s like eye candy! Some of my clients know I have a wallpaper background and some don’t. I’ll occasionally bring it up in the meeting if I feel it is right for the project. It’s common for a client to fall in love with a pattern and then we work to figure out where to use it later on. If they fall in love, then I know it’s the right choice—but there has to be that immediate reaction, that spark.

Design Tip: Don’t be afraid of wallpaper patterns! They can really finish a space, especially when you choose new textured papers, which add dimension and warmth to a room instantly.

Photo of Carey Lind Jacobs by Helen Norman • Design photos courtesy of York Wallcoverings

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.