New collection: Duro 1900
So many things happened in the 20th century, didn’t they? Things of all shapes and sizes! We’ve been making wallpapers here at Duro since 1930, and now we’d like to present our history to you. With our Duro 1900 collection, we’ve taken the history of wallpaper as our starting point and created an archive collection that highlights timeless Swedish classics.
Our journey through time begins with grand trails in the early 20th century, continues through the stricter, more functional style of the 1930s, and ends with an imaginative wall mural to herald the start of the 21st century. In between, we’ll take a look at our archives and find patterns by famous Swedish designers such as Viola Gråsten, 10-gruppen and Toni Hermansson.
Wallpapers will always be a way for people to express themselves. That’s why we’re gathering together the history of 20th century wallpaper in a single book. Welcome to an exciting journey through a collection of wallpapers that are every bit as beautiful now as they were when they were designed!
See the full collection here.
Beautiful flowers and garlands were popular wallpaper patterns at the turn of the 20th century – inspiration was often taken from times gone by. There was a tendency to mix the styles to create grand new patterns.
Johannelund is a much loved Duro classic from a previous edition of Gammalsvenska tapeter, Old Swedish wallpapers.
Ester Marias Kammare (1920)
The wallpapers characteristic of the period often had graphic styles and used darker shades, but Ester Marias Kammare certainly didn’t! This was used for the very first time at Esters gård, a farm near Örebro, in the late 1920s. The owner wanted something a bit special and moved away from the fashions of the period, selecting roses and pastels instead of a more functional style.
Ester Marias Kammare was designed by Ernst Kirchsteiger. It’s easy to see why Ernst chose to recreate this wallpaper with Duro on TV in 2014. Carefully pieced together from original fragments and coloured beautifully, this is a true 20th-century classic!
In the 1930s, the bright, airy ideal of the functional style in combination with neat, functional furnishings was very much in, and wallpapers had to match that style and be discreet. Colours were muted, and walls were meant to provide a well-balanced background.
Dun is a pattern that was included in one of the very first Duro collections in the 1930s. The wallpapers of that period often had tiny patterns involving geometric shapes. The small Dun pattern and its simple shape is as timeless and Scandinavian now as it was in the 1930s.
The wallpapers of the 1940s were “softer” than the ones that came before. Perhaps the anxieties of the period were what characterised people’s homes and wallpapers, which were calm and romantic by contrast. The furnishings of the period bore traces of the earlier functionalism, albeit combined with a more traditional style. These approaches were mixed to create a homely feel. Pastel colours on a beige base were frequently used.
The Kristina wallpaper appeared in the Duro patterns archive in 1941, and is now being given another opportunity to trail neatly over the walls in the home.
1950s wallpapers were inspired by modern art and bucked previous trends. Now people wanted something new and modern compared with the older, more romantic patterns, giving rise to wallpapers with abstract geometric shapes. Hand-drawn lines with a “living” feel were very popular.
The master of lines, and the designer behind Linjelek in 1952, was Viola Gråsten. She was responsible for a number of the new Duro patterns of the 1950s. Viola Gråsten was born in Finland in 1910 and came to Sweden in 1944. She became one of the most popular designers of the period thanks to her innovative patterns and colour combinations. Linjelek has been included in a number of Duro collections since the 1950s.
The colourful 1970s were a time of all kinds of things – big, bold graphic patterns to cheery, clear flowers. Flowery trails were out of fashion at this time, and large, dense flowers were typical for the era. Yellow was often used, frequently in combination with other shades of yellow, and brown as well.
Toni Hermansson was born in 1937 and was a designer responsible for many of the floral patterns of the 1970s; including Påsklilja, which she designed for Duro in 1972. Her cheery, colourful style is the very essence of the 1970s, with big, bright patterns.
The 1970s heralded the start of a completely new way to design patterns. This was championed by designers such as 10-gruppen, taking inspiration from pop art. The patterns were very simple, with clear colours on a white base. Patterns of this kind were designed to fit in with the pace of the new era and all its cool impressions.
The first 10-gruppen wallpaper collection for Duro was launched in 1973 and included Star, the cheeky little star that’s just as adorable now as it was then. The designer behind Star is Tom Hedqvist, who was one of the founders of the famous design collective. Tom Hedqvist, who was born in 1948, has played a vital role in Swedish design in a range of fields.
This poppy 10-gruppen pattern was popular when it was designed back in the early 1970s, and remained so into the early 1980s. That said, the later patterns were usually large-scale and used strong colours and supplemented with light furnishings and accent colours.
Our Buffo wallpaper comes from the 1981 10-gruppen Duro collection and is typical of the 1980s, with its white base and strong, clear colours. Buffo was designed by Britt-Marie Christoffersson, one of the founders of 10-gruppen.
The rustic style is homely and much loved and came and went throughout the entire 20th century, but it was always there. In the 1990s, the rustic style was sweet and romantic-cottagey, with pine and wood panelling. The wallpapers of the period used warm, clear colours, and the patterns frequently involved stripes and stars.
Matching different wallpapers in the same style in the home, often combining large and small patterns (e.g. Ljungbacka and Britta), was a popular approach in the 1990s. Ljungbacka brings one of our most popular patterns up to date in a more contemporary wallpaper that’s as beautiful today as it was in 1995.
People began to show an interest in ecology in the early 1990s. We started using textiles made from unbleached linen and cotton, furnishings used untreated, paler wood varieties, and we longed for the countryside. The rustic style of the 1990s involved white woodwork and colourful furnishings. Ideally, wallpapers had to have a base structure and saturated colours.
The Britta stripey pattern, with its little stars and lines, combines a subtle base structure with a pattern in a clear and saturated colour. It’s been with us throughout the entire history of our wallpaper, and of course it was part of our 1990s as well!
The early 21st century saw the return of the splendid feature wall, with creative, colourful, imaginative patterns that created a welcome contrast to otherwise white walls. The feature wall was a place where people’s personal taste was given free rein. These wallpapers were frequently inspired by animals in nature, with a small element of flirtation with the big patterns of the 1970s.
Blomsteräng, designed by Johanna Jansson, is our very own contribution to the future wallpaper history of Duro. A number of different pastels were used for Blomsteräng, a beautiful wallpaper for any home no matter what the period.
Click here to see all our wallpapers!