The Hockney effect: branch out with tree designs

David Hockney has put trees on the map — and the design world has them on everything else
Wander Trees mural, made to order from £72 a sq m (surfaceview.co.uk)
Wander Trees mural, made to order from £72 a sq m (Surface View)
They're causing quite a stir those vivid Hockney trees on canvas, paper, film and iPad that currently fill 13 rooms at the Royal Academy.

You can take the trees home, too, on umbrellas, bags, iPhone covers, mugs and ashtrays from the RA shop.

The design world has also gone into the woods. Silver birch is the preferred motif, with slim trunks on new wallpapers and murals. Coles, perhaps Britain's most prestigious wallpaper brand, has been intrigued with trees as far back as 2005, with a paper in nine colourways that is still a bestseller (£62 a roll. Call 020 7376 4628; Coles).

London's Bennison, much loved for finely detailed fabrics drawn from old documents, has just released a delightful Fifties American print as fabric and wallpaper (Bennison). Called Treescape, Bennison's owner/design director Gillian Newberry calls it graphic and quirky. "There's a growing trend for trees and leaves, a mood for illustration, fine outlines and designs that explore landscape and nature."

David Hockney umbrella
Hockney umbrella, £45 from the RA shop

Spray-on Hockney


To get those vivid Hockey hues, you will have to use a stencil. Try the one at The Stencil Library, in three sizes, £25, £65 and £140 (The Stencil Library; 01661 844844).

Go to Designers Guild at 277 King's Road for the paint, and choose, say, Moss, Fuchsia, Cantaloupe and Cyclamen from Tricia Guild's inimitable palette of 98 shades (£23 for 2.5 litres of matt emulsion; add details with tester pots at £3.50).

Furniture, too, is branching out. Young London designer Nic Parnell rescues old timber, adds a coating of neon shades of flock, and then makes coat and hat stands, small tables and lamps (Nic Parnell; 07917 097671).

And French company Roche Bobois (with shops in Wandsworth, Finchley, Harrods and Walton-on-Thames) had huge success with its tree-themed bookcase by designer Christophe Delcourt. Now comes a range of furniture with similar stick-like frames.

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