Malene Barnett’s New Wallpaper Collection Brings Fine Art to Your Walls


Malene Barnett creates art in many forms. Multidisciplinary artist and founder of the Black Artists + Designers Guild designs hand-woven rugs, carves intricate markings on ceramic tiles, fuses brilliantly colored portraits from cut glass, and handcrafts clay vessels with complex patterns. His latest company is inspired by his ceramic work and translates it into a whole new medium: wall coverings.

Barnett has partnered with Lulu & Georgia to launch a range of colorful wall coverings directly inspired by his unique art. The Kindred collection includes five vivid, tactile wallpaper styles, which repeat the geometric shapes, dotted patterns, and wavy lines found in Barnett’s work. “All of the designs were carved or painted by hand, and they are all created intuitively without any predefined designs,” says Barnett.

Courtesy of Lulu and Georgia

Barnett’s inspiration traces the path of the African diaspora, from West Africa to the Caribbean to the United States, and his process draws on traditional techniques used by the creators of these communities. “My vases always pay homage to ancestors and examine different black cultural traditions in the making, be it ceramics or textiles,” Barnett said. “I like to merge the two mediums and really watch how things are done. Incorporating these processes into my work allows me to connect with art as well as the community.”

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Courtesy of Lulu and Georgia

Buy it: Bequia Wallpaper by Malene Barnett – Indigo ($ 178 per roll, Lulu & Georgia)

The colors used in the Kindred collection also hint at global traditions. Heritage wallpaper, for example, uses a chalky white color that is used in various spiritual ceremonies, Barnett says. The terracotta color of the Alaari wallpaper is reminiscent of the clay-rich soil found throughout Africa, while the Bequia print mixes the vivid turquoise of the Caribbean Sea with the rich indigo blue historically used for dyeing textiles and clothing.

Courtesy of Lulu and Georgia

Buy it: Alaari Wallpaper by Malene Barnett – Indigo ($ 168 per roll, Lulu & Georgia)

From a distance, the wall coverings offer a subtle texture and wash of color, but a closer look reveals the intricate details that make up these works of art. The patterns are especially striking when used to cover an entire room – and this is exactly the application of Barnett’s images. “I imagine this collection really embodies spaces, not just covering an accent wall, but really filling a space,” she says.

The price of wall coverings ranges from $ 168 to $ 178 per roll, and they are available exclusively on the Lulu & Georgia site. Each is suitable for use in all spaces, including bathrooms, and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Application requires wallpaper paste and professional help is recommended for removal.

By channeling the work of artists and designers around the world, Barnett hopes to inspire others to embrace and experience different cultures while celebrating the joy that comes with them. “It’s an opportunity to re-imagine and connect to your space in a different way, both spiritually and aesthetically,” she says.

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