Birds and Flowers Wallpaper | Design Feature

Hand drawn tropical birds and flowers woven together in a repeating pattern. Making designer wallpaper.

The Story Behind The Design

 Our most popular print, the Birds and Flowers Wallpaper features all original, hand drawn artwork. Crafted together into a whimsical and abstract world.

The Design Story

The Birds and Flowers print design concept was to create a wonderful, whimsical world of bright colours and interweaving florals, inspired by the works of William Morris. To create a modern adaptation of the traditional style, but with no symmetry and instead of heritage colours, feature tropical coloured birds and pastel shades.

Our Birds and Flowers Wallpaper designs are inspired by the classic design works of William Morris. The Strawberry thief was a key inspiration to us.
The Result: A contemporary print for wallpaper and fabric, inspired by historic design values and eclectic style. Image: William Morris (Inspiration)


Drawing the Birds and Flowers Wallpaper

I was a little apprehensive about starting the the drawings for the wallpaper design, after spending time at university drawing and designing conceptually without thinking too much about the commercial viability of what I was doing.

Knowing that there would need to be a marketable product at the end of the drawing and designing process put much more stress on the drawing time. It wasn’t the difficulty of the drawing, it was knowing that every moment I spent drawing ought to be something that was useful for a future design, otherwise I would feel like I was wasting time.

After much deliberation over what and how to start creating imagery, I decided to just do what felt right. I started by drawing the birds collection.. This was a shock to myself and everyone else, my design handwriting had always been industrial and geometric. Yet there I was creating tropical birds! I decided to go with it and see where it led.

I used my favourite Unipin fine liner pens and began drawing.

Freehand drawn artwork /imagery of floral pattern. Using Unpin fineliner pens. used for the Birds and Flowers Wallpaper.
Original drawings of free hand artwork, create the floral patterns for our Birds and Flowers Wallpaper.

Hand drawn artwork of yellow breasted tropical birds for our luxury Birds Wallpaper.



Little yellow breasted bird, this tiny guy is almost missed when you glance quickly at the design. He is a little pop of colour in the top corner, a great contrast to the large blue bird and deeply coloured background.

We certainly had a lot of fun creating the ‘birds collection’. The exploration of colour, texture and the endless possibilities for creating personal interpretations of tropical birds was hugely rewarding.

If you are a fan of the brightly coloured birds, leave a comment below and watch out for out future design projects. We will be sure to revisit this area of design again!


Bright orange tropical style bird for Surface House designer wallpaper. Hand drawn using finaliser pens.


We use a super smooth drawing paper to create the artwork, this enables us to scan it easily. We are considering making a series of limited edition art prints from these original drawings. Look out for those coming soon!

Digital Finish

After scanning the artwork, the drawings were digitally touched up in Adobe Photoshop. Then cut out and manipulated into an intertwining pattern to form the wallpaper design.

We wanted to avoid digitally editing the drawings too much (considering how much time has been spent creating them.) After testing alternative colours, scales and effects, we decided to try to leave the drawings as similar to the originals as possible.

Adobe Photoshop is of course great for cutting the image out to place in the design and for touching up any hand smudges or flecks of dust that might of landed on the drawing during the scanning process.

Hand drawn tropical birds and flowers woven together in a repeating pattern. Making designer wallpaper.

The unique hand drawn elements in an interweaving arrangement. The pattern above is in perfect repeat, ready to be finalised with a background.

Design Background

We played around with a lot of ideas for the background. Originally the elements above were going to sit on a solid colour background, of white, grey or a pastel colour. We tested many variations of this concept but unfortunately the design didn’t ever look complete.

The imagery for the Birds and Flowers Wallpaper was so flamboyant and dramatic that a simple solid colour background just would not work.

Our next idea was to use in drawings for the background. To let them cascade down the print and create a flow to the design. We sampled using minimal style ink drawings and ones that intertwined with the other design elements. We decided on an abstract ink painted pattern that had no relation to the Birds design…

This created even more drama and unique style in the design and we absolutely loved it!

Deep blue background with abstract ink drawings overlayed. For our designer Birds and Flowers Wallpaper.

Choosing Colour Wisely

We used a very deep teal / blue colour for the main background or the ‘City Tale’ variation. This gives a rich, luxurious feel to the wallpaper, and is obviously not a ‘natural’ colour to choose. To emphasise that the Birds and Flowers design is not intended to be a true and accurate reflection of nature. It represents a whimsical and ‘dream like’ state of nature.


Of course, not everyone wants to use a bright, bold and powerful wallpaper in their interior project. For this reason we decided to release the design in two other colour variations. Both equally reflective of the precious nature of our new creation.

‘Precious Mineral’ is a delicate gold variation of the design, utilising pared back pastels for a calming look. ‘Pearl’ is a soft grey version of the design which has a pearlescent effect, in the textured background.

The ‘City Tale’ version of the print has also made it to our home accessories collection as a luxury cushion. If you would like to the the Birds and Flowers design applied to another home furnishing, comment below!

We have put together some images of the Birds and Flowers collection below:

Highly detailed and hand crafted in England, Uk at our studio. The Birds Design cushion is beautiful and bold interior accessory.

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We hope you enjoyed the Birds and Flowers Wallpaper creation story. If you did, be sure to check out one of our other posts!

We think you may enjoy the ‘Woodland Forest’ Wallpaper – The Making Of


Thanks for reading, please leave your comments below!


4 thoughts on “Birds and Flowers Wallpaper | Design Feature

    • Laura Hart says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting Gemma! We are delighted to hear.
      Each of our designs is based on a unique concept and we are dedicated to ensuring hand drawn artwork and paintings go into each print. The value of the craftsmanship is so important to us and we are glad it is to you too! Do you have a favourite Surface House design?

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