Gatsby Would Have Loved this Jazz-Inspired Wallpaper: A Q&A with Michael Berman

Michael Berman chats about his new wallpaper collaboration with Fromental.

Interior designer Michael Berman portrait Photo: Courtesy Alan Weissman Photography

Interior designer Michael Berman recently debuted his first wallpaper collection in collaboration with Fromental. The eight original patterns come in multiple colorways and are available through Fromental showrooms nationwide.

What was the genesis of this collaboration?

I had a project to design a dining-room wall covering for a client and was planning to partner with Fromental on it. Once we started discussions, it became a whole collection. I’m interested in pattern, so this was the next step. They were interested in capturing the hand-drawn quality of our designs and putting them on paper so you could see the nuances of shading and pencil lines and smudginess of charcoal.

How were the papers created?

We sent them full-size originals, and they took the large-scale drawings to the Victoria & Albert Museum and scanned the originals so they could pick up every single pencil line. From that, they created a digital print. But the actual wallpaper is not just one-dimensional. On top of the pattern is a hand-applied metallic glaze, so you can see and feel the brushstrokes. The Mica glaze gives the paper some sparkle.

Interior designs by Michael Berman.

Interior designs by Michael Berman.  Photo: Courtesy

What’s the unifying thread?

An homage to cinema and the correlation between art and fashion, blending the early-20th-century aesthetic with modern design. It’s a love of the past. I always feel like I should have been born in the 1930s.

Where did you find inspiration?

For the Zelda pattern, I created an intricate deco plaid. It captures the Jazz Age, the F. Scott Fitzgerald era. I found it in bookbinding material from an old Oscar Wilde poetry book from the 1930s.

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