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Designer Interview: Victoria Cramsie from PaperBoy Wallpaper

How do you decorate a boy’s bedroom in a stylish way? PaperBoy Wallpaper solves the problem

PaperBoy wallpaper

‘D’ya-think-e-saurus’ wallpaper by PaperBoy

Here we interview Victoria Cramsie, founder of PaperBoy Wallpaper, to discover how she realised that there was a gap in the market for decorating boys bedrooms, and find out why she is grateful to the British manufacturers who made PaperBoy possible.

Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and why you set up PaperBoy?

I am the mother of twin boys – Rory & Archie – who are now 10. When they were 6 I realised that they had outgrown their nursery style room so I began to look around for wallpaper and fabrics for them. I was looking for something a little more sophisticated, that would appeal to them and to me, and would hopefully last them until they just had to paint the room black!

I just couldn’t find anything, and I had a horrible feeling that there wasn’t much in the world of design that was nice for boys. I thought I could do something about it, so I came up with some designs and colour-ways that I thought married  boy’s themes and grown-up style.

How would you describe the products that you make?

We make wallpaper & fabric for boy’s that feels crafted, that’s good quality, that’s thoughtful and has personality. That even has a sense of humour.

PaperBoy wallpaper

‘ere be dragons’ wallpaper by PaperBoy

In which part of the UK are you based?

We recently moved to a house in Bath and PaperBoy HQ has moved to ‘The Glove Factory’ in a small village called Holt in Wiltshire. It’s great to be out of London.

Why did you decide to manufacture in Britain?

At the outset it just seemed like the simplest way to start, but as I got to meet manufacturers around the UK I became more interested in the skills that they had to offer and the difficult times they had been through. I became strongly committed to manufacturing in the UK as we have some really skilled workers here – as there are in many countries – and I am pleased to think that I may play a small part in keeping it alive. I can’t see what advantage I would gain by manufacturing anywhere else. Plus, I’m hopeless at languages so I could come unstuck!

Who makes your products?

The wallpaper is printed in Norfolk and the linens are woven in Ireland and then printed by hand by Hatley Print in London.

PaperBoy wallpaper

‘Animal Magic’ wallpaper by PaperBoy

Where do you source your raw materials from?

The linens are from Ireland and the base wallpaper is from Germany. I learnt early on that there are no longer any large scale paper mills in the UK.

What has been the hardest part of getting your products made in Britain?

I think the hardest part was finding manufacturers who were willing to produce on a small scale. Our print runs are now much longer, but in the beginning this wasn’t the case, so I have a strong loyalty to the manufacturers who made PaperBoy possible by agreeing to start small. Without them I could never have got going.

And what has been the best part?

The best part has to be the delivery of that first roll of wallpaper. It was like magic! I had imagined this product, and there it was in my hands.

To find out more about PaperBoy wallpaper and soft furnishings visit www.PaperBoywallpaper.co.uk

PaperBoy wallpaper

‘Spitfires’ wallpaper by PaperBoy



  1. Keri on July 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    What a great idea! I’m very impressed. Pity I don’t have a son or I’d definitely be decorating his bedroom with one of these wallpapers.

    I’m surprised and saddened, however, that there are no large scale paper mills left in the UK. I wasn’t aware of that. My grandfather once worked at the Empire Paper Mills near Gravesend, Kent, and I remember the place well (though it was a long time ago). I knew that had since closed down, but always imagined there were others still like it.

    What a pity we’ve lost so many of our factories that produce from raw materials, so that now (for example) the company mentioned in this article has to source the base wallpaper from Germany.

    One day we’ll need to return to large-scale manufacturing of our own paper, etc. But how will we be able to do so in the future with no-one left to train and pass on the expertise to the next generation? For the first time IN OUR HISTORY we have a HUGE skills gap, which worries me greatly and doesn’t bode well for the future.

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