Nearly five years ago in a small Brooklyn studio, husband-and-wife duo Rachel and Nick Cope came up with a concept for custom wallpaper. Their designs incorporated Japanese and Turkish marbling techniques that looked more like large-scale mural abstractions than wall-coverings. Together, they found a new way to elevate interior spaces beyond the borders of a frame. Today, the couple has channeled that same artistic vision in the launch of their textile company—simply called, Cope.
Drawing inspiration from art, science and nature—Cope combines artisan design with traditional craftsmanship and innovative technology to create their line of linens and soft goods. You’ll find familiar patterns reminiscent of its sister company, Calico Wallpaper, as well as botanical prints transposed onto pillows and curtains alike.
Their ethereal aesthetic embodies the ever-changing qualities of nature, hand-painted by Rachel and printed onto all-natural Belgian linens. Their debut collection features four designs—Sumi, Palette, Flora and Aurora—that range from soft waves of gradient color to whimsical brushstrokes. VUE spoke with Cope’s co-founders on expanding their business, textile design and drawing inspiration from the Hudson Valley.
What made you want to transition to textile design?
We have actually been thinking about creating a textile line since we launched Calico Wallpaper in 2013 when our very first customers requested it. At the time, though, we were so focused on getting our wallpaper studio off the ground we decided to get that right first. Five years later, we began considering how we could expand our creative vision. As we further explored the creation of new work for Calico, it became clear that we could delve into fabric and soft goods as a complement to our wallpaper.
How does the process differ or compare when creating soft goods?
For both Calico Wallpaper and Cope, we experiment with traditional art forms and translate them in a modern way by combining handmade processes with digital capabilities. With Calico Wallpaper, we were limited to walls; now with Cope, we can bring additional transformative elements into a room such as curtains, pillows and upholstery.
In what ways are your products similar to that of Calico? How would you describe Cope’s aesthetic?
All of the techniques and processes that we use for Calico Wallpaper collections and the same process-based art-making will apply to Cope as well. Our methods integrate technology after we have an original artwork that we feel passionate about. The patterns are scaled and printed on fine Belgian linen that is made to order. We feel like our fans will see the same aesthetic vision carried through both brands. We are excited about how Cope will present certain finished goods, such as pillows, so our clients will be able to have a taste of this vision without the requirement of installing a custom wall mural.
What was the inspiration behind each of the four designs?
Every collection begins with a spark of inspiration. Landscapes, scientific phenomena and artistic practices all come into the picture here. Specifically, we drew inspiration from the stunning floral arrangements by Brooklyn designer Saipua and the landscapes around the Hudson Valley, where we recently bought a weekend home.
Aurora is an existing Calico Wallpaper design that has also been carefully translated to fabric for the Cope launch. The pattern is designed to immerse viewers in waves and washes of gradient color, drawing heavily from shibori and ombré fabric dyeing techniques. Each Aurora pattern is a study in the relationship between light, color, place and mood.
We are excited about the warm and casual simplicity of the Palette print. It reminds me [Nick] of Rachel in the studio, where dabs of paint land on the furniture and floors. Flora reminds us of weekends in upstate New York walking through the nature preserve and picking wildflowers. Our goal was to translate this feeling of being connected to the outdoors and balancing realism with abstraction.
How do you see the company growing down the line?
We expect to continue to add a handful of new patterns into the line seasonally and will be selling silk scarves on the Cope website. We also have a few exciting expansions in the pipeline!