Trend spotting: Hand-marbling for lampshades (and more)

The age-old technique of paper marbling is the next big trend in interiors, from wallpaper to prints to lampshades. Here’s what you need to know...

Paper marbling to create dazzling, dizzying, dream-like patterns has been around for centuries. A thousand years ago Chinese artisans were adding colours to liquid and then carefully swirling paper through it to create weird and wonderful designs. There are also long traditions of marbling using ink and water in Africa, Central Asia and the Islamic world.

Oil-based ink and water marbling tank. Image: Zephyris

Our new lampshade styles come direct from Jaipur in India. We recently travelled over and were lucky enough to see the skilled craftsmen at work. Each sheet of paper is individually dipped by hand into a tray of paint that has been cleverly ‘combed’ into the desired pattern - this is not mass production! It means that no two sheets - and indeed no two lampshades - are identical, which has its own unique character. We’re absolutely delighted with the results. We three shapes (Empire, Straight Empire and Tall Tapered), a range of sizes, and eight different patterns in various degrees of elegance, whimsy, boldness, extravagance and gloopiness. And we have to say, they really are some of the most beautiful, glowing, luminescent shades ever to have graced a lamp.

Handmade marbled paper shades
Tall tapered hand made marbled paper shade in green and blue roya

Going the full marble

If the hand marbled patterns are floating your boat and lampshades aren’t enough on their own, then with a bit of hunting around you’ll be able to find lots more ways to bring the style into your home, from prints to fabrics to upholstery to statement artworks, both vintage and contemporary. Or how about wallpaper? We love this ‘Ripple’ wallpaper from Murals Wallpaper:

With its muted colour palette it’s a more subtle take on the marbled trend - and as you can see, it allows the vivid blue of our Nera marbled shade to really sing. -unfortunately the Nera shade is no longer available, but please take a look at our extensive range of marbled shades here


Have a browse though our full range of hand-marbled paper lampshades here.