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Salient Obsessions — Texas Textile Designer Lisa Fine Launches Wallpaper Line

Her Collaboration With a Legendary Italian Design Lab is a Lush, Botanical Dream

BY // 01.03.24
photography Kris Ellis

Dallas textile designer Lisa Fine’s exotic hand-blocked, chintz, moire, and ikat fabrics are carried in showrooms around the world — and now she’s launched her first wallpaper design, Persian Garden, created in collaboration with Italy’s legendary San Patrignano Design Lab. Her idea to produce the wallpaper was sparked after she saw botanicals covering the bedroom walls of 18th-century botanist Carl Linnaeus’ house, now a museum in Sweden; the design’s palm and fruit trees were interpreted from drawings she found in Persian archives.

Fine’s collaboration with San Patrignano Design Lab came about after she attended a friend’s birthday party in Italy and made a three-day stopover near Rimini, where the lab’s workshops are located.

“This was my chance — I had never been there but always wanted to go,” she says. “I loved it; they are such amazing and generous people.”

Founded in 1978 by hotelier Vincenzo Muccioli, the San Patrignano workshops were created to help young people recover from drug addiction through communal living and meaningful work that initially focused on agricultural jobs. Although Muccioli, who died in 1995, was criticized for his controversial methods of rehabilitation, the San Patrignano community of some 1,300 residents has an impressive track record of recovery, and its workshops are renowned for producing exquisite textiles, furniture, and other furnishings.

A focus on the decorative arts was introduced to the community some 30 years ago by the illustrious Italian designer and architect Renzo Mongiardino, who was hired to decorate Muccioli’s house. He helped San Patrignano’s community evolve by enlisting his own team of master artisans to teach residents skills such as weaving, woodcarving, and furniture refinishing. Today, San Patrignano’s Casa D’Arte workshop produces wallpapers that rival the most splendid found anywhere in the world. While Persian Garden is hand-painted with watercolors, many techniques are used to make wallpapers including hand-stenciling and screen printing, and incorporate gold leaf, faux marble, faux bois, fabric, and leather. San Patrignano’s designs come from its archives, in addition to custom collaborations with such interior designers as Peter Marino, Michael S. Smith, and Paolo Moschino. Fashion houses Ermenegildo Zegna and Burberry have also worked with the artisans, along with artist Jeff Koons, who according to Town & Country, decorated a suite of rooms in his Upper East Side townhouse with the workshops’ artistry.

426 Ceiling_LFT_KipsBay_2023_MAIN (Photo by Kris Ellis)
Cathy Kincaid’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas room, inspired by Bunny Mellon’s library, debuts designer Lisa Fine’s Persian Gardens wallpaper collection. (Photo by Kris Ellis)

Persian Garden made its debut this past fall when designer Cathy Kincaid used it lavishly on the ceiling and walls of a Bunny Mellon-inspired room she created for Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas, shown here. Persian Garden comes in black and natural background colors and can be customized; Fine’s full collection of wallpapers will launch later this spring.

Persian Gardens by Lisa Fine x San Patrignano is available at James Showrooms in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas.

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