In our Spring issue 92, DECO heads east and rediscovers the classic willow pattern. This iconic Chinese pattern has been in production for over 215 years and tells a tragic love story that goes like this…

There was once a Mandarin king who had a beautiful daughter. The King employed a secretary who fell in love with his daughter. This love affair angered the King, who regarded the secretary as unworthy of his daughter.

The secretary was banished and a fence constructed around the gardens of the estate so that the two lovers could not see each other.

The daughter was full of despair when it was announced that her future husband, a noble Duke, would soon arrive. A ‘suitable’ fit for the Mandarin’s daughter.

However, after the wedding banquet, borrowing the robes of a servant, the daughter passed through the guests unseen and came to the secretary’s room. They embraced and vowed to run away together. The King, the Duke, the guests, and all the servants had drunk so much wine that the couple almost got away without detection, but the King saw her at the last minute and gave chase across the bridge.

The couple settled on a distant island, and over the years the secretary became famous for his writings. This was to prove his undoing. The Mandarin heard about him and sent guards to destroy him. The secretary was put to the sword and his lover set fire to the house while she was still inside.

Thus they both perished and the gods, touched by their love, immortalised them as two doves, eternally flying together in the sky.

Story adapted by Hendrik from  here

Images: Green vases from Trade Roots | Hybrid plate from Generation | Hendrik in DECO's specially hired pick-up truck for the shoot | Quilts from Pezula Interiors
Images: Kirsten and the origami birds made out of Fornasetti designed wallpaper from St Leger and Viney
Images: Fragile porcelain vases from Norick Interiors with ikebana inspired flowers/structural floral arrangement by Opus; best friends Kirsten and Hendrik; detail of paper lantern hanging light from Weylandts
Images: Hendrik dressed appropriately with his green pants for the green-willow shoot, Kirsten making sure that model Camilla is ready for the shot, and make up artist Algria making sure model Camilla is spotless

The wallpaper was printed at ORMS Print Room.

The Orms Print Room combines existing professional printing services with exciting new ventures to form a complete creative printing solution. The destination store, located on the corner of Roeland Street and Upper Canterbury Street in central Cape Town, offers professional fine art printing, business print solutions, décor print solutions as well as framing and mounting. Bring in your old photographs and transform them into a beautiful book, wall art or even wallpaper. The only limitation is your creativity.
Besides all the photographic services and products on offer, a big emphasis is placed on consulting with clients and advising them on their printing and design solutions. Our very own design team is on hand to advise on the latest design trends as well as transform your ideas into a reality.

The half plate was custom made for DECO by  Vinyl Art

Vinyl Art is cut from a specialized vinyl that is specifically designed for home decor. Unlike standard high gloss signage vinyl, the product has a matte finish that gives a gorgeous painted look. The edges are crisp, the effect is stunning, and the material is removable without leaving behind any trace of adhesive. Perfect for the temporary renter or for people who change their mind with the seasons.

Want to see more of the Willow Pattern used in interesting ways?  Have a look at this cut-out porcelain plate that we featured in our IDEAS issue #83 over here

To download the custom designed Green Willow Pattern artwork and have it printed as a wallpaper, go here.