Beastie Boys rapper and drummer Michael “Mike D” Diamond didn’t have to fight for the right to design his own custom wallpaper pattern.
So Diamond headed over to the Flavor Lair, the company’s groovy headquarters where they design their funky, quirky bespoke wallpapers and met owner and creative director Jon Sherman.
“Mike lives near here and he comes by,” Sherman recalled in a conversation with The Times of Israel. “He’s used our products before. He has our Elysian Fields wallpaper in his master bathroom.” That pattern is an intricate floral, but in an irreverent twist, it has bats and carnivorous plants instead of robins and roses.
“We take tradition and kind of turn it on its head,” Sherman explained. “We like to make it funky enough so that it just turns that corner.”
“He really liked our Chinatown Toile,” he said of a pattern that caught Diamond’s eye. The design riffs on a traditional French country toile, but has depictions of modern life in New York’s Chinatown.
Diamond decided he wanted a toile, but since he is not only a Beastie Boy, but also a Brooklyn boy, he wanted one that featured scenes from his own corner of the Big Apple. So, Sherman hooked Diamond up with Vincent J. Ficarra and Adela Qersaqi at the Revolver New York branding and design collective, who helped him realize his aesthetic vision.
“We do a lot of our own designing in house, but in this case, I suggested we bring in Revolver, who is one partner we like to bring in on projects,” Sherman said.
Once Diamond was satisfied with the design, he had Flavor Paper produce his Brooklyn Toile. Given the intricate detail of the pattern, Sherman decided at first to digitally print it, but now he is also doing a hand-screened version. Available in Porcelain Blue or Diamond Red, it goes for between $7 and $9 per square foot, depending on material.
Diamond must never bore of looking at Brooklyn Toile, which Sherman printed up for him not only as wallpaper, but also on fabric for pillow covers, and on speaker grill covers. He must be thinking there’s no place like home as he gazes at the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island’s famous Cyclone rollercoaster, and Biggie Smalls (aka Notorious B.I.G, the rapper who was gunned down in Los Angeles by an unknown assailant in 1997 at the age of 24).
And this being a depiction of Brooklyn, there’s also a Hasidic Jewish man who appears, dressed in his shtreiml and tallit, to be heading to shul.