Creating the Mandaleen wallpaper

Written by Sara Bergqvist, 29 June, 2016

It is the time of year when the peonies are coming into flower, and I’m visiting my parents’ home where the buds are just starting to open and the flowers are emerging in all their amazing glory. My parents have a mature garden, which thrives in the Swedish summer and is full of fruit trees, current bushes, vegetable patches and Dad’s latest project: a stand of hops from which will be used to brew beer in the future (right now, it’s just the odd plant, so it may take some time before we get there – but it’s the thought that counts). Among all these plants, the ones that draw my eye most are the peonies which provide an annual focal point in the middle of the garden. There is something mesmerizing about their impressive colour and size. As is they are standing there in the garden, demanding attention.

The peony is a truly multi-facetted plant, with many varieties suitable for both cottage and castle. Throughout history, it has symbolised love, friendship, happiness and riches. But the idea behind the pattern started with the peonies in Mum’s garden.



When I was drawing Mandaleen for the Flora Sandbergica collection, I knew that the drawing and the hand that created it should be present, the lines from my sketchpad and the movement captured on paper and translated into print. The original was done in pencil, and I love this direct, intuitive approach. It transformed nicely into screen print with three soft, dreamy colour versions.


Next, like a still taken from a film, the flowers and petals fall down the wall and are swept away on the wind. The gaps between the peonies make the pattern light and give the room a spacious feel. It is an obvious choice for a bedroom where you want to rest and reflect, or a living room that needs a certain softness. A room where you can contemplate what happens next in the film, and let yourself be carried away by the storyline.


In the next-door room in the picture, you can see the dynamic and exciting Growing garden, created by Hanna Wendelbo-Hansson.

Peony is also part of the collection and is a less formal interpretation of the peony, inspired by old etchings. The illustration is the sibling of Mandaleen, and works extremely well as a stunning complement to a white wall. It shows even more clearly the raw lines of pencil and pen. It is so much fun to work with illustrations and let the hand determine the outcome of the picture!

The visit to my parents allowed me to relax and enjoy the presence of nature which I always crave more and more. I’m really looking forward to having my own garden – it will be full of peonies!
/Sara Bergqvist
Designer at Sandberg Wallpaper