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A Cut Above: Barrie Thompson Wins Innaugural Design & Decorate Challenge

International Wallpaper Week Comes to a Close

Barrie Thompson from Barnett, London, has been announced as the winner of Dulux Academy’s first ever Design & Decorate Challenge. Barrie will have his own winning wallpaper design put into production and have the opportunity to visit the Graham & Brown factory, where he will also learn about the brand’s heritage, the manufacturing processes used over the years, wallpaper design and future trends.

The competition, which Dulux Academy launched in partnership with Graham and Brown in celebration of International Wallpaper Week (2nd – 8th October), was designed to support the craft and skill of wallpaper hanging. Aimed at experienced decorators with an eye for design and acute attention to detail in the installation process, appliers from across the industry were required to nominate themselves online. Finalists were then invited to submit their very own wallpaper designs to be judged by industry specialists on 2nd October, before being invited to attend the grand finale on 6th October, held at Dulux Academy, where their wallpaper hanging skills were put to the test. Finalists were awarded points both for their wallpaper design and their performance in the application challenge before the winner was selected.

Stuart Yates, President PDA, said: “Barrie Thompson wowed the judges with his unique design which was inspired by his wife’s love of flowers. The precision used by Barrie to hang wallpaper at the grand finale was also a cut above the rest. We can’t wait to see his design put into production.”

Barrie Thompson, the 2017 Design & Decorate Challenge winner, said: “Taking inspiration from my wife’s love of flowers, I designed this wallpaper to be hung on a feature wall in either a living room or a bedroom. The wallpaper has good lightfast properties which create a different effect in certain lights, and the design can easily be adapted by using different colours or background tones.”

Vickie Mather, Dulux Academy Manager, said: “Since the launch of Dulux Acadmey we’ve been keen to get the industry to understand our whole offer, which focuses on training across every aspect of painting and decorating. This week we’ve enjoyed supporting International Wallpaper Week, celebrating the craft of paper hanging and highlighting the range of papering courses available. We hope that the Design & Decorate Challenge acts as inspiration to those looking to nurture their talent, and has encouraged the next generation to keep learning and training to meet the challenges of an ever changing and expanding sector.”

This year’s International Wallpaper Week featured a number of Graham & Brown sponsored events across the globe celebrating all things wallpaper. Attendees at the Design & Decorate Challenge finale included key suppliers such as Graham & Brown, Vista Digital, Mirka, Coral Tools, ZipWall, Werner, Muraspec and Tesa, as well as appliers from across the industry, all of whom got the chance to tour AkzoNobel’s industry leading Dulux Academy and meet the team.

The six Design & Decorate Challenge finalists were:

  1. Barrie Thompson, winner of the innaugural Design & Decorate Challenge
  2. Nick Adonis, whose wallpaper design was voted as the entrants’ favourite
  3. Georgie Baker
  4. Josh Johnson
  5. Aaron Davidson
  6. Steven Trebilcook

Formally launched in March 2016, Dulux Academy is the UK’s first dedicated academy for professionals in the domestic and commercial decoration industry, and offers a range of courses designed to help decorators and apprentices upskill, build their business and hone their design knowledge. To date, over 2,800 individuals have trained with Dulux Academy.

A Cut Above: Barrie Thompson Wins Innaugural Design & Decorate Challenge


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