"Wallpaper is coming into its own—it's growing away from the grandma's-wallpaper mentality," says Jee Levin, whose provocative, floral-inspired designs have already established a cult following in the year since she opened her business, Trove. Her clients include Amy Lee of the rock group Evanescence, and Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium.
Jee grew up in Minneapolis, in a house that had no wallpaper—though the home itself was pretty interesting. "My father built it out of a bomb shelter," she says. By the time she was in her 20s, she knew she was a creative soul—she'd worked in fine arts and as a food stylist—but she hadn't found her calling. Then she caught a cable-television home-design show where a house was being wallpapered "with giant strips of masking tape," Jee says. "And I thought, 'How come there isn't any great wallpaper out there?'"
Jee got her big break in July, when W Hotels hired her to wallpaper the rooms of its San Francisco property. "I didn't expect to get such a big client so quickly," she says. "For years I'd been designing in a cave, and I never imagined that people would respond so positively to my work."
Jee's floral wallpaper designs like Nekkar—seen here on the wall and table—sell for $12 to $16 per square at www.troveline.com.