Monday, September 13, 2010

Papered places

Bedroom by Markham Roberts

I have to admit that I have a bit of commitment-phobia when it comes to decorating. I like being able to change out pillows, rearrange furniture, switch around pictures, and generally just reinvent a space over and over. Strangely enough, I don't mind painting either, and I like how it easily (and economically) can transform a space.

As a result, I had written off wallpaper as too much of an undertaking (sticky glue, lining up the sheets just right, etc.) and too big of a commitment (as you would have the task of coordinating all future furnishings or purchases to the paper's design).

However, the playful ambiance, the drama, and the gorgeous scenery of the wallpapers that I have come across in my exploration of design have charmed and converted me into believing these to be true art pieces that neither limit nor weigh-down the design but, instead, inspire and punctuate it.

I am most impressed by hand painted, panoramic and chinoiserie-style coverings, like the de Gournay  papers shown above, as used by Miles Redd. To me, they have a whimsical quality, able to make you feel transported to some distant and exotic place.

This lovely pink paper, used by David Kaihoi in his own apartment (which was featured in House Beautiful), is actually antique, dating back to the 18th century. Although it has a little wear-and-tear, as you can see below, the paper maintains its serene and elegant beauty, bringing a kind of ambiance to the space that could not be achieved with paint. (And, yes, I am overly partial to it because of its rosy hue!)

You can also find more contemporary, patterned examples like the damasks and geometric florals below, used by Miles Redd, Markham Roberts, and Ashley Whittaker, respectively.

Paper by Farrow & Ball

Paper by Quadrille

I just love the blend of fabrics and furnishings in this gorgeous bedroom by Miles Redd: the silk curtains, the swoop of the canopy, the Venetian striped rug, the delicate birds and branches on the paper.

Sara Story skillfully brings serene elegance and glamour to the small office area below. If you would have asked me before I saw this picture, "Would you like to have fish covering your walls?", my answer would certainly have been, "No!" But the polish and neutrality of this piscine paper is actually quite beautiful and even calming, as if you, too, are floating in the water.

As you can see, paper wallcoverings are available in a variety of styles, whether picturesque or patterned, and can infuse a space with great depth or even give a room a "story". The designs I like most come from Gracie, Quadrille, Cole and Sons, de Gournay, and Zuber.

I will conclude this post with photos of my two favorite wallpapers (two of my favorite rooms, as well) by de Gournay and Zuber, respectively. They perfectly illustrate the elegant atmosphere and enchanting mood that wallpapers can create. 

Master bath by Miles Redd

Bedroom by David Netto

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