Archive for the ‘Wallpaper’ Category

Intersection of Facebook and Obsessive Documentation

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Rejuvenation counted comments yesterday, and my Mexican/Dutch wallpaper won in a landslide.

Who’da thunk that joining Facebook and becoming a Rejuvenation fan (and asking for comments) would have resulted in needing to find a sweet home for this? Only in a custom, not-available-in-any-store* finish of antique copper?

Rejuvenation's McCoy Pendant with Jadeite Shade

It’s an outcome I didn’t expect. We’re either going to put it over my baking center in the kitchen, where it will be framed by the pass-through window into the dining room, which has a Rejuvenation antique copper chandelier and it will reference the green streaks in the soapstone,** or over the kitchenette  in our master suite, where we plan to display the Jadeite pottery I’ve been sort of collecting as we travel. Either way, it will look super. Umm, it will look super and the space will look super once we get the countertops finished, and the trim installed, and the appliances in, and the wallpaper in the dining room, and … Meanwhile, it will add a touch of class to a not-yet-finished space.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of my digital camera, which has been very helpful – both in documenting wallpaper and in documenting where speakers should have gone.

*Am I channeling Ron Popeil or Billy Mays?

** We’ve installed the soapstone, but I haven’t uploaded those pictures yet. First coat of mineral oil, and it’s looking really good. Also the marble in the baking center. And the cooktop. And the double oven. And the sink, but not the drain. Or the faucet. And the dishwasher was in the middle of the kitchen yesterday, so it must be going in soon. And I think the fridge comes today, even though it wasn’t expected until April 15.

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Wallpaper before walls

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Sorry about that pause. Don was posting for us, and then we drove to Chicago, and then I drove my folks to College Station, Texas and back, and then we spent a day in medical maintenance, and, well, now it’s August. The foundation work is done, the tornado room is almost done,* and we have a basement full of extra cement blocks. And a tandem bicycle,** and a tag-along bicycle,*** and my freezer is full of produce (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, purple hull peas, only not as many purple hull peas as I expected because it turns out that my office is filled with Southerners who love purple hull peas, especially when they’re already hulled. Next time I’m in College Station and the Farm Patch is selling, I’ll buy a five pound bag for each of them.)

I have been wanting to buy expensive reproduction wallpaper for a while. I’ve been watching EBay for Bradbury paper, and the couple of times I’ve bid, I’ve been beat.  Don’s been hesitant, probably because we don’t have walls yet and may run out of money before we have walls. Rational enough, but I still look at the wallpaper.

Wednesday, Charles Rupert emailed me … only I didn’t know it was Charles Rupert because they’ve changed their name to Historic Style.  Their private wallpaper line is using Charles Rupert, and the rest of the business is using Historic Style. Anyway, they emailed a newsletter that included their private sale for email subscribers only. I opened it up Thursday, and saw a mess of paper that I liked.  Small volumes (hence good prices).  Don and I went through it when I got home from work, and agreed we both like the paper. Then, we measured rooms on our plans, and hypothesized about how much wainscoting we would use so we could buy/afford enough paper. Then, we waited. Why? Because Charles Rupert is in Victoria, BC (a city I loved when I visited on business even before I owned an old house), and the paper couldn’t be bought online and they keep regular business hours. So, I tried  to prepare myself for someone else pouncing on the paper — there were only three or four that came in sufficient amounts to even do a small powder room and we wanted some of all of them. But, as it turned out, Don scored for us.

So, since I love sharing a bargain after the fact, here’s the link to the newsletter. We bought the brick on brick mallow (Kate Faulkner for Morris & Co., handprinted, regular price $250/double roll) for our dining room. A splurge at $89/double roll. And the blue Jugendstil Craftsman ($19/double roll!) for my sewing room. And the pink acanthus ($19/double roll) probably for the powder room, but I think Don may have bought more just in case. And a couple of pieces of the Standen paper, possibly for behind the Murphy bed. Wow! Good thing we’re good at hanging expensive paper together…

Now, if we could just get some walls to hang the paper on.


* The door still needs installing, and the ceiling needs to be put in.  I guess our foundation guys are coming back to do that and put in some beams to hold up the second floor.

** Don and I took the tandem (Craig’s List score) out for a spin today.  In the 94 degree heat.  I haven’t been on a bike since I was too pregnant to balance.  She’s almost six now.  I think this will be fun once I quit with the death grip on the handlebars.  I figure that since we can paper together, we can probably ride the same bike.   We practiced in an abandoned subdivision where no one could see us and the roads were very good.  Tandem biking is tricky, although it will probably be even trickier once we put the Little One on the end with her tag-along bike.  She’s enjoying riding with Don — lots of stares and comments.

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“Home is the wallpaper above the bed …

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

“Home is the wallpaper above the bed, the family dinner table, the church bells in the morning, the bruised shins of the playground, the small fears that come with dusk, the streets and squares and monuments and shops that constitute one’s first universe.” Henry Anatole Grunwald (1922-2005, Editor in Chief of Time, Inc. 1979-1987).

None of these wallpapers were above the bed, but they were certainly home for somebody.  Wallpapers 1-3 (left to right) were in Apartment 2, and Wallpapers 4-7 were in Apartment 5 (the basement apartment).  Wallpaper 4 (roosters and flowers) was in the kitchen, and Wallpaper 5, behind the medicine cabinet.

apt-2-back-room.jpg apt-2-somewhere.jpg living-room.jpg basement-kitchen.jpg basement-medicine-cabinet.jpg basement_1.jpg basement.jpg

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Wallpaper in Victorian fiction (Gilman 1891)

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Since I became an old house junkie, I have begun being distracted by noticing the house details in old movies and, even more recently, old books.  Have you ever read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1891)?  Go, read it if you can stand it (it’s short), and then you’ll know why the notion of bed rest gives me the creeps.  

Here’s an excerpt from early in the story:

The paint and paper look as if a boys’ school had used it. It is stripped off–the paper in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life.

One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.

It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide–plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.

The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.

It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others.

Not the kind of wallpaper I want — no matter how authentic.  But, then [spoiler alert], I agree that bed rest would not be helpful to avoid going mad,* either.  (See Mrs. Gilman’s story behind the story.)  (Nor is bed rest helpful in getting pregnant after an IVF transfer, although many doctors still recommend it.  Most studies find a slight edge for normal activities, and, at most, the studies find no significant difference.)

Here is a nice summary of what the cutting edge designers of the 19th century had to say about wallpaper.  I don’t think they would have liked the yellow wallpaper either.

*My great-great-grandmother was committed to an insane asylum by her husband about twenty-five years earlier (soon after she had a baby – probably post-partum depression although he blamed “monomania on spiritualism”), and submitted testimony to the Illinois legislature about it.  (But for the internet, I would never have known.)

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Louis Sullivan Wallpaper?

Monday, August 27th, 2007


Anybody recognize this wallpaper? I found on it on EBay Friday night, but I’ve never heard of Louis Sullivan wallpaper and Google wasn’t any help at all. The seller described it as “a reproduction of a late Victorian wallpaper in the Arts and Crafts style. The original pattern was inspired by the work of 19th century architect Louis Sullivan.”  (Sullivan was born 1856, died 1924.)  It’s cool (I think*), but something I’ve never heard of.

It certainly fits Sullivan’s ornamentation style (hybrid of Art Nouveau/Celtic), which I first learned to recognize from the Carson-Pirie-Scott store doors and then saw all over the city of Chicago, including the Chicago Stock Exchange trading room from 1893-1894 that was salvaged and reconstructed in the 1970s at the Art Institute. (Somehow I missed the whole Carson’s State Street closing last August.)

I emailed the seller to ask who made it, in case she happened to know, but what she knew was:

The manufacturer is a company called The Paperie, but the only company I could find by that name online sells scrapbook materials, not wallpaper. There’s a date of 1976 on a detatchable edge, but I don’t know if that’s the date of design, of production, or something else. No idea if it’s prepasted, but it looks great, no fading or other flaws.

Didn’t win.   (Didn’t bid too much, since I was bidding without Don looking at it and it was a bit outside my usual comfort zone since it wasn’t Bradbury & Bradbury or Burrows & Company or Brillion or Wolff House or anything else I had heard of.)  Oh, and let’s not forget another good reason not to buy wallpaper:  I don’t actually own a house it can go in.)  It sold for $17.51 + $13.49 s/h.

Now, of course, I am wishing I had won it.  So, if you have a source for it, let me know.  Or if you know anything about The Paperie.  Did they make anything else in the way of historic wallpapers?

* A bit worried that, if I had won, Don would think it’s 1970s, rather than 1870s.

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