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Screen chinese
I am wallpapering more and more room screen dividers. It’s a good option when a designer or homeowner wants a fling not a marriage to wallpaper. I see the rise in popularity of decorative screens as a solution and a decorative indulgence. The options for interesting combinations of styles and use of murals is more affordable, portable and interchangeable.

It can even be like having an affair with two different people … you can paper one side of the screen in Victorian pattern and border, on the other side you can paper with hand painted Chinese mural. It really makes a great design statement and can be a decorating focus point.

Decorative screens are used for …
• dividing the room
• adding privacy to any space
• hiding clutter and increasing storage
• adding color
• redirecting foot traffic
• creating a foyer
• adding a desk front modesty screen
• creating coziness
• adding a decorative background

Screens are used in almost all rooms in the house – offices, bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms. Here are some beautiful screens made with antique wallpaper and murals.

P.S. Think about finishing the edges with tacks, gimp, ribbon, gilded paper machie, etc.

Maine Nautical Map Mural 2013

The last week of March I had a GREAT gig… installing navigation charts my client used on their sailing trips from Annapolis to Nova Scotia. Their home is in Maine so I flew up on a Monday, worked with the client to layout the history of their trips from the anchorage in the Chesapeake Bay, where he proposed marriage, to their final destination, their new home in Maine. Then we spent two days organizing and decoupaging the charts and installing on the wall. The charts were actually used on his sailing trips and had his personal markings, folds and water marks.  This was a labor of love (literally).  Rather than relegate their treasured mementos to storage, my clients decided to showcase them in a place where all could enjoy in their home.


The final detail was a beautiful photo of his sailboat (you can see it in the above photo). I later learned that this sailboat was chartered by John Lennon for his sail to Bermuda when he made his final album, Double Fantasy. Lennon’s sailing trip is documented in the new book, Lennon Bermuda by Scott Neil and Graham Foster.

P.S. I didn’t get to sail on the boat. It was too cold and too snowy and the sailboat was in winter storage. But I had fun reading Lennon’s adventure in the sailboat. So happy that every once in a while I get to meet such interesting people and hear their stories.

Mad Men Are Made About Grass Cloth

My kids, Shields Brothers, have been out in LA working on a new YouTube reality show. They are filming at the same studio as the Mad Men show.  Their thrill – seeing Jon Hamm at craft services.  They got me thinking about the show, Mad Men, and set decorating with wallpaper.  Here’s a good LA Times article about it.  Grass cloth is hot now and it is all over their set.

Mad Men Dining Room Grass Cloth

Over the past six months, I’ve installed more grass cloth than I have installed in the last 15 years. It’s not just Mad Men going mad for grass cloth. All the big designers are carrying exotic grasses and some are even being made with metallic thread. On the Mad Men set, they are using a retro look to replicate the 1960s.  Last week I installed the exact same  grass cloth in a private home library.  At first glance you’d think it wouldn’t work  in a room with an arched bay and 19th century fireplace mantle.  But the grass cloth made a fabulous background for their art, small sculpture and book collection. Very tailored, finished but cozy.

Grass cloth gives real texture to the walls and makes the room warm and doesn’t compete with the furniture or artwork  Recently, I installed grass cloth samples on flats at the Holland & Sherry showroom in Washington, D.C. There’s a lot of nice grass cloth available now. If you looking for suggestions, here are some manufacturers but there are many more:

Philip Jeffries



Brunswick & Fils

Holland & Sherry

Ralph Lauren