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Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives – Cotton, the wonder material. It’s natural, environmentally friendly, durable, figure-flattering and fashionable. Because I work with a distant cousin, wallpaper, I can’t help but notice they share lots of similarities.

Farrow&Ball GrassclothWallpaper is natural, “green” and durable. Certainly fashionable. Like cotton, it’s versatility can be found in its variety of textures. Wallpaper gives texture to our living spaces. You can create the rough texture of Italian villa walls, the lightness of rice paper lined walls in a Japanese tea house, the strength of leather covered walls in a Spanish castle or the elegance of tapestry walls of a French chateau. Wallpaper is the perfect vehicle to create texture in a room without creating permanence.

My favorite texture-rich wallpapers…

  • grass and string cloth
  • faux Portuguese, Dutch or Turkish tiles
  • paper backed hand colored silks
  • mulberry papers with silk and leaves
  • papers covered with mica chips or mother of pearl
  • French wood grained paper; the raised grain fools the eye and the hand
  • amazing pressed vinyls that replicate silk, grass, almost any texture

Wouldn’t it be great if wallpaper manufacturers took a marketing page from the cotton industry? The slogan – Wallpaper, The Texture of Our Lives!

Wallpaper Motivations

I couldn’t resist… as an Anglophile, I love the show Ripper Street on BBCAmerica. They use wallpaper in every interior scene. Love it!

Nothing like a woman with a gun to motivate you to re-decorate:)

Sometimes, especially in the winter, we need a Tapetenwechsel. A what? Tapetenwechsel means “wallpaper change” in German. It’s an everyday expression for needing a change of scenery, change of color or change of space.

Change your wallpaper – Change your Life!

Lincoln 2013

President’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Not because I get a day off work (I’m not a Federal employee:), but over the years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to do restoration work at the homes or museums of seven Presidents in and around the Washington, DC area – Washington, Madison, Monroe, Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR.

I’ll be ro0ting for Lincoln at the Oscars, especially for set design. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in a behind the scenes video says Lincoln director Steven Spielberg was meticulous in recreating the Lincoln-era White House, carefully replicating its carpet, wallpaper and even the cubby holes in Lincoln’s desk.

Abe Lincoln White House

Recently, I worked at the Peterson House and Ford’s Theatre (in the booth where Lincoln was shot). Spielberg’s set designers did a great job recreating these historical rooms on screen. They were lucky to have photographs to recreate the wallpaper designs. I am trying to locate which manufacturing recreated the paper for the movie. As soon as I find out, I’ll let you know. If you know, please post a comment.  In the meantime, here’s a short video I created about working at the Peterson House, the house where Lincoln died in Washington, DC across from Ford’s Theatre.