Shields Wallpaper & Mural Installations - Wash DC Metro Area - Part 2

Wallpaper To Powder Your Nose

You may hear people refer to the half-bath with the old-fashioned term, the powder room. My dad, Patrick Shields, only referred to half-baths as powder rooms. (Side-note – he also referred to every refrigerator as an “ice box.”)

Back in the good old days, when fashionable people wore powdered wigs, rooms were made available solely for the maintenance of the coif. This was the genesis of calling the ladies restroom the powder room. Hence, the euphemism, “Powder My Nose.”

Fancy wallpaper and the powder rooms go hand and hand. Make your powder room the pièce de résistance in your home.

Ironically, please don’t get powder on your wallpaper.


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Working with some of the best quality wallpapers on the market is one the rewarding parts of my job. Here are a few papers I’ve recently installed that may inspire you on your next project. All five of these wallpaper companies have a large array of beautiful papers. Enjoy!

Graham & Brown’s Amalfi Fresco paper is perfect above or below a chair rail in a dining room, kitchen or family room.

Cole & Son’s Woods & Pears Linen paper makes for a wonderful accent wall especially in a Capitol Hill condo where long, narrow spaces get challenging to decorate.

Schumacher’s Exuberant Singeries chinoiserie paper is a beautiful treatment of a dining room. This is a very fine, hand-painted paper. I’ve included a close up image so you can better see the hand-painting.

Zoffany Elenora paper is inspired by painted panels in the Swedish summer palace, Drottnighholm. It’s combines tradition and modern to fit well in our client’s dining room.

Phillip Jeffries Manilla Hemp presents to look of warm grass cloth throughout the large open spaces of the foyer, stairwell and upper hall in this Alexandria, VA home.


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Not unlike today, the Victorian Era was a period of transformation. It was especially pronounced in the decorative arts like wallpaper. Victorians loved their wallpaper. And I love it too.

This week I’m getting to work in one of the houses I’m most proud of papering in Washington, DC. The entire house has been decorated with Victorian paper. The photo shows a section of the living room. The ceiling is covered with Morris ceiling Aesthetic Green and trimmed with an Aster Border and lincrusta in white. Above the chair rail is a Morris Crab Apple paper with a Morris Deer & Rabbit Frieze. Below the chair rail is lincrusta in red. Installing that lincrusta was especially interesting. It is a “wallpaper” that mimics complex plaster work. It looks exceptionally striking in red.


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