Paper and fabric
After many years in the decorative wilderness, wallpapers seem to be enjoying something of a revival. The enormous selection of designs available, and the ability of paper to disguise everything from cracked walls to clumsy proportions, make them a great resource for the decorator.
Whether you want to recreate the look of a Palladian villa, a Victorian boudoir or a 1950s diner, you will find that there are papers on the market to make your task easier. And once you have chosen your main paper, you can turn your attention to the many co-ordinating borders and friezes that will create a more ‘finished’ job. They can be used in combination with wallpaper, by themselves to pep up painted walls, or to create architectural interest where it is lacking. Indeed, such combinations seem to tap into the mood of the moment, for they tend to allow the feeling of an easy layering of pattern and texture to predominate.
Having decided to be brave and work with wallpaper, there are several basic principles to follow to get maximum mileage from the wallpaper you choose.
Wallpaper is a great ally when you want to play optical tricks with a space. Use it to expand or contract the space in which you are working, or to draw the eye away from ugly but immovable features. Turning to the detail of the matter, dark colours and heavy patterns will generally make a room seem smaller, while pale, loosely patterned ones and large trellised papers too will make the room seem larger, and vertical stripes on the walls tend to make low ceilings appear higher.
In general, rooms that are used a lot prefer plainer papers because heavy patterns can be wearing on the eye, and are therefore tiring to live with. They are also more difficult to mix with other furnishings, particularly if you do not have the well-experienced decorator’s touch.
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