Wallpaper Wednesday - What is Wallpaper?

Wallpaper, what it means....excerpt from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

The term “wall-paper” embraces a very large variety of materials of many kinds, designs and qualities, ranging from the cheapest Wall-papers. machine-printed papers of the most flimsy description and often hideous design, to the Japanese and similar leather papers, skilfully modelled in relief and richly decorated in gold and colours. The design of the paper, of whatever description it may be, should preferably be of a conventional pattern, unobtrusive and restful to the eye, and presenting no strong contrasts of colour. 

The wall must be treated as a background, consisting of a plane surface, and no attempt made to introduce a pictorial element into the decoration. The wall surface, regarded from the paperhanger's point of view, is often divided into three sections, the dado or base, the field or filling, and the frieze at the top immediately beneath the cornice. This subdivision is not always adhered to, and a wall may be papered uniformly all over its surface, or may consist of dado and filling without the frieze, or frieze and filling without the dado. The division between the sections is usually formed, in the case of the frieze and filling, with a wood picture rail, and between the filling and dado with a molded dado or chair rail.

Wall-papers may be printed either in distemper colours or oil colours, and the patterns upon them are printed either by hand or by machine. There are also self-coloured papers which have different kinds of surface finish, and with some of these a pattern is formed by contrasting a smooth with a rough or granulated surface or vice versa. Typical of such papers are the ingrain papers, which have the colour penetrating through their substance. Plain filling papers are often used in conjunction with a boldly designed and strongly coloured frieze of considerable depth. The dado is either of similar plain paper or of an unobtrusive pattern. Often the filling is taken down to the skirting without the intervention of a dado rail. Papers printed in oil colours can be sized and varnished, and when treated in this way can be washed repeatedly and are very durable. This treatment gives an unpleasant glazed surface to the wall, but in spite of this it is often adopted for bathrooms, kitchens and in similar positions, because it is economical.

The best papers are printed from blocks manipulated by hand. The pattern, or as much of it as is to be printed in one colour, is carved upon a pear-wood board, small and delicate members being represented by strips and dots of copper inserted in the block. With large blocks a treadle and pulley arrangement gives the workman assistance in applying and removing the pattern, which is first fed with colour by being pressed on a felt blanket soaked in pigment and then applied to the surface of the paper to be decorated. One tint is applied at a time, and this when dry is followed by others necessary to complete the design. This drying of the previous colour ensures sharpness of outline and accuracy of colour. Designs are sometimes worked on the paper with stencil patterns cut out of zinc sheets. These are laid upon the paper and thick- colour applied through the perforations with a stiff brush.

The cheaper wall-papers are printed by machinery. The paper is made to travel round a large drum around which are grouped the printing cylinders, each with its separate inking roller to supply the special colour for its use. On each of the wooden printing rollers is set copper “type,” representing as much of the pattern as is to be printed in one colour. It is a difficult and tedious matter to get all the rollers to work together to form one perfect pattern, and when printing in several colours it may take a skilled workman a week or more to “set” his machine, a very large quantity of paper being spoilt during the process.

The colours used for hand-printed work, whether applied with blocks or stencil plates, are much thicker in consistency than those for machine work. One advantage of hand-worked paper is the comparative ease with which a paper can be matched even after it has gone out of stock. At a slight extra cost the manufacturer will print a few pieces for his customer from the blocks he has retained. With machine-printed paper this, from a practical point of view, is impossible, for it would necessitate the printer's going through the long and costly process of “setting” the machine.

Wall-papers are sold in rolls called “pieces.” In England the standard size for a piece of paper is 12 yds. long and 21 in. wide. The printed surface is only 20 in. in width, as a margin of half an inch is left on each edge. One or both of these plain margins must be removed prior to hanging. French wall-papers are 9 yds. long and 18 in. wide and only contain 40½ sq. ft. compared with 63 ft. in a piece of English paper. To ascertain the number of pieces required for a room take the superficies in feet of the surface to be covered (deduction being made for the doors, windows and divide by 60. This gives the net amount required; an allowance of about one-seventh must be added to allow for waste: in matching patterns and of odd lengths. If French papers are to be used the division should be 38 instead of 60, these figures representing in feet the area of the printed surface in each roll. 

The surface of the wall should before papering be carefully prepared so as to be quite smooth and regular. If the wall has been previously papered it should be stripped, and any irregularities filled in with stopping. To remove varnished paper use hot water to which borax has been added in the proportions of 2 oz. to each pint of water. In selecting a paper for a newly plastered wall the colour chosen should be capable of withstanding the bleaching action of the lime in the plaster. Greens, blues and pinks especially are affected in this manner. For heavy papers glue paste should be used. 

Papering which has become dirty may be effectually cleaned with new bread or stiff dough; when gently rubbed over the surface in one direction this speedily removes the dirt. When the wall is damp, tinfoil, pitch-coated paper or Willesden waterproofed paper is used behind the paper to prevent the paper from becoming damaged by the wet. (excerpt taken from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica online via wikipedia)

Friday's closing thoughts....

Off to the lake for the annual family vacation. A week spent creating new family memories and enjoying time on the lake. The days go something like this....sleep til you get up, coffee on the patio or dockside, breakfast, throw on the boat attire, pack a lunch, head to the boat, crazy fun times on the boat pulling the tube, then lunch, swimming, more pulling the tube, back to the dock, shower, change, rest, prepare dinner, eat dinner, rest, evening boat ride around the lake or just sit on dock and enjoy the lakeside view, then gather round the table for an evening of board games, dice, cards, dominoes or whatever the game choice is for the evening, play til all hours of the night, off to bed and then repeat. Good Times....

Wallpaper Wednesday - Wallpaper History

Wallpaper History via Wikipedia online
  Wallpaper, using the printmaking technique of woodcut, gained popularity in Renaissance Europe amongst the emerging gentry. The elite of society were accustomed to hanging large tapestries on the walls of their homes, a tradition from the Middle Ages. These tapestries added colour to the room as well as providing an insulating layer between the stone walls and the room, thus retaining heat in the room. However, tapestries were extremely expensive and so only the very rich could afford them. Less well-off members of the elite, unable to buy tapestries due either to prices or wars preventing international trade, turned to wallpaper to brighten up their rooms.

Early wallpaper featured scenes similar to those depicted on tapestries, and large sheets of the paper were sometimes hung loose on the walls, in the style of tapestries, and sometimes pasted as today. Prints were very often pasted to walls, instead of being framed and hung, and the largest sizes of prints, which came in several sheets, were probably mainly intended to be pasted to walls. Some important artists made such pieces, notably Albrecht Dürer, who worked on both large picture prints and also ornament prints intended for wall-hanging. The largest picture print was The Triumphal Arch commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and completed in 1515. This measured a colossal 3.57 by 2.95 metres, made up of 192 sheets, and was printed in a first edition of 700 copies, intended to be hung in palaces and, in particular, town halls, after hand-colouring.

Very few samples of the earliest repeating pattern wallpapers survive, but there are a large number of old master prints, often in engraving of repeating or repeatable decorative patterns. These are called ornament prints and were intended as models for wallpaper makers, among other uses.
England and France were leaders in European wallpaper manufacturing. Among the earliest known samples is one found on a wall comes from England and is printed on the back of a London proclamation of 1509. It became very popular in England following Henry VIII's excommunication from the Catholic Church - English aristocrats had always imported tapestries from Flanders and Arras, but Henry VIII's split with the Catholic Church had resulted in a fall in trade with Europe. Without any tapestry manufacturers in England, English gentry and aristocracy alike turned to wallpaper.
During The Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell, the manufacture of wallpaper, seen as a frivolous item by the Puritan government, was halted. Following the Restoration of Charles II, wealthy people across England began demanding wallpaper again - Cromwell's regime had imposed a boring culture on people, and following his death, wealthy people began purchasing comfortable domestic items which had been banned under the Puritan state. By the mid-eighteenth century, Britain was the leading wallpaper manufacturer in Europe, exporting vast quantities to Europe in addition to selling on the middle-class British market. However this trade was seriously disrupted in 1755 by the Seven Years War and later the Napoleonic Wars, and by a heavy level of duty on imports to France.

In 1748 the English ambassador to Paris decorated his salon with blue flock wallpaper, which then became very fashionable there. In the 1760s the French manufacturer Jean-Baptiste Réveillon hired designers working in silk and tapestry to produce some of the most subtle and luxurious wallpaper ever made. His sky blue wallpaper with fleurs-de-lys was used in 1783 on the first balloons by the Montgolfier brothers. The landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Pillement discovered in 1763 a method to use fast colours. Towards the end of the century the fashion for scenic wallpaper revived in both England and France, leading to some enormous panoramas, like the 1804 20 strip wide Panorama, designed by the artist Jean-Gabriel Charvetfor the french Manufacture Dufour et Cie showing the Voyages of Captain Cook. One of this famous so called Papier paints wall paper is still in situ in Ham House, Peabody Massachusetts. Beside Dufour et Cie other French manufacturers of panoramic scenic and trompe l'œil wallpapers, Zuber et Cie and Arthur et Robert exported their product across Europe and North America. Zuber et Cie's c. 1834 design Views of North America is installed in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. Like most of eighteenth century wallpapers, this was designed to be hung above a dado.

Hand-blocking wall papers like these are manufactured by using a centuries old method in which wallpaper is hand-printed from hand-carved blocks on paper.

Hand-blocked wallpaper depicted scenes include, panoramic views of antique architecture, exotic landscapes and pastoral subjects, as well as repeating patterns of stylized flowers, people and animals. The 1797 founded french company Zuber et Cie in Rixheim France is the only company in the world which still manufactures wood blocked wall paper. 
  During the Napoleonic Wars , trade between Europe and Britain evaporated, resulting in the gradual decline of the wallpaper industry in Britain. However, the end of the war saw a massive demand in Europe for British goods which had been inaccessible during the wars, including cheap, colourful wallpaper. 

The development of steam-powered printing presses in Britain in 1813 allowed manufacturers to mass-produce wallpaper, reducing its price and so making it affordable to working-class people. Wallpaper enjoyed a huge boom in popularity in the nineteenth century, seen as a cheap and very effective way of brightening up cramped and dark rooms in working-class areas. By the early twentieth century, wallpaper had established itself as one of the most popular household items across the Western world.

Fabulous Outdoor Chairs

These beautiful outdoor Adirondack chairs are stunning. Delivered to client this week...marine quality painted finish, they will last outdoors for years and years....

Great Way to update

If you are just looking for a quick way to update your kitchen or bathroom there are a few things that you can do that won't break the bank, but will give you that instant gratification. The simplest thing would be to change the paint color, a gallon or two of paint and a few hours and you can transform your room and make a big impact. I really love the color palette that Benjamin Moore offers check out this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfi8eQsmq7E showing their new Natura Aura product. Color is a way to truly express yourself.....and remember it is just paint.

Something else you can do that is relatively simple and inexpensive, is to change out all the cabinetry hardware. If you have just knobs (single hole) then the sky is the limit. If you have pulls (handles with 2 or more holes drilled) then it will be important to measure the existing screw location center to center to determine the replacement size. The most common pull size is 3" and if that is what you have then you will find a greater number of choices. The most popular finish you will find right now is satin nickel or brushed chrome, and hold on to your seats because Polished Chrome is really making a strong comeback. Polished brass is still a bit out of date so sorry folks chrome or satin nickel is in, antique brass and polished brass is out.

Kitchen - Before and After

By eliminating the open soffit area and having the wall built up to the ceiling, I was able to design this kitchen to have a spectacular focal point with the custom decorative hood over the cooktop. The hidden pull-outs in the columns on each side provide a handy storage solution for spices, herbs and oils for cooking. The custom panels on the built in refrigerator help to hide the refrigerator and the large single level island provides a great surface for prep work and is ideal for entertaining. The beautiful chocolate brown wood floors contrast so beautifully with the chocolate glazed off white painted cabinets and the richly stained cherry cabinets at the island. Overall just a fantastic kitchen transformation.....

Friday's closing thoughts.....

It has been a really busy week and with the week coming to a close I would like to leave you with this beautiful picture. Photography has always been a passion of mine and I find it to be a wonderful artistic outlet. I took this picture near Ceasar's Head North Carolina in May 2009. I can still hear the beautiful sound of the water flowing over the rocky falls and feel the crisp clean mountain air surrounding me. Oh what a wonderful moment in time captured here.....Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend....

Wallpaper Wednesday - Flocked is Back!!!!

I know what your thinking, but it's true, flocked wallpaper is back, better than ever and truly amazing. It's not your grandma's wallpaper any more. Check out this fantastic large print floral in the beautifully vibrant colors. The combination of the large print and the flocking really makes a statement and provides a fabulous textural element. 
From as far back as I can remember I have found myself drawn to things with different textural qualities, the softness of a great feathered pillow, the smoothness of a favorite silk blouse, the hard smooth texture of solid cherry cabinetry and the rough uneven texture of a great slate floor tile are all examples of how texture influences my life. It is such an important part of what I find visually appealing that I am always looking for new ways to introduce textural elements into my designs. I find great design elements are created by the use of texture that is both tactile and visual. Enter flocked wall paper..... well, what more can I say - Flocked Rocks!!!!
I think that the way that this chocolate brown more traditional type pattern, in a flocked paper contrasts and melds so beautifully with the sleek more contemporary style of the furniture and light fixtures. 
Give us a call and let us help you bring a little Flock into your world... 941-378-9964

Jewelry for your Cabinetry

There are some truly amazing new hardware selections available. There are a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and finishes to meet many different design styles. I like to think of the hardware as the jewelry, the finishing touch. The perfect hardware is like having the perfect accessories for a great outfit.