Decorating With Wallpaper
By Jaima Brown
(ARA) - Since each of us is as unique as a thumbprint, there's no reason anyone should settle for copycat interiors, no matter how beautiful they are and no matter how faithfully they replicate a room shown in a book. Wallpaper is more than a decorative element. It is a tool for creating entirely custom spaces.
The innovative use of combinations of patterns from a single collection -- Bordeaux Valley, from the L.V. Emmert Studios division of S.A. Maxwell Co. -- suggests ways you can literally think outside the box and turn an ordinary room into an extraordinary decorating statement that is yours alone.
Consider showing your stripes. We added alternating parallel, vertical strips of a coordinating stripe pattern against an overall leopard print to create a focal point on the wall behind a leather sofa in this den. It not only adds interest to the expanse of wall, but also makes the ceiling seem higher and gives added emphasis to wall art by further framing the diminutive pen-and-ink drawings of animals.
The same effect can be created by turning a border on end and running it vertically up the wall against a coordinating background pattern. A large-print floral border, for example, adds pizzazz to an overall mini-print. Conversely, a simple scroll border can frame or highlight segments of a bolder print background. In each case, the border adds a distinctive stripe.
In another form of "framing," we mated two strips of a simple lattice pattern at the corners of this dining room. At the center of each wall, we filled the wall from floor to ceiling with an exuberant large-scale floral bouquet pattern. This technique also makes ceilings seem higher while accentuating the elegance of the bouquets.
Using a simpler pattern at the corners also eases installation by not requiring intricate pattern-matching in hard-to-reach places.
Easiest of all is the use of the elaborately adorned trompe l'oeil antique secretary, complete with lamp, quill pen, books and letters, presented in Bordeaux Valley as a precut, ready-to-install mural. This turns an unused wall, at the top of a staircase or between bedroom doors, for example, into a customized showcase of your own creativity.
When your own eyes and personal point of view browse a wallpaper collection like Bordeaux Valley, where patterns are arranged according to coordinating colors and styles, there is no end to the custom possibilities you will begin to see. For example, line the walls of a bookcase with a quiet print that matches the room's wallpaper in color and style, yet also adds contrast. Decoupage a door to visibly connect a theme from one room to another.
Borders are the most versatile tool for giving rooms a unique finishing touch. They can be run above the baseboard, at chair-rail height, along the top of the wall, around a door, and even along the edges of a ceiling.
Never forget the ceiling. Decorators call it "the fifth wall," and, when it connects all the walls, either through a contrast of pattern or a continuing match, it demonstrates to everyone that you carry your own decorating flair to every inch of your home.