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From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

What's In, Out and Classic To Dress Your Walls

When it comes to how to dress your walls, some things are in, some things are out and some things are totally timeless.  I'm going to show you one thing that you need to add if you want to be totally on trend for 2018, what you need to run screaming from and what is completely classic, has a certain universal appeal, you can use it forever.  

IN - Metallic

It's difficult for me to select only one fabulous wallpaper style trend because there are so many (botanicals, beads, wood veneer...), but if I have to pick one, it's metallic.  Gold and brass finishes on lighting, hardware, and furniture are everywhere and I'm loving it.  So if we're putting gold or any of your other favorite shiny metallic finishes on all of these other surfaces, why not also put it on the walls?  Especially in a powder room, so as to make your guests feel that they are in a schmancy home.  Also fab in a formal dining room, so that the room is worthy of all of the work that you have put into the delectable meal you're serving.

Thibaut's Liang wallpaper in Lavender with Metallic Gold

OUT - Shiplap (or what Joanna Gaines calls shiplap

First of all, let's clear up a little misunderstanding.  The stuff Joanna Gaines calls "shiplap", the wood cladding that is inside the walls in older homes in Texas, such as the one JR and I used to own) is not shiplap.  True shiplap has a rabbeted joint which makes the wood boards fit together tight thus making it watertight for the cladding of a ship (thus the name).  It's also not fine oak paneling, which is a beautiful timeless classic.   
Those horizontal boards inside the walls were meant to be a base for the eventual smooth, beautiful wall to be covered with wallpaper.  It was used in the days before sheetrock and was never meant to be seen.  JR and I did have it in the 1897 home that we remodeled in Nacogdoches.  It never even occurred to me to leave it exposed.  It was rough and there were gaps between the boards.  I wasn't going for a classic farmhouse look in that home and even if I was, I wouldn't have used it.  It's not really "farmhouse", it's more "unfinished".  
So Joanna and Chip went crazy with what they called shiplap, but the market and Pinterest has been saturated with it and it is now, thankfully, gone.

CLASSIC - Grasscloth

Thibaut's Pearl Bay in Wheat

Grasscloth has been around for hundreds of years.  As wallpapers were first seen in Ancient China and Europe they've been in the USA for about as many years as the country.  And grasscloth was one of the first.  It was just "what was done" in the 1970's and homes that still have it in good condition have never been out of style.  Today manufacturers are making some pretty fancy designed grasscloth with printed designs on top of the paper. 
Grasscloth is uniquely different from regular wallpapers and thusly should be considered as such before being chosen.  You must appreciate it for its natural beauty.  It is a natural product and therefore is beautifully imperfect.  There will be no matching seams like you have with a regular paper.  The classic also requires a completely different method of installation.  As the surface is grass or some other absorbent natural material, it cannot have water on it.  Regular papers are hung using a wet sponge wiping on the surface.  No can do with grasscloth.  Also, obviously it is not advised for very wet areas such as kitchens or baths.  
With all those caveats stated, grasscloth is a timeless style used to dress up a powder room, dining room, study or bedroom.  You'll spend a little more on the product and installation, but it'll be a classic for years to come.  It's been around for 100's of years, I don't see it going away in our lifetime.

Pearly white grasscloth in my clients home.

Red grasscloth in my clients dining room.

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