1920's wallpaper

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I have purchased a 1920's English Tudor. It is very grand, however, previous owners tried to modernize it. I want to wallpaper the foyer, back hall and stairway with a paper that would be typical of the time. Everything I find is vinyl. Can you help?

Thank, Maryel Nelson

-- Maryel Nelson (jlmknelson@aol.com), January 22, 2003


Try Bradbury & Bradbury. You can find them on the web.

-- Brad Taylor (brt0100@charter.net), January 24, 2003.

There are a ton of designs out there that might be appropriate, but very few on a paper that could have been produced in the period. There are several great Pierre Frey papers that have the right feel, the right designs, and come in colorways appropriate to the period. One is an adaptation of a historic paper of the late 18th or early 19th centtury--delicate floral garlands and lozenges and ovals and figures in a neoclasical style--but it comes in juicy colors that would be just right for the prettified palette of the early 1920's. One has a buttercup yellow ground and there's another colorway in a great sky blue. The paper is thick and heavy, with a dense surface. The pattern is called Chenonceaux, after the french chateau.

There's another pattern called Guillonay , a jazzier design in the more subdued colors of the late 20', citron yellow and a beautiful tomato bisque color and a taupe. Its got white spiky horizontal diamond shapes that enclose blocky black silhoutees of pastoral scenes. Again, it's an older design, but the feeling is very Deco. It's printed on heavy brown kraft paper that's very soft to the touch- -almost hairy, the antithesis of the slick viny coated papers that you can get anywhere.

Another of my favorites (and again, it's an early 19th century design) is Gallier Diamond from Brunschwig & Fils. The documentary colorway is green and bistre and black and white, and it's a knockout, with stripes of very crisp shaded diamonds alternating with colored panels. And again, a soft finish.

Now, you won't find any of these designs at the local home improvement store, and they're not inexpensive, but any of them would do a great job of conveying a feel of one period while using the designs of another, which is a really useful thing to do if you're working in a 1920's historic revival style house and want to cover all your bases. Find an interior designer in your area, and he or she can help you find them.

--Bart Swindall

-- Bart Swindall (bls@magnaverde.com), January 30, 2003.

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