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Wallpaper mural in dinning room

If Walls Could Talk

Wallpaper is bACK

 Classic William Morris Wallpaper Design
Wallpaper with glass beads.
Contemporary  wallpaper with classic influences
Don't forget ceilings where paper adds height to a room and the pattern is unobstructed

If Walls Could Talk…

As a master paper hanger with over 30 years’ experience in the art of paper hanging, I am very excited about the resurgence of newly-inspired wallcoverings designed to capture the imaginations of Gen X’s, Millennials, and Boomers alike!

Now that you have spent the better part of this epic Nantucket winter inside, staring at your walls, you may be ready to change your wall décor. Perhaps you are designing a new space from one whose walls were severely damaged by bursting pipes, ice dams and roof leaks. Or you may be a new homeowner who wishes to personalize walls that were painted in neutral tones by the previous owner.

William Morris, one of the most significant cultural figures of Victorian Britain’s Arts and Crafts movement, is best known for designing wallpaper, tapestries, fabrics, furniture, and stained glass. Today 150 years later, William Morris’ classic wallpaper designs have stood the passage of time and continue to adorn historic as well as contemporary homes. He summed up his philosophy about wall decor like this:

 ”Whatever you have in your rooms think first of the walls, for they are that which makes your house and home, without which your chambers will have a kind of makeshift, lodging-house look about them…”

House Beautiful interior designer, Phillip Corrivan, said this month in an issue that largely featured wallcoverings: “I believe that rooms should tell a visual story, and wallpaper is one layer along with furniture and art.”

Today’s wallcoverings add multidimensional colors and a variety of textures-making walls look vibrant. A very exciting new development is wallpaper with decorative elements applied to the surface such as crystals and beads, metallic flakes and mineral compounds that capture the light. Fabrics on walls are also making a comeback. There are endless design options to choose from. 

I am attracted to wallpaper for many reasons but let’s start with the fact that it is GREEN.  It can be made with natural materials and has very little environmental impact. Made from a sustainable crop, namely wood, the main carbon cost is in transporting the finished product.

Stay tuned. An another installment next week on using wallcoverings in historic homes or giving your contemporary home a historic feel! 

Followed by exploring paper hanging in design-challenged spaces such as the “half bath”-and dormered third floor attic-turned bedrooms- found in so many of our island’s historic homes.

Nantucket Preservation Trust has designated June as Preservation month. There will be a wallpaper symposium in June with Panelists Melanie Gowen (Chronicle Captain of Design and Lifestyle), Tom Ayars(me)and with Audrey Sterk and more panelists to be added.  Time and location is still to be determined.

https://www.nantucketpreservation.org/events/nationalpreservationmonth

Here are links to some of my past articles:

https://www.nantucketchronicle.com/historic-preservation/2014/gut-feelings

https://www.nantucketchronicle.com/house-maintenance/2014/lessons-from-1984-or-dont-mend-spend

Tom Ayars is an island renovation contractor who began hanging wallpaper in the 1980’s when there was a surge in demand and a lack of trained professional paperhangers. He apprenticed for two years with a 3rd generation painter and paperhanger. However in the last decade, as a master painter, with his hand in renovation as well, he has removed more wallpapers than he has hung, and looks forward to combining his renovation skills and unique plaster and wall repair processes to the art of paperhanging, with the reintroduction of hanging wallcoverings as a major element in his business model. Like many of my projects, this article was a team effort with Kathy Ayars

Tom can be reached at [email protected]