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Posts tagged ‘walls’

A super-sized chrysanthemums mural

Floral wallpapers on the whole can look really twee and old-fashioned  and not necessarily in that funky retro kinda way. But, they don’t need to. Recently I added this incredible mural to the main wall of my bedroom and it is stunning.


The image is an enlarged and cropped version of a 19th century Japanese photograph by Ogawa Kazuma. The much smaller original is part of the collection of one of my favourite places in the world: the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. For years that wall was blank. I didn’t know what to do with it. It was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning and it left me uninspired and some days even unhappy. Not a good way to start the day. And then I stumbled across Surface View . . .


Surface View is a UK based company which owns the copyright to numeorus impressive collections. You can select what you like and have it custom sized to fit the specifics of your requirements. The mural came in three large panels and the expert craftsman and decorator, Matthew Collins, installed it. The walls were painted in Porter’s Paints Triple Led Grey in distemper, which has an incredible velvety chalk-like texture.


Two warnings though, Surface View is totally addictive and you can fritter away hours on their site and once you discover distemper there is no going back to low-sheen, wash-and-wear finishes. But that is the subject of another post!





Am I happier now? Absolutely! But the right wallpaper and paint can do that to me.

Styling Emilie Smith

Photos Kate Challis and Emilie Smith

Poetic and playful: sophisticated decorating with blackboard paint

Painting walls out with blackboard paint usually conjures up images of children’s rooms and play areas. It need not. I am enamoured with these rooms. In each blackboard paint has been used in a poetic or playful way. The effect is stunning. See for yourself.


Olaf Hajek’s Berlin Apartment via the Selby


via Christie Chase


via Still Inspiration


via My Ideal Home


Elle Decoration UK September 2012


via My Ideal Home


via French by Design


via Educate your Sofa

Done like this it is a wonderful (and cost-effective) way to create instant drama. Would you ever paint out an entire wall in a bedroom or kitchen in blackboard paint?

The art of not hanging artworks

There is an emerging trend of leaning artworks against walls rather than hanging them. I love the relaxed effect it creates, especially when the pieces are layered in front of each other. From a conservation point of view this is a big no-no, but it looks amazing and means you can effortlessly change the arrangement.


Marlene Birger’s Home Office via Sköna hem


via Belle Maison


via Analog Dialog


Marie Olsson Nylander’s Home Office via Lilishome


via Living etc


Donna Karan’s Manhattan Apartment via Yatzer


via Rue Sept/Oct 2010


via apartment therapy

Would you do this? Or do you prefer your art actually attached to walls?

Hot Pink and Black

This room is so simple, yet captivating.

A preloved dining table painted in blackboard paint, an oversized aerial photograph of New York City from Ikea and a chain and black bead chandelier are all nice, but is the contrasting pop pink felt cushion that nails it.

Emilie Austin’s Sydney dining room as featured Real Living.

Chinoiserie Wallpaper: a 500 year old trend

Wallpaper has undergone a renaissance over the past years. Many traditional patterns are being put back into production. Moreover, new wallpaper designers such as Fromental are reinventing traditional themes. This is particularly evident with chinoiserie wallpaper.

Chinoiserie literally means ‘chinese-esque’ in French and is a European artistic style inspired by the art and design of China. It is mainly found on decorative arts including vases, textiles, furniture and wallpaper. It emerged in the 17th century when merchants returned from the East with porcelain and other objets d’art in their cargo and depicts stylised and fanciful imagery from the ‘Orient’ including inhabited landscapes, man-made structures, pagodas, lattice work, exotic birds and flowers.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the East India Company first imported hand-painted wallpapers from China which were specifically made for the European market and by the early 19th century no European palace was complete without a Chinoiserie room. Some extraordinary examples can still be seen in the Brighton Pavilon, Sans Souci, Chateau Chantilly and Nostell Priory.

Without further adieu, here is a small gallery of images of Chinoiserie wallpaper in modern interiors (and one very old one). Can you spot it?

deGournay wallpaper via Bo Bedre

via decor8

Joakim Blockstrom

deGournay ’portobello’ silk wallpaper

Fromental ’paradiso’ wallpaper in ultramarine

Fromental ’ sylvander’ wallpaper in burnish

Fromental ’paradiso’ wallpaper in mahogany

House and Beautiful July 2010 vía Real Estate Resuscitation

Paul Raeside Photography P via Desire to Inspire

Thomas Chippendale at Nostell Priory via The Ornamentalist

Paul Montgomery Studio

Shawn Henderson Design via Desire to Inspire