Wallpaper – the Thin Line Between Love and Hate

When we moved into our home this lovely wallpaper was on the living room walls.  Initially I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not.  Seven years later I still can’t decide. I love the gilt flecks especially on a sunny day –  they seem to dance around the room.   I recognized the pattern it as a popular Arts an Crafts motif.  After doing a little research I discovered its official name is “Persis Wall”.  It was purchased from a company called “J.R. Burrows and Company in Rockland Massachusetts.  Here is its description:

“Persis Wall”: An anonymous English design representative of the Aesthetic Movement and early Arts & Crafts Movement. The figure appears as a random spray of eucalyptus leaves, interspersed with gilt blossoms that appear and fade across the wall. It is a particularly effective pattern on which to hang artwork, or in hallways and rooms with walls cut up by many doors and windows. The original was found under woodwork in the old shop of Burrows & Co. in Boston, and historic photographs show the same design in a villa near Sidney, Australia, where it had been installed around 1880. Offered in shades of sage green (the document colorway), terra cotta, pale gold on cream, and celadon green.

The preservationist in me loves how appropriate it is for my circa 1865 home.  However, here are the two things I really don’t love:

  1.  It absorbs the light and makes photographing this room really    difficult.

2.  Not every color works as far as upholstery and fabrics are concerned. I sometimes dream of a creamy white that would bounce the light around and not limit any choices.

I supose if it has lasted this long it most likely will stay until it starts to fade.  Then it will most likely be replaced with a beautiful and light bouncing white.

I would love to hear about your designing “love-hate relationships”.




3 thoughts on “Wallpaper – the Thin Line Between Love and Hate

  1. Lynda, PLEASE keep the wallpaper! It is historic and it goes with everything! And your personal history with this wallpaper is significant. I can’t imagine your house without it.


  2. The formal dining room in our Saginaw house has wallpaper that makes me cringe but my husband adores. It fits the style of the house (built in 1937) but is blue with pink/white birds and flowers. The colors clash with the rooms on either side and having birds all over the walls creeps me out just a bit. Larry rarely has an opinion on home decor but tells every new visitor to the house how much he loves this wallpaper so it is here to stay. I just decorate around it.


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