15 January 2014

The Best Wallpapers

 

Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is currently running an exhibition on the history of wallpaper (Pattern Repeat:  Wallpaper Then and Now) and the timing isn’t lost on me.  A story in the new House Beautiful had me thinking about wallpaper.  It seems like wallpaper is everywhere these days – which makes sense - it coincides with the explosion of color the magazines are forcing on us, or me, I probably should say.

I like color, I do.  I know sometimes it doesn’t seem that way – but I do.  I just don’t care for color for color’s sake.  And I don’t like a lot of the décor I see in the magazines these days.  Is it just me?  Maybe I’m getting too old and I’m clinging to the way things used to be. 

 

 

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I just don’t understand this.   A family room in the new House Beautiful. 

 

 

 

 

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But, the main feature of this month’s House Beautiful is this new house by Miles Redd.  I love Miles – and I especially love the wallpaper he chose for this room.  I love the touches of red and the red and white ticking used on the chairs with the green garden seat.  And I love the chintz pillows.    I did think it was interesting that the same things I questioned about this room  – the interviewer did too:  the brown sectional?   And why is it pushed up against the wall?  Of course Miles has answers for both questions.  But I still would love to see this room without the brown sectional pushed up against the wall.  The brown linen was chosen because it’s a family room and there are kids and dogs.  OK.  This is why I use slipcovers.   So now, brown hides the dirt? 

 

OK….  I just washed my slipcovers last week and my sofa looked so pretty – so clean and fresh, just like a newly laundered pair of white linen jeans.  

 

Still – I love the paper.  It’s from Iksel and I keep seeing their papers, which are fabulous.   Redd loves wallpaper.  He uses it in almost every project he does.  But, is wallpaper good for every house?   I’ve always felt wallpaper works best where there are rooms that are closed off – like a dining room with doors or through arches.  Bathrooms and bedrooms are other good rooms for wallpaper.   This particular house shown above is in NYC and is a townhouse – a perfect setting for lots of wall treatments.   Hmm – I just noticed this – I used that same lighting fixture from Visual Comfort on a project – sans red shades, which I love!! 

 

 

 

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This room by Katie Ridder is very similar to Miles.  I miss the red accents though.  And Katie’s sectional is smaller in scale and reads more like a banquette than a sectional.  Did the owners see this picture in Katie’s book and use it as an inspiration?

 

 

 

 

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This room by Miles is in the same NYC townhouse shown in House Beautiful - wrapped in grasscloth. 

 

 

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The master bedroom in the same townhouse by Miles has gold tea paper that takes me back to my youth in the 60s.  Those bedside lamps are to die for!

 

 

 

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Another Miles house – with another paper by Fromental this time.  I love the choice of paper for this beach house.

 

 

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Mile’s bedrooms are often covered in handpainted wallpaper and I think his use of these papers – featured in so many magazines – have actually made them even more popular. 

 

 

 

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A more recent bedroom by Miles Redd.   This paper is very vivid. 

 

 

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Here Redd used another beautiful handpainted paper based on an early Swedish wallpaper.

 

 

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Another Fromental paper inspired by the same early Swedish wallpaper – designed by  Peter Dunham.   These papers that copy the early Swedish paper are some of my very favorites – I love the simplicity of the design.

 

 

 

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Besides Miles Redd, designer Michael Smith was also instrumental in the rising popularity of hand painted wallpaper.  He frequently uses it in his dining rooms.

 

 

 

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Mary McDonald is another interior designer whose use of handpainted wallpaper furthered their popularity.  She recently used a beautiful blue/green based background wallpaper in her own bedroom.

 

 

 

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Martyn Lawrence Bullard used this ethereal handpainted paper in Ozzy Osbourne’s dining room – and throughout this house.  This house was recently sold to Jessica Simpson who uses interior designer Rachel Ashwell.

 

 

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Mario Buatta used pink!!!

 

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Another gorgeous example by Iksel – Tori Burch’s summer house.   This company gained popularity after the owner’s NYC apartment was featured in domino magazine.

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This batik style of paper is very popular today – made even more so by the popularity of the Peter Dunham fabric that it resembles. 

 

 

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Here, Suzanne Rheinstein used Gracie handpainted wallpaper.  So pretty – love the blue!

 

 

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Interior Designer Mark Sikes dining room has this gorgeous blue/green based wallpaper – featured in several magazines – his house is a favorite among critics.

 

 

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Close up of Sikes’ console table with blue and white porcelain.

 

 

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Bunny Williams used Zuber here – to create a soothing background scene in this bedroom. I love the touches of yellow.

 

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Amelia Handegan designed this dining room with a handpainted paper.

 

 

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The actress Brooke Shields NYC dining room has this Zuber paper.  Love it mixed with the contemporary lamps.

 

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Another wallpaper scene – in golds and grays.

 

 

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A paper by Arena – resembles stone blocks.

 

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Miles Redd – used this classic wallpaper company – Farrow and Ball - in this bedroom.

 

 

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Farrow and Ball in a warm yellow was used in the Kensington Palace apartment of Prince and Princess Michael.

 

 

 

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The singer Jessica Simpson hired Rachel Ashwell to style her Beverly Hills house to sell.  The dining room was papered in Farrow and Ball.

 

 

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A large scale traditionally styled paper – used by interior designer Carol Glasser. Such a beautiful color. 

 

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This damask paper in acid green was designed by Allesandra Branca for F. Schumacher.  Love!!!

  

 

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No paper was more instrumental in bringing wallpaper back in favor as F. Schumacher’s Imperial Trellis by Kelly Wearstler.  Here it is in black – with the reverse print in fabric on the chair.  Fabulous design by Renea Abbott.

 

 

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I thought this was interesting – the same wallpaper, but with none of Renea’s fabulous style.  Without the contrast of the light and dark rug, the wallpaper just bleeds into the black floor.  And notice the white lamps and shades in Renea’s room compared to these lamps.   Same goes for Renea’s gorgeous white chandelier.  This dark one vanishes.  The silver mirror blends in here – whereas Renea’s gold mirrors pop.  Perhaps if this designer had used these chairs in the black and white fabric or a lighter fabric, it would have been better.  And the curtains?   Why bother?     These two rooms just shows the difference between a good interior designer and a fabulous one.

 

 

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I love the trellis used here mixed with old world design. This juxtaposition just works perfectly.

 

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Wearstler probably went crazy seeing her once edgy paper – Imperial Trellis - go mainstream.  To set the wallpaper world on fire – she installed this custom colored Porter Teleo paper in her own house shown here.  Naturally she set another trend.

 

 

 

Here, for Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators – Jeffrey Marks’ partner used the same paper on the ceiling.

 

 

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This blogger, A Bloomsbury Life – Lisa Borgnes Giramonti - chose this paper Flowering Quince by Clarence House for her own entry hall and she started an explosion.  Clarence House should pay Lisa commission for each roll that is sold.  Her house is in Los Feliz – Los Angeles, but you could swear it’s in the Cotswolds. 

 

 

 

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Lisa’s dining room features this fabulous custom wallpaper – faux books. 

 

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A rare view from Lisa’s family room through the entry hall to the dining room.

 

 

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Another person who single handedly started a wallpaper trend is sweet Nate Berkus.  He used the original Beverly Hills Hotel banana leaf paper in his apartment.    It became so popular, it has almost become too trendy like Imperial Trellis.

 

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The paper was placed along one back wall – enough to make a huge splash.

 

 

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F. Schumacher paper, an oversized paisley by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.   Oversized paisleys are another trend today.

 

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Cole and Son has seen a resurgence with their contemporary oversized paisley.   Popular Houston designer Sally Wheat installed the gray version in her own dining room.

  

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Katie Ridder has her own wallpaper company – one of her more popular designs is this oversized leaf.

 

 

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The English company – Osborne and Little put out this paper which is very popular for more contemporary designs.  I like how the owners mixed in the antique wood table with the modern paper.

 

 

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I love this faux library wallpaper.  What a great way to warm up a room. 

 

 

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 Another view of the same room.  

 

 

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Now – look at this room – with the same paper.  Why is it cold looking and certainly not cozy?  Well, instead of hanging the paper on all four walls – they left 3 white ones which just defeats the purpose of this paper.   In the first room – theyi put a dark gray painted wainscot below the paper which adds to the warmth.  These owners could have painted the other walls darker.   In the first room, the wood floor and stained doors add more charm and coziness – wall to wall carpet is just boring, which you can see here.  A patterned wall to wall carpet would have worked so much better.  Or – they could have layered an accent rug over the cream wall to wall to warm it up a bit.

 

 

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And when all else fails and you can’t find the perfect paper – paint instead.  Is anything more beautiful than this handpainted mural in Suzanne Rheinstein’s NYC apartment?  After painting the walls, the artist, Bob Christian, then painted the hardwoods.

 

 

 

 

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 And finally, my bedroom.  When we moved into our house about 20 years ago all the bathrooms and a few bedrooms were wallpapered.  At that time, I favored a white background with either a stripe or a tiny print, very English, very Jane Churchill.  Room by room the papers were removed until only the powder room was left papered with my favorite – Chinese Toile by Colefax and Fowler.  A few years ago,  Jardins en Fleurs,  owner Simon Scott graciously gifted me with a bedroom full of his handpainted wallpaper!  Well, I did paid for the labor at least!  The change the paper made was phenomenal.  It went from a ho-hum room to a wow room!   I still can’t believe my good fortune to have a friend like Simon. 

 

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I do go through stages were I think I need to change the curtains to a Russian blue tafetta – maybe one day.   I did recently get a new Suzani with a deep green background.     The four chinoiserie prints on each side of the armoire came from Harrison Howard.  I bought those from Harrison before the paper but it was like they were created with just that exact wallpaper as inspiration. 

 

 

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The desk against the left wall.  I need to show Ben this picture!  He has piled all his junk here despite my pleas to clear it off.

 

 

 

 

Where do you stand on the topic of wallpaper – yes or no?  For me –  in rooms with little architectural interest, wallpaper can be fabulous and a lifesaver.  Offices, bedrooms, dining rooms and bathrooms are particularly well suited for paper.  Even a family room can be papered as Miles Redd showed us this month in House Beautiful.

 

                                                              

                                                                       

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The room that started it all this week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is information about the wallpaper exhibition at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts: 

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Here is all the information for the show -

 

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93 comments:

  1. Hi Joni! Long time no 'see'! I like very few wallpapers. I am not a floral-y kind of gal, used to be in the late '80's early '90's but not anymore. I do like the Zuber and the Arena and the one by Schumacher. I actually think my dining room needs a bit of a lift so I may consider one of those. I remember taking wallpaper down from one of my homes piece by piece and it is etched in my mind and don't want to do that again. Now though I might be able to hire someone to do that job!
    All the best to you for 2014!

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  2. I love wallpaper. After years of shunning it, for a variety of reasons, from affordability to resale considerations, I think I have a more grown up relationship with it now. It doesn't belong everywhere, but it can totally make a room. I am ever increasingly impressed with the artistry it takes to design it well and - because it's a skill - to install it properly! I feel very fortunate that I scored an ebay lot of a Thibaut pattern that has been on my mind since sometime in the mid-nineties, I think. Finally after 20 years I make a decision. I am my own worst client.

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  3. Do you remember Henry Higgins' house in the movie My Fair Lady?
    That's my kind of wallpaper, and what my house looks like today!
    Love the stuff.
    xo

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  4. Ooh, I love the banana leaf paper. It feels like living in a jungle. Must be very refreshing if you live in a cold climate or where it is cloudy or dreary part of the time. It would most definitely make me smile.
    Sam

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    1. I have been a FAN also of that banana leaf paper ever since I first laid eyes on it years ago in a Boston area home. LOVE it and would have it here in my house in Florida! I enjoyed reading the wallpaper article.

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  5. I have always loved wallpaper and was thrilled when toile became popular again almost 10 years ago. I had an all white kittchen save my black and white toile wallpaper. Loved it to death I did. And still do I am especially fond of a room wrapped in it. We however moved back to the suburbs and I have charcoal grsscloth in my husbands office after a mishap with a cleaning crew who destroyed my Ralph Lauren tartan plaid in grays, blacks and camel of course it was discontinued. I love that room by Renae Abbot with the black trellis thought it was genius the entire room! I will never forget when it was published just bowled me over. Feel the same about Suzanne Rhinestein's painted wall amazing always been enamored with grisalle quietly beautiful. And your lovely bedroom Joni so tasteful I would not change a thing ever.

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  6. I agree with you that wallpaper when used in rooms that one associates with a sense of drama is one of the most effective design tools that can be implemented. I too love paper in bedrooms, dining rooms, baths and occasionally in breakfast rooms. It's funny to have you post this subject given that I have been in the midst of taking down walls of it for the past several weeks. In all of your photos, however, it was perfectly selected and conveyed the mood and feel of the rooms where the paper was hanging.

    Question: I am totally confused as to why a sectional sofa or any other sofa cannot be stationed against a wall. You make a quick judgment without a survey of the rest of the room and in doing so imply that those with wall based seating are somehow out of step. Please explain?????

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  7. The flowery chintz pillows and the red and white striped chars do not go with the brown sofa for me, personally.
    But then what do I know, I'm not a famous designer. Ha!
    Sheila

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    1. Could not agree more. And those 80's pillows !!!! I did like a lot of the rooms , but it is not for me. Nothing will date a room as quick as a pattern and it is far too much work to have it on the walls IMHO.

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    2. It just my opinion, but brown is a neutral and a very rich one. It goes with red which was used in the room and pairs beautifully with greens. Given the pattern on the wall and the fact that it was going to be the largest piece in the room, I think M. Redd chose the right color. It also anchors the room and heightens the impact of the paper and the other more colorful patterns.

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    3. I rarely like any of his rooms, but this one takes the cake on needing to be re-done. I just hate it. Is anyone going to say anything about the art and it's placement ??? I don't get it.

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    4. Agree. I can understand and like a mix of traditional with contemporary elements - to a degree. But I don't get these chintz pillows on that modern brown sectional, nor the artwork on that wallpaper. If you're going to have a beautiful mural-like wallpaper, why would you cover most of it up, especially with jarring artwork that totally breaks the continuity and feel? This room can't seem to make up its mind.

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    5. It's not only that the sofa is brown with the lighter chintz, but it looks like it's velvet. Velvet sofa with cotton chintz is just wrong, and doesn't work on any level. Who needs a designer to have something look like that?
      Sheila

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    6. The sofa could be a cotton velvet which is not heavy looking. The window treatments may also be a lighter weight fabric. If all of the fabric were the same weight, there would no texture in the room. My only complaint is the floral pillows, but then in the corner of the picture I see a portion of a chair that looks like it might be covered in the same fabric. Judgments about these rooms are being made without a 360 degree view and an understanding of all the elements in the room and how the room intersects with adjoining spaces. This is probably the first time that I have seen this much confusion about spaces on this blog, but it is amazing to me the tunnel vision that is being exhibited here.

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    7. I don't need a full view of the room to see that the brown velvet sofa is wrong, very wrong. It IS heavy looking. It doesn't matter if it's cotton velvet, silk velvet, wool velvet, poly velvet or any other permutation thereof. It looks heavy and out of place. Period. If the sofa were changed to one that went, everything else in the room could work. It's just wrong.
      Sheila

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  8. I like color, I do. I know sometimes it doesn’t seem that way – but I do. I just don’t care for color for color’s sake. And I don’t like a lot of the décor I see in the magazines these days. Is it just me? Maybe I’m getting too old and I’m clinging to the way things used to be.

    Joni, you don't like the decor because you refuse to open your eyes and your design horizons. Certainly, there is enough design out there that you would have some of it appeal to you, but you persist in the same old, same old, and for you there is no way out of the rut you have backed into. You have posted some lovely photos here. Not all of them are appealing, but within some of
    them are appreciable elements worth noting to be incorporated into a design project of your own in which you eliminate some elements and incorporate others. Frankly, despite the hype I believe that a design by Miles Redd would put me in some sort of design rehab. There is simply no place to rest the eye nor the soul - just a lot of elements screaming for attention rather than complimenting each other. I certainly get that. You do need to get out of your all white neutral rut and trust your instincts a bit more. Jennifer Boles will have a real hissy fit at this comment since she is constantly worshiping at the throne of Miles Redd.

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    1. For clarification, the quotes surrounding the first paragraph were inadvertently omitted. This paragraph is a quote of Joni's from her text. Just wanted to make that notation for clarification of my comment.

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  9. Joni:
    Great job on wallpaper. I would like to know who made the library book wallpaper--- the one that you showed three different rooms in the same library book paper --where you mentioned how cold one room was because there were three white walls. I really love that paper but you did not tell where it came from. I also like all of the chinese hand painted walls and the grisaille walls--they make rooms look larger and really calming when you are around it. I used to live in Hong Kong and hand painted silk wallpaper is everywhere there and really great quality work-- the fortune Hand company who is no longer is business made the most fantastic wallpaper hand painted on silk and I had them make some for me for one of my homes. Grasscloth wallpaper has never seemed to go out of style because it can look casual and formal depending on what furniture you use. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas with everyone.
    Susan in Charlotte N.C.

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  10. Your bedroom wallpaper really is fabulous. Now I am thinking my could use some paper, too.

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  11. your bedroom is so lovely and soothing and I think a great balance!

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  12. I really LOVED this post! I'm working our back hallway (it's an awkward space-bigger than a "hall," but not really large enough to be a "room"). I've decided to turn it into an art gallery and am wanting to paper or stencil/paint the half above the chair rail...oh the choices!!! Your timing is perfect!

    I am completely smitten with your home and all your beautiful neutrals. I'm also enjoying the influx of color we're seeing (and shock-I'm enjoying following/reading Jamie Meares of Furbish) but still, a purple velvet sectional!? Yikes. I'm with you. Not my cuppa.

    As always, thank you! Reading here is a treat!

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  13. Loved Brook Shield's dining room.....the modern see through lamps were perfect not to distract from the wonderful wallpaper.
    The classic Louis XVI style chairs with their red splash of color gave just the right amount of pop.
    Great post, thank you.

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  14. Joni, I love YOUR style -- many of these rooms looks garish and unsettling. I don't give a damn about what's in supposed style; I know hideous and short-lived. Marilyn in Mt. Vernon

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  15. So glad you confirm wallpaper's comeback! I love it, always have.

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  16. I sometimes like wallpaper, but I know how much work it can be to take it off, and I can't afford to ruin my walls. Your bedroom is lovely, but a lot of the rooms you posted this time are LOUD. How could you relax in them? My favorites homes you blog about are usually the traditional rooms in soft shades of cream and white.

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  17. Count me IN the wallpaper corner (which are tricky when you're a perfectionist.) These photos gave me smiles and INTEREST. White on white on white on white, etc. - not so much. I've GOT to wallpaper more of my ceilings...love it! franki

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  18. I bought my 'burbs house recently. It has some HIDEOUS paper in the kitchen. I do share sentiments with Mr. Oscar Wilde (giggle!) But, I have been thinking of changing for another paper instead of paint. Hand-painted is not for me, as the cost out ways the benefit. I couldn't bear to paint over someone else's art! TOO PERMANENT. Your bedroom is great! The mirror shows the bed! (GASP!!) Old wive's tail here; it could take your soul at night and you may get stuck in the mirror! *HORRORS* Beautiful suzani!!

    **TOODLES**
    ~texassky

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  19. NOT a fan at all for Wearstler's graffiti wallpaper, BUT for Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators – Jeffrey Marks’ partner used the same paper on the ceiling, I think it works on that ceiling!

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  20. I thought the majority of these rooms looked absolutely AWFUL! I will continue worshiping at the feet of Bobby McAlpine.

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  21. I still love grasscloth wallpapers -- and the Zuber scenic wallpapers -- but the rest are just too much for me .... especially that first room .... but I guess that the owners can afford to change the décor! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  22. Thank you, Joni, for this very timely post about wallpaper. Some of these rooms are Exhibit A of why people hate wallpaper (Lisa Giramonti’s walls would give me a headache) and others are stunning. I have coveted Brooke Shields’ dining room since I first saw that picture. And every time I come across it I wonder if I can put up a web page begging for contributions to purchase Zuber paper.

    And I love your “all white neutral rut,” lol. I’m right there with you which is why I love your decorating style - only I consider it not a “rut”, but a choice of going with what I love and discarding what I don’t.

    Lauren

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  23. I do love wallpaper, but most of these patterns are too large and colorful to provide a peaceful setting -- makes my eyes go crazy! I love Suzanne Rheinstein’s handpainted mural, and a few others, but my favorite is your very own bedroom! I've commented before that your room is so gorgeous and serene! Thanks for the comparisons of rooms with like papers; that was very helpful and interesting!

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  24. I like a little bit of wallpaper...not in every room..... my faves are grass cloth, batik prints and today... I am loving the Flowering Quince pattern......

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  25. Yes and no....Wallpaper in some rooms but not all. I especially like paper in a half bath or small room. I think the dining room with the "library of books" wallpaper is hideous. The bottom of the paper, where it reaches the top of the chair rail, doesn't even line up correctly. There are "shelves" that start about 2 inches from the railing, and books look like they're underneath the railing. New trends = new sales for designers. That's all that this is about - consumerism. Fine if you have unlimited funds to redecorate every 5 years, but not very practical in a downward economy for the majority. The "old" look of neutrals and less color, in my opinion could easily incorporate wall paper without changing out all of your upholstery, etc. I loved the trellis paper in the half bath, and the Suzanne Rheinstein "tapestry" mural.

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    1. Right on, Angledog! Trends are just a way to help designers sell more products. The same is true for the "Color of the Year" by Pantone. Have you noticed that it is usually on the other side of the color wheel but not exactly across. That way the colors from the previous year don't quite look right with THIS year's colors.

      Personally, I have always liked golden yellows and greens (not necessarily in the same room). Both colors are found commonly in nature so they act almost as neutrals.

      If Joni prefers white, black and grey for her own home, she should stick with it. These Show Homes are just that - rooms for show only. No sane person could live in them for very long.

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  26. I love your bedroom....so pretty! Can you please tell whee you get your bed linens...I love them!
    Thank you,
    Shelly

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  27. I have always loved wall paper. I think it would be hard to live with out it. I just adore it. I wall paper everything. I have done chairs, chest, book cases and even the kitchen ice box. It is a wonderful addition to any decor. So many patterns, so little time.

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  28. I loved that room in House Beautiful when I saw it except for the sectional. There is definitely a 70's love going on in design right now and I thought the sofa was a nod to that...odd....but I thought the designer was trying to keep the room from being too beautiful. I would have chosen something else. That first room you showed is definitely the 70's being revisited. I was a child in the 70's and didn't like decor then...my parents were into traditional and antiques....so 70's decor was never introduced other than a gold fridge that we were very proud of! Thank goodness that fridge quit on us and we went back to white. ha! I really like certain wallpapers. I especially like the hand painted ones and damask patterns. I totally love them in a bathroom or dining room. I'll probably never have wallpaper because I do everything myself and I don't have any desire to learn how to hang paper. My Mom is a master at it and her house is full of wallpaper. She is wanting to repaper her living room right now. Her wallpapers are all from the 70's and 80's but she is traditional and the papers she chose are small over all patterns that still give a cozy all american feel. They are dated but not too badly. Except the living room which has a border which is why she wants it gone. I was just waiting for photos of you wallpaper at the end of the post. Love it in your bedroom. I would totally embrace wallpaper like that in my bedroom. I'm more likely to hand paint the walls to look like wallpaper than to actually hang some though. Loved this post!

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  29. Hmm, mixed feelings on this one. Still reacting from wallpaper overload from the 80's and 90's. Working for a builder at the time, we always did wallpaper above a chair rail in the dining room (sometimes faux painting), in the kitchen and breakfast area, and all powder and bathrooms, and usually grasscloth in the family room/den. So, I have these dated associations. Like you mentioned, I think it depends on the architecture of the house and the sense of 'rooms'. It doesn't work as well in an open floor plan. Personally, I don't care for large in-your-face patterns. However, I do like the ones with a mural-like effect of naturalistic elements, such as in your bedroom. These can totally give a room personality. And I love an old-fashioned English boudoir with floral wallpaper (like you showed in a previous post about English chintz, et al). To me that Wearstler foyer is horrendous. On my to-do list today is to start removing the wallpaper (only on a very little bit of wall space) in my kitchen. It's a tiny leaf print from the 80's in blue and white, but I still like it. But it's curling in places and time to put the house on the market. It's the only wallpaper in the house besides a painted Anaglypta/Lincrusta in the bathroom.

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  30. I am loving the Zuber paper + hand painted murals + think certain rooms scream for wallpaper + Adore MR but I do understand that brown couch!!! xxpeggybraswelldesign.

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  31. Great post! So detailed and so much information. And so many great photos. I'll keep checking back for more!

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  32. I love Tori Burch's summer house! While I love the paper in some of these pics, I would never us it in my own home -- maybe a powder room. I do love grass cloth though. It's very popular now. Do you thinks it's a trend that is going last?

    Great post. Thanks!

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  33. Great post, Joni! I'm still in the "no" column for wallpaper, though. I usually pin quite a bit from your posts - but the only ones I'd pin from here are of your bedroom! These examples are all so busy! And if busy is on the walls, I think it is difficult to strike the right balance with accessories.

    We're just over a year in this house and removed almost all of the existing wallpaper before we moved in. We left the two story entry papered because of time constraints (we wanted to move in!) but I'm still considering taking it down. Maybe I'll wait, based on this post's heralding of the return of wallpaper. We also left the kitchen papered because we were planning to gut it. Now we've reconsidered the gut and I find I like the paper - tiny tone on tone check that appears solid from a distance.

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  34. Joni,I.agree.about.the.shelter.mags.being.disappointing.recently....Especialy.House.Beautiful.Veranda.andCountry.Living....Sometimes,changes.in.Editors,lead,to.poor.decisions....this.seems.to.be.very.true.at.the.moment....I.do.like.color.and.pattern..but.not.riots.of.each.without.relationship.to.one.another....Pantone's.color.of.the.year.seems.to.be.influencing.in.a.bad.way....i.love.mauve.and.lavender..but.not.this.garish.purple.that's.showing.up.everywhere...

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  35. Joni - Your bedroom is divine!! That French armoire is so dramatic against the wallpaper. And I will always love those Swedish inspired tree of life papers / hand painted murals.
    xoxo
    Loi

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  36. Well I do love some wallpaper and ALWAYS love chinoiserie for any room...its such a classic.I like it a lot for bathrooms and powder rooms less so in other rooms but do love it also for a dining room. I like most of the above except for Kelly Weastlers horrible foyer which to me is an abomination, it is so hard for me to even look at. The Brook Shields dining room is classically beautiful and I pretty much love any room by Michael Smith. Great and comprehensive post as usual!

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  37. Can you believe that Mark is taking that wallpaper down? Well, took it down. Mirrors are going up! So sad - that room was so beautiful. I'm sure the next revision will be as lovely.

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  38. Favorite of all time wallpaper - Manual Canovas black and white over sized toile. Ralph Lauren store on Rodeo Dr. walls covered in burlap colored grasscloth with high gloss white trim holds a close second. Done right wallpaper is fabulous - it's the removing it that's awful.

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  39. Hi Joni!

    Wow! I saw so many things I COULD NEVER LIVE WITH around here! Some rooms are gracious and all, but way too busy, too cluttered, too dark. I want to open the doors and feel at peace and relaxed... the last I thing I want to see is a "dirty" looking brown sectional.

    Am I being too harsh??? LOL Thank you for opening space for honesty around here! :-)

    Missing you, my friend. I rarely have time to visit all the good friends I have on the net anymore... life is really busy around here, but know you're one of my favorites out there... besides, I always learn so much w/ you!

    xo


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com


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  40. Thank you for all of the work you put into your blogs! I so enjoy reading them and have learned much . Keep up the great work! Michelle

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  41. THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL POST. GREAT EXAMPLES. MY THOUGHTS ON THE MILES REDD BROWN SOFA IS IT IS AN EYESORE IN AN OTHERWISE PRETTY ROOM.
    ALL THE BEST FOR A HEALTHY AND HAPPY 2014,
    REBECCA R. DYER

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  42. I love wallpaper, Joni, and I especially love chinoiserie paper as well as scenic such as Zuber. I also love a good stripe or damask. I have Thibaut in the kitchen, and it was here when we purchased the house. I am crazy about paper in foyers and powder rooms, and I love your bedroom paper!

    xo

    Sheila

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  43. I love your room Joni, I like a few of the others, but I HATE most of them. I think anyone would feel so trapped and you would have so much work ahead of you to change them once they were done. I can't stand that Miles Redd room, I hate most of his work right along with Kelly's. I think they try way to hard to be different and different does not equal good and well designed. I agree with the 80's pillows and the art being just plain wrong. Great Post, as always. Vicky Darnell

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  44. I look through your great post and keep saying:" Ahhh" and "Ohhh"! Absolutely beautiful and encouraging to try and improve my own house...
    I love the colors red and light blue in the family room.
    (But I prefere real books to the wallpaper .)
    I agree with Luciane (above), not to get a too dark atmosphere in the house. - So, what about curtains!....
    Have a good weekend!
    Becky

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  45. Great post - provocative and enlightening! One tremendous omission is the work of Jan Showers - especially the metallic tea papers- as an example of ordinary space turned extraordinary with well-appointed functional pieces and understated accents. Fortunately, I will never have to live in a Miles Redd room, however, I do appreciate SOME of his design choices - especially if diluted among many rooms. "Attention-getting" does not mean livable, and I've noticed what really works in a photograph does not necessarily work live and in person - one becomes fatigued rather than at peace in one's own refuge. In my line of work, we have those who make choices for clients to get attention for themselves, and we have those who are really thinking about what's best for the client...long-term. I wonder if some of these rooms would survive the decades-from-now-test like a Billy Baldwin or Sister Parish room?

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  46. I am a wallpaper fanatic and have a huge collection of vintage wallpaper -- and yet I have no wallpaper on my walls. Go figure. I do however have hand painted Zuber style walls in my dining room that the previous owner had done. I just wish the background wasn't an orange-red color, but I can't bring myself to paint over it. It is growing on me. Not sure about the brown sofa, but it doesn't bother me as much as it does some. It grounds the room and goes well with the carpet.

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  47. Chinoiserie is a timeless classic. These papers can be found in rooms which are hundreds of years old in France and England. It's not some trend brought to you by Miles Redd et all. It's never gone "out" for those who can afford it (not me by any means) and who appreciate classic decor. I would LOVE to have it in my home but even a power room would run over $5000 installed and that I can not do. But for those who can, enjoy it, it's gorgeous, it would sooth my soul waking up to such art every morning. I don't understand those who find it "busy" but hey what to say in the land of "grannit" countertops and 5 zillion sq homes I don't pretend to know what goes. I agree with some of the comments re: Miles, I just can not get into it. The art on the family room wall - what is up with that? Was that portrait bought at some sort of diy blogger's yard sale or what? I could not happily live in those rooms. Having said that, his dining room with the Swedish paper is pretty. The Michael Smith and Suzanne Rheinstein rooms are lovely as is Tory Burch's home. As for your bedroom Joni, sorry, not feeling it. The bed is to marshmellow-y, the artwork clashes with the paper, it just seems like a checklist of trends forced together instead of an organic room with elements that you truly love. But, if you're happy with it, then rock it!

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    1. "The bed is marshmellow-y". Please explain. It looks like Joni has filled her bedroom with elements that she truly loves. She has a beautiful desk and armoire, white linen sofa, lovely buffalo checks which she loves, an upholstered headboard. What more is there. I have seen a lot of trendy elements in her house, but the bedroom doesn't seem to have any of them.

      Who am I to question someone who uses the description "marshmellow-y". Clearly a word indicating an advanced degree in design.

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    2. If you can't figure it out then I can not help you, alas. Clearly I can not hope to meet your level of intellect. And, no I do not have any advanced degrees in design (though I do possess several other advanced degrees) but then neither do Joni or Michael S Smith, Bunny Williams and I could go on. Perhaps you do? I don't care. Marshmellow-y is the perfect word for her bed, or my perception of it, a half-wit would be able to catch my drift, know what I mean?

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    3. " Marshmellow-y is the perfect word for her bed, or my perception of it, a half-wit would be able to catch my drift, know what I mean?"

      Okay, I think I get it now. You are accustomed to those Motel 6 beds. Maybe a horse's arse can catch that drift.

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    4. Wow, "anonymous" - you need to learn what that quaint southern phrase "if you can't say something nice, etc" is all about. Your comments are silly, pointless and rude. Always are. Sad. And I know there are other "anonymous" posters on here (I'm one right now) but yours stand out and are obvious that they come from the same (spiteful) author. Be nice - or find a blog or site that encourages and appreciates nastiness. Sheesh.

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    5. Anonymous - If you're going to make up a word like "marshmellow-y," for goodness sake please use the correct spelling: MARSHMALLOW!

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  48. Hi Joni,
    The Chinoiserie papers are often so ethereal and I love them, especially the De Gournay and Gracie. I have one of Harrison's works of art, he has such an equisite touch!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  49. I was a child in the 1970's and kind of got wallpaper overload and never quite recovered. I especially dislike the banana leaf wallpaper and the garish geometrical wallpapers of the 1960s and 1970s which have recently made a comeback. I like Miles Redd too but I think he puts too much clutter in wallpapered rooms both on the wallpaper itself and throughout a room, it's jarring and a bit garish but I'm sure these rooms look much better in person.

    The chinoiserie wallpapers are absolutely beautiful, so ethereal and never garish. I especially love Mary McDonald's bedroom from the recent series of Million Dollar Decorators. I also like Tory Burch's wallpapered rooms, they are quite intense and heavily decorated but they just come off great, I think it depends on the decorator, some just get it right with wallpaper and some don't understand that you shouldn't try to compete WITH the wallpaper. Much as I love Miles Redd I think he ruins the wallpaper.

    Also, I have always loved that Bunny Williams wallpapered bedroom with the yellow accents - I didn't know this room was by Bunny Williams.

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  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Seriously Gail, you miss the point of what a real designer strives for and that's to ultimately give the client the best possible outcome for their money and their taste. The stroke of genius is to incorporate in a tasteful way the taste and vision of the person paying the bill. There are some realities that cannot be ignored by a designer. If he or she can't deliver, they need to back off. While I am not a Miles Redd fan, I see nothing wrong with the room you describe and cannot understand the comment about the Ikat that divides the room into thirds. Family art can be a very important component part of accessorizing a home and like it or not, a designer must conform to some of the request of his or her client. Even the most rudimentary art can look great if framed correctly. Not every issue of HB will appeal to all taste. Pity the poor editor who sweats over every issue. I would love to see your living room!!!!

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    2. Yes, it is a stroke of genius when a "real" designer can "incorporate in a tasteful way" the desires of their client … that's their job. IMO Redd failed at the "best possible outcome" - and rather miserably. It goes beyond bad art, poorly framed. And if you "see nothing wrong" with the Redd living room (ikat and all) then you definitely wouldn't like my living room.
      Also I would think a guest editor certainly should "sweat" over the one issue she's responsible for …
      So seriously, Anonymous, we clearly have a difference of opinion.

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    3. You are obviously seeing more photos from the magazine than I have seen. I made my judgment based on the photos posted here. You obviously hate ikat, but I don't understand the comment about dividing a room into thirds with ikat. As to art, you probably collect furniture store art meant to enhance color schemes. If you look at many of the auction house catalogs when they have a large estate sale, you will find some of the most random pieces of art that you can imagine. That's because the owners were collectors. They didn't just show up at some boutique art store and say I need something modern with splashes of blue, green and yellow.

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    4. Yes, I did look at the issue before I made the comments, rather than assuming my opinions … as you are doing.
      I quite like ikat, when it's well done. And no, I don't "collect furniture store art" for color schemes or at all. One of my points is that it seems to me that Redd (or his client) actually DID show up at some boutique art store and said "I need something with splashes of blue, green, etc." Then went to the attic and pulled out the colorless, dried & pressed flowers in the horrible frames hung above the couch (circling the octagonal mirror!) The "art" is one of the reasons I find the finished room to be so awful.
      And I totally get the art thing, more than you assume … but thanks.
      Hope you have found a place in life to apply your lectures and questionable advice. And that you follow your counsel that if one "can't deliver, they need to back off." That sounds like it might be advice that would be helpful to you … someone who seems to assume a lot.

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    5. Actually Gail, the only person lecturing here is you and it a relief to know we don't have to pay to read it. So you don't like the "dried and pressed flowers" even though they have become quite a staple in the design world and we have seen gallery walls full of them on this and other websites. I can understand you don't like them, but they served their purpose in this instance in that they filled a large void left on the wall by having used a smaller scale mirror. Clearly Miles Redd did not see a need to put more color into the room or for that matter introduce a third or fourth color so he chose the neutral tones to play off of the leather chairs. You, as stated earlier, saw more of the room than I did since I have not seen the magazine. That was my assumption and by your own admission, I was correct. I have seen enough of it to determine that it was not divided into thirds, that the ikat fabric adds a bit of airiness to an otherwise heavy room and the over all feel of the room is comfortable and inviting. It is far more subdued than many of his designs. I don't recall having given you any advice at all, let alone questionable advice. In any event, I doubt that you could afford it.

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    6. So your idea of "design" is to take badly framed (rippling) pieces of pressed flowers to "fill a large void?" Wow.
      And, if you would take time to read the magazine, rather than assume, you will see that Redd added a (hideous) peacock blue screen (why?), left the red topped side table, dark green lamps,the green obelisk, the horrible ferny plant in the corner and a silly plant on the too small, dated coffee table (yes, metal coffee tables are back "in" but not this one.) The navy couch is as inexplicable as the brown one in the family room. I have to wonder if Redd pulled it from his warehouse after not using it on another job and convinced his poor, gullible client that it "worked." The reason for using that rug is beyond understanding and what is that thing under the coffee table?
      You'd be surprised what I can afford … but your advice is clearly something I would not pay for … along with many others who do not, I'm sure.
      But - hey, have a good day.

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    7. I'm having a fabulous day primarily laughing at your arrogant assessment of Miles Redd's room. Why don't you actually give valid reasons for your points of view rather than taking your Smith and Wesson out of your under garments and shooting off nonsense. Tell us why you think the navy sofa is wrong or why the metal table is wrong. Why don't you just tell Mr. Redd that his design is just full of horse manure because you sitting on your lofty high horse "don't get it". I am certain that he would lose a lot of sleep over it. I did see the peacock blue screen. There may have been an obvious reason to have used a screen and its color can be found in the rug which you also seem to hate. I think I am beginning to see a pattern - you just hate this room and feel angry that you can't convince others to hate it as well. This is a masculine room and may have been designed as a sitting room for after dinner drinks or perhaps it's the main living room for a family that loves eclectic design with vibrant colors. If the owners read this blog, however, they are going to be so dismayed that they did not first consult with Gail. The room is not my taste, but I also have sense enough to know that what I am viewing in a picture is absent the flow of the rest of the spaces in the home as well as not knowing how this room functions for the family. I doubt you know any of this either. Just for the hell of it, why don't you tell us how you would have designed this room or how you would change those elements you don't like. Oh I forgot, I guess we need to empty the room first. Paging Mr. Redd, paging Mr. Redd, we have a wannabe who needs you to vacate your "warehouse" stuff so that she can use her finely honed design skills to show the blogging community who really wears a D cup. lol!

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    8. Uh huh … uh huh … uh huh ...

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    9. Oh my, I really didn't think you were serious about proving you could wear a "D" cup. Uh huh ... uh huh... the sound of one lifting those 50 lb weights or is that just your brain finally kicking in???

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    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    11. I think Gail made some valid observations.

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  51. I agree with you on everything and I hope you don't change your colors or style. That is what attracted me to your blog in the beginning. You got me out of the rut I had been in for years and I thank you so much for that. I love love love every room in your home. I don't think I could even choose a favorite. I look forward to your blogs so much. It makes my day. Thanks so much, Kathy

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  52. I am so glad you posted this … and you were much kinder than I would have been.
    I was aghast as I browsed the Feb 2014 issue of House Beautiful. There was absolutely nothing lovely or good about either the Living Room or the hideous Family Room in the Miles Redd house. Ugh - so much junk stuck here and there with no rhyme or reason. And the blue & white Ikat in the living room, placed to divide the room in thirds! What was he thinking? Redd needs to learn when to tell a client that the ugly rugs, bad art and awful hand-me-down pieces need to go. I thought it certainly could not be the home of a young couple with children. What a mess.
    Then there's the Oppenheimer's Chicago house "decorated" by Steven Gambrel ... I seriously thought I was browsing a catalog of a warehouse full of mismatched left-overs from various movie sets. The entryway, that library, the drapes? … there's nothing lovely, good or welcoming in the whole place. Awful.
    You didn't take time to mention the five ridiculous bedroom "make-overs" of the New Orleans based guest editor, Sarah Ruffin Costello. Perhaps her friend's bedrooms are in a back alley brothel … who knows? I mean how can one use the term "utterly charming" for a bedroom with a drawing of a buzzard hanging over the bed?? The whole mis-guided issue seems to be her responsibility - or fault.
    My husband, who has no vision or interest in design whatsoever flipped through the pages and said "This issue should be called House Horrible!" … and I agree.
    Thanks, Joni. I was looking for a place to vent my disappointment with this issue of House Beautiful.

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  53. Latest trend Turkish traditional item for to use in home decoration, kilim rugs, kilim pillow, iznik ceramic, copper handicarft products, ottoman lamps, handmade glass products if you want to learn about Istanbul and Turkish culture please visit www.magiccityistanbul.blogspot.com for to see some items plse visit www.shoppistanbul.blogspot.com

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  54. I enjoyed this post, Joni! My favorites were the more subtle complimentary patterns. I still LOVE your bedroom the most!

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  55. Lovely and charming decorations. The woodland theme is so right for this time of year. Coincidentally, I put my super large mercury glass ornaments into an ironstone bowl this year. That was after my tree fell over from the weight of heavy ornaments. Now it is tethered to a beam in the wall. There is something to be said for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Merry Christmas to you and Tom. Room Decor

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  56. Lovely and charming decorations. The woodland theme is so right for this time of year. Coincidentally, I put my super large mercury glass ornaments into an ironstone bowl this year. That was after my tree fell over from the weight of heavy ornaments. Now it is tethered to a beam in the wall. There is something to be said for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Merry Christmas to you and Tom. Room Decor

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  57. Love this post and kinda affirmed that not a big fan of wallpaper! Love your own rooms though - do you have a special trick for washing slipcovers? Would love if you could reply or send a link as not sure if you've written about this before? Many thanks, NB in Ontario, Canada

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  58. Love to see wallpaper......... In someone else's house!

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  59. I love wallpaper and I agree with you, but those brown sofas that Miles Redd installed in his designs are hideous. It annoys me a bit that just because a design is in a magazine, its fabulous. Sorry, don't think so. That first photo is unbelievable-please don't take us back to the 70's with paneled walls and icky colors. The Bunny Williams room IS fabulous and I also love the Flowering Quince and Imperial Trellis, but, Wearstler's new paper that looks like a kindergartner's finger painting? HIDEOUS. HIDEOUS. Also love your bedroom paper, it is really pretty.

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    1. Paneled walls have been in vogue long before the 70's. You see them in custom designed and built homes - not builder spec houses. Take a look at the blog Belgian Pearls and you will see many beautifully executed paneled rooms in living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, etc. Perhaps in your geographic area and experiences you associate them with the 70's, but you are mistaken. As to brown sofas, I believe Michael Smith put one in the private living quarters of the Obamas that I saw also in a magazine. It was a traditional style, woven fabric that looked like velvet with bullion fringe - very handsome indeed. Perhaps it's the contemporary style that so many are opposed to.

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  60. 'Thank you, I learnt a lot from that. This site is like a tutorial!

    .... but let's not encourage faux-book wallpaper .... instead let's have lots of REAL BOOKS! Today in England on the trains and buses, all I see are the young reading off screens or pecking away like Starlings at keyboreds (yes I man KeyBOREDs). Don't they realise it's the smell, the feel and the weight of a book that is as pleasing as it's content! Interior Designers everywhere must set an example!

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  61. Thank you for the post but I find all but 3 or 4 of the rooms way too busy and cluttered. The faux book wallpaper was dreadful. Your posts are always interesting and informative.

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  62. That batik style wallpaper makes the room. Imagine a plain wall - this paper make the room sing! I love the room (Vogue photo) for so many reasons: the furnature isn't precious (meaning: if you have the creativity, doing a room like this is possible) Also, patterns and textures all blend nicely, the blue and white drum seats adds a terrific punch....and finally: windows/doors used like this, what a wonderful feature. What a stellar environment this is!

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  63. Miles Redd is having the effect of downmarketing the expensive, ultra-chic handpainted Chinoiserie wall. Think of all the English stately homes that proudly feature rooms adorned with this, and now it's everywhere. That's what I believe people are objecting to.

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  64. I love your blog. This is a cool site and I wanted to post a little note to tell you, good job! Best wishes!!!

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  65. Joni, I love chinoiserie paper, particularly hand painted. I agree with you on that brown sofa. Why? I like some of the batik style papers, but a lot of it, I don't like. My favorite papers are the scenic ones from the 1800's. Zuber. And one of my favorite papered rooms is the one in Bunny Williams' guest house that has a great paper with a center table draped in green, as I recall.

    Grass cloth is such a throwback to the Seventies when everyone and their dog had it, but I do so love that one Miles Redd living room that is done in either silk or grass cloth and the blues that you featured above.

    xo

    Sheila

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