Author: Gregory Herringshaw

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Have You Seen this Matisse Mural?
During the years when America was involved in World War II there was a moratorium on new wallpaper designs as the materials used to make printing rollers and silk screens were all needed for the war effort. This forced manufacturers to continue printing the same designs for years. So when the moratorium ended manufacturers got...
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It’s Just Chicken Feed
The 1950s were the last big hey-day for wallpaper usage. People still papered all four walls and complementary wallpapers were popular. This included a bolder pattern on one wall with a coordinating paper on the three adjoining walls. Another popular option was to paper two adjoining rooms with complementary papers. The fifties was also the...
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A Surreal View of the Land
I have always been fond of landscape friezes and I sometimes wish I lived in a nice bungalow where I could actually use some of these different wall treatments to best effect. I’ve probably mentioned before that wide landscape friezes were popularized by Walter Crane when he introduced his May Tree frieze in 1896, and...
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Looks Good Enough to Eat
Flexi Mother of Pearl is an environmentally responsible wallcovering made with a rapidly renewable natural material that offers an attractive alternative to other surfacing materials. While the name alludes to the natural luster of the mother of pearl material, the wallcovering is actually composed of capiz shells. Thin layers of shell are applied in narrow...
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All Wired Up
I was drawn to this design for its use of common, mundane materials to create a contemporary rendering of a traditional pattern. As a kid, these insulated wires held a special fascination for me. Maybe it was the bright colors of the insulation or the fact that when bent it could hold a pose, but...
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Bad for your Garden, Good for your Walls
When I first saw this wallpaper I had to stop and do a double-take. It is very unusual for an insect to take prominence on a wallpaper design, let along be the only motif. The design consists of a rose chafer beetle, greatly magnified and repeated in diagonal rows; think polka dots with six legs....
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To Your Health
An interesting trend appearing on wallpapers in the 1950s are designs with groups of like objects arranged as if on display. These patterns all seem to contain objects deemed collectible as they include buttons, luggage stickers, or liquor labels, all neatly lined up. And while not a collectible there are also similar designs with produce....
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Trellis by William Morris
William Morris wallpapers are quite extraordinary on several counts. Morris designs are all quite striking, even the patterns printed in a single color. Morris started designing wallpapers in the 1860s and most of these patterns are still being produced today. That says a lot about the appeal of his designs. Cooper Hewitt collection contains most,...
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Hanging Floral Baskets You Don’t Need to Water
I find these hanging baskets rather a novel idea in home decoration. These are used in place of the wide friezes that became popular in the very late years of the nineteenth century. Wide friezes were printed on the paper in a horizontal fashion, which makes perfect sense as that is how they were hung....