The Classiest Wall Covering

If you’ve ever toured a fine historic home, such as Winterthur, no doubt you fell in love with the wallpaper.  Back in the 19th Century, wallpaper wasn’t so much wallpaper as hand painted masterpieces and one of a kind works of art. 

Usually hand painted in China, antique wall paper was actually paper, so not much is found intact or still hanging after all this time.  But it is a look that will be unequaled….or will it?


If you have a room that deserves the best, the very best, consider hand painted, one of a kind wall coverings.  One option you can consider is to hire an artist to paint a mural.  I had a family member who actually did this once for a hallway.  He hired a local art student to paint a mural of palm trees in his home in the Virgin Islands.  It looked spectacular, and didn’t cost as much as you think it would, since it was done by an art student looking to make a name for herself.

If given the opportunity, I would use a Chinoiserie motif on the walls of the dining room.  Chinoiserie refers to an artistic style that reflects Chinese influence. With its elaborate decoration, intricate patterns and fanciful décor, Chinoiserie was particularly popular in the mid to late 18th Century and paintings and pictures usually featured bright colored birds, butterflies and florals, much like you would find on antique Chinese porcelain. 

Could you work a one of a kind, custom wall covering into your budget decorating project?  Well, necessity if the mother of invention, and if you find gorgeous wall coverings necessary, create some.

Hand Decorated Wallpaper

There is a wide selection of embossed wallpapers available.  Often made to mimic old, ornate plasterwork in Victorian homes, the embossing can be anything from florals to neoclassical designs.  Now this is going to sound tedious, but if you enjoyed coloring as a youngster, you’ll enjoy this project.

How To….

After the wallpaper is hung, apply a solid base coat of paint and allow it to dry.  Paint selected areas in contrasting colors using a small brush.  Use quality, small brushes and have plenty of paint on hand to mix up some colors.  Take a few weekends to work on it, you may enjoy going back to coloring in the lines!

If you love distinct wall coverings and one of a kind, expensive wallpaper, but your decorating budget doesn’t, consider creating your own masterpiece.