paper chase

January 14, 2021

In the last twenty years, I’ve written upwards of twenty stories on wallpaper. “Wallpaper makes a comeback!” “Out of the doldrums with a splash!” “Getting the hang of wallpaper!” It’s one of those decor trends that sticks around. And with fabulous reason. Wallpaper is divine. It broke my heart to peel away the poppies from Luma and Antimo’s room when we renovated our home. I even framed a square of it for posterity. And when we moved back in, I watched with glee as a wallpaper I have adored for years went up in the guest loo. Loos are the best place for a decadent wallpaper, because you get to sit there (preferably, alone) with time to contemplate the room around you. Loos are also small, which makes the experience rich and intense. There’s a dizzying array of papers out there, and many are cheap as chips. But if it’s a small wall you’re decorating, I say, splurge. Pierre Frey makes beautiful papers, as does Le Manach, the 18th century French fabric house Frey acquired in 2014. This short film is captivating, as we watch the many steps involved in making the wallpaper, the traditional techniques, the history, and the number of hands that work on every roll. Of course, they make it look easy. And the classical music helps it all feel like a dance.

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