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Monday, February 27, 2012




I truly believe that every home needs a least one papered room, if not two.  Entry halls beg for the impact of oversized patterns running up and down stairways, and usually need a greater degree of warmth than other rooms.  An inviting entry-hall transforms that sometimes awkward moment of transition from public to private space into the perfect a-ha moment when visitors can wordlessly receive your well-meaning intent of welcome and hospitality. Since this area is not one in which you will daily inhabit for extended periods, throw caution to the wind and go bold with colors or patterns that sizzle and dazzle.  Provoke the senses, especially touch, through textured papers which are now embroidered with gem-stones, shells, bows, and beads.  Grass-cloths have been reintroduced with varied weaves, and colors ranging from Inca-gold yellow to endless-death black to Chinese blood-red.   Stripes run the gamut from sporty casual to traditionally proper; if you adore animals and plants, then the entire planet is at your fingertips (or roller).  Historical buffs can delve into scenes from the past or present, and Sheila Bridge's contemporary take on idyllic chinoiseries are sure to shake up even the most jaded visitor.  If you keep using Grandma's floral pattern of cabbage roses and scrolling ribbons in the den as your only reference point, a trip to the local design center or paint-and-paper store should be scheduled immediately for the array of patterns is endless and is sure to inspire even the most reluctant amongst us.

One of my favorite designers, Matthew Patrick Smyth, whose interiors we've all swooned over because of his classic style, sense of relaxed comfort, and masterful mix of antiques and contemporary pieces, said of (the use of) wallpaper; "  It has come from being looked down upon by some as an old fashioned decorating trick to a key ingredient in design.  It can be subtle, bold, serene or flashy and can transform a space instantly.  The range to choose from is enormous.  Over the last few years the development of new and innovative production techniques have led to many creative applications.  Wallpaper's value as a design tool has greatly increased and continues to do so."  Today's visual treat, courtesy of the talented Mr. Smyth, speaks of warmth, elegance, and tradition, yet also quite livable and without pretense.  Any occasion for dining, including dim-sum from the local take-out would be memorable within this beautiful walls.

Mr. Smyth's portfolio may be viewed at, and his beautiful new coffee-table book entitled Living Traditions:  Interiors by Matthew Patrick Smyth, may be purchased online or through your local book-shop.


PS:  today's soundtrack is PULSHAR's Kms (Pablo Bolivar Space Edit)

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