Over the past six months, A-Gent of Style started noticing around him the ancient Asian pattern of the wave and also fish scales. Suddenly, these two scalloped designs seem to appear everywhere before him and A-Gent soon realised they were ubiquitous – in shops or restaurants, in the streets, in fashion, design and home magazines, online of course and many other appearances. What turned into a game of ‘spot-the-pretty-fish-scales-pattern’ almost ended up in an obsession and even hallucinations.
This is a compilation of all the images and photographs A-Gent of Style has accumulated featuring waves and fish scales in all their various shapes and representations. Now, you too might start noticing them everywhere.
Will you catch the bug!?
– artisanal –
– timeless –
You probably wouldn’t need to know more about today’s topic and its recipient but A-Gent of Style couldn’t resist introducing you to a very special kind of wallpapers.
I’ve always been a huge advocate of wallpapers (as you may have noticed when I reviewed here the Astrid & Rudolf collection) and this summer, it has been my privilege to work on a special project:
In the 18th C and up until the end of the 19th C, paper hangings were all the rage; sadly they suffered a sharp decline in the early 20th C and since then, have gone in and out of style; today, they are slowly and timorously making a come-back and despite being featured in design magazines (both House & Garden and Homes & Gardens handsomely featured Adelphi Paper Hangings in their August publications), it is still rare to spot them being used in situ in contemporary interiors, and if they are, they are more than often likely to be seen in small, discreet spaces like bathrooms or guest bedrooms.
To me, wallpapers add texture, pattern, dimension, character and sometimes history and architecture to a room, much more than paint could ever do.
Soon it will be time for the Dead Salmons, Elephant Breaths, Slate IIIs and Pale Linens of this world to take a side step.
I yearn to see this renaissance and resurgence of paper hangings and for decorators and householders to embrace them boldly once again. Thomas Jayne, the talented, learned American decorator with a penchant for history and place, has used Adelphi Paper Hangings in many of his projects and has helped, in my opinion, promote the treatment of historical paper hanging with glorious effect.
Since 1999, Adelphi Paper Hangings, based in Sharon Springs, New York state, has endeavoured to reproduce authentic and historic block-printed wallpapers from archives of American houses using artisanal methods, traditional tools and materials – designs are printed one colour at a time using pear wood blocks and a traditional 19th C style press.
Over the last few weeks, I have done my research from Tissus d’Hélène, my friend Helen Cormack’s boutique showroom in Chelsea Harbour Design Centre specialising in artisanal fabrics and wallpapers, who represent Adelphi Paper Hangings in the UK.
I have been amazed to see not only the meticulous craftmanship involved in producing painstakingly and amorously these stunning wallpapers but also to learn about each period of American history the original documents stem from – a treat for A-Gent of Style who majored in American Civilisation at university many moons ago. You will see from Adelphi Paper Hangings‘s comprehensive website that the history of each wallpaper and the distinguished house it was found in is explained with great information and accuracy.
“Our work is based on exhaustive and continuing research into methods, materials, techniques and styles. Each order is individually hand printed by skilled artisans without compromises in quality, historical accuracy or consistency.”
“Working from original documents that range from an entire wall’s worth of antique wallpaper to a modest box of faded, water damaged scraps still attached to chunks of plaster, Adelphi Paper Hangings has successfully reproduced wallpapers which date from the 1740s through the 1930s. By understanding the nature of historic paints, the muting effect of time, as well as the historic context and fashions, Adelphi Paper Hangings can successfully interpret documentary evidence and accurately reproduce the style, character and look of original period documents.”
The fascinating and dazzling thing about Adelphi Paper Hangings is that all of these wallpapers appear ancient and modern at the same time and have remained today as beautiful as some of them would have looked three centuries ago.
I hope you will concur with A-Gent of Style…
(NB: you can see each picture in full by clicking on it)
Borders & Friezes
Tonight at 8pm on Channel 4 starts a brand new series on interior design, Hollywood Me, starring the fantastic Martyn Lawrence Bullard, “interior designer to the stars” (Cher, Sharon Osbourne, Elton John, Tamara Mellon, etc), who will jet unsuspecting Brits to Los Angeles for a surprise makeover, while secretly giving their home the Hollywood treatment.
I met the flamboyant designer a couple of times at Tissus d’Hélène a few years ago where he has his delicious collections of fabrics; not only is Bullard extremely talented and his interiors joyous but he is also a formidable character.
We should be in for a treat!