Wallpaper long has been known as a desirable wall covering. There are many excellent reproductions of Early American and Colonial papers available at moderate cost - printed in attractive color and combinations of color. Wallpaper panels - sections of interesting wallpaper design framed by moldings or borders - are used with good results. Brocades, velvets, and crewel patterns are recommended for paneled rooms. Mr. Matlack Price has discussed, briefly, fabricated wall materials and wallpaper in the following paragraphs taken from his article "Wall Treatment: Texture, Color and Design":1
Chief among fabricated materials, other than wallpapers, which add color and pattern to the interiors, is undoubtedly Sanitas, which of recent years has made a distinct advance in pattern design. Sanitas patterns compare more closely with wallpaper patterns, having abandoned an earlier tendency toward oilcloth, and in a material which, for certain purposes, serves better than wallpaper. If walls are in a bad condition, with old or new cracks, Sanitas, or its newer cousin, Wall-Tex, provides an ideal solution.
1 In Arts and Decoration, July, 1930. Printed by courtesy of the Arts and Decoration magazine.
The makers of Sanitas have recently introduced a new wall covering called Metalline Brocade, a material in "period" patterns, with a lustrous, satin-like finish and delicate embossing. Here, certainly, are promising possibilities, when a wall covering can be devised to so closely approximate the effect of rich fabrics and at the same time be cleanable with a damp cloth.
The new material called Wall-Tex reminds us of the advantage enjoyed by any decorative product in which, all other things being equal, the element of
Fig. 51. - Wallpaper, plain or with a design, provides many effective wall finishes design has been well and capably styled. Here are designs modern in feeling and technique, and suited in character to city apartment or country home. Quaint chintz patterns, too, provide for interiors that are English or Early American in feeling.
As to wallpaper, never before has it been in a stronger position in decorative favor than it is to-day. There was a time when wallpaper, failing to keep abreast of changing tendencies in decoration, came to be thought of as "old-fashioned." To-day, the situation is entirely different. Importations bring over the very latest in modern patterns from Europe, and our own designers are beginning to create unconventional patterns here.
Wallpaper, as a decorative resource, contributes to the interior pattern, color, and period characteristics, and with the present range offered, the perfect selection is entirely up to the decorator. What is more charming, for instance, in a Provencal French interior than a wallpaper reproduction of one of the old Toiles de Jouy? Or what more perfect for the Early American interior than one of the many reproductions of early wallpapers? Decorators have enriched wallpapered rooms by antiquing, which is a process that not only enhances the material but preserves it. For simple waterproofing, which will give a glazed effect, clear, transparent varnish is used over a first coat of glue size. After the paper has been given the protection of sizing and varnishing it may be antiqued by a third coat of much diluted orange shellac. At wallpaper stores there may be had a special preparation for antiquing, which produces exactly the degree of mellowing and brings out all the best qualities of the paper.
New decorative materials serve new decorative needs and trends, but it is safe to say that there will never be a substitute for wallpaper. Nothing will ever take its place, nor is anything likely to provide, within reasonable cost, such a versatile decorative resource. The range in wallpaper prices is almost as great as the range in styles, covering papers from sixty cents a roll to papers at three dollars and a half, and upward. The pictorial landscape papers come in sets, and are priced by the set rather than by the roll, with a range from twelve dollars for. six-strip sets to seventy-five dollars, and more, for some of the imported sets.
Modern decoration calls for wallpaper patterns that are rather delicate in coloring and of a whimsical, often "sketchy" sort of design, departing definitely from the conventional. Many of these have the appearance of being free-hand quality that comes to us through an artist's direct work. The machine, at last, seems to have been conquered by the makers of modern wallpapers to a point where it does not mechanize a design and delete from it all spontaneity.
This, certainly, the modern movement seems in a way to give us. The machine, for years, had dominated design and made it a conventional unimaginative thing. Now, in the outstanding instances where authentic original design has come into the field of textiles and wallpapers, the machine has been put to work to interpret and realize, rather than suppress the designer's expression.
Wallpaper, however, like our other decorative resources, has not gone entirely modern. While it has shown a progressive spirit in the production of essentially modern designs, it has, by no means, discontinued its historic reproductions or its more conventional styles. There are still the highly stylized flock papers that rival in depth and texture the rich fabrics they reproduce, and there are still the quaint and charming floral papers that bring the colors and patterns of decorative chintzes into the room.
[Note. - Wallpaper: Excellentinformation on measuring rooms for paper, trimming, paste, and hanging, may be obtained from The Paper Hangers' Manual. Wallpaper Guild of America, 461 Eighth Ave., New York City. Pp. 32.]