Laurelhurst Dining Room Project

August 28, 2017

Laurelhurst Dining Room Project

Our clients purchased a beautiful 1912 Arts & Crafts home in Portland’s lush Laurelhurst neighborhood and have been making various upgrades.  They contacted us about replacing the wallpaper in their dining room.  


They weren’t fond of the style of the existing paper, and some damage had occurred.


They were looking for an authentic paper that might have been installed when the house was built.  They came to our studio and we spent some time looking through our amazing collection of wallpaper sample books as well as wallpaper rolls from the 1910s.  In rare cases, we may have enough of a given paper that a whole room can be done using antique wallpaper, but it is more likely that the pattern will need to be reproduced. 

They selected several different options and thanks to the wonders of Photoshop, we were able to get a pretty good idea how the various patterns would look in their dining room.  Here are a few examples:

 This is a beautiful William Shand Kydd paper produced around 1910 – 1910 in London, England.  We generally focus on American papers but when a paper is this great, we make exceptions and we have several original repeats of the “Peacock in Brambles” on grasscloth-embossed paper.  This image shows the paper at its actual size, with the peacock fitting perfectly into the space on the left side of the door.  The colors worked wonderfully with room appointments however, it was decided that it was perhaps an overpowering statement as the clients wanted the paper not to be the star of the show but an ensemble player.


This paper was made by M.H. Birge & Sons circa 1905 – 1908.  Birge papers are our passion and the primary driver behind the creation of Bolling & Company, and this is particularly lovely subtlety hued “leather” embossed paper.  The clients loved the paper but felt the overall effect was too dark.


This frieze of hawthorn berry branches was produced by Robert Graves Company of New York, circa 1910-1915.  The paper has a woven, tapestry effect and while intrinsically stunning, the doors and built ins in the room would result in the frieze being truncated.


The pattern that the clients were probably most drawn to was this one which was found in one of our sample books from 1915, manufacturer unspecified (jobbers often put together books under their name with papers available from many different providers and generally did not note the actual manufacturer.)

The size of the pattern was modified slightly to allow the pendant to fit above doorways, windows, and built-ins.  The lower portion of the pattern adds a nice emphasis to the plate rail. 

We also looked at some different colorways:

In the end, we used the original colorway with some slight tweaks to bring in some of the red and blue tones from the rug and other room appointments.  We also extended the center “oatmeal” area to fit the space.


The next step was to have a sample made and we worked with a printer, sourced some very nice paper substrate and assessed how the paper would look in the room.


With client approval, we arranged for the printing of the paper and its installation.  The paperhanger first had to strip the paper off the walls, fill cracks, prime and then apply a liner paper.  Here are the prepped walls:


 Finally, the installation:


Here are photos of the room with the new paper (and a new chandelier) installed:

The client’s reaction:

“The dining room looks great - as if the wallpaper had always been there!”