Monday, February 3, 2014


Suffice to say the Valentine's party is occupying a lot of my attention right now.  Because it is in less than a week, but you couldn't tell if you looked at my house.  This weekend we made coconut marshmallows (modifying this recipe) and started the layer cake, ordered rentals and hit the supercenter for pre-made delicacies.  On an unrelated note, I made this Fettucini Alfredo with Cauliflower and Peas for dinner and it was AWESOME.  You would not know the sauce is mostly cauliflower puree, and it was really good alfredo sauce.

But Fettucine Alfredo actually transitions nicely into this week's research--tone on tone wallpaper.  My friend Kristina asked for some recommendations for her bedroom.  She was looking for sources and direction, and said tonal, some sheen.  I like to think of Kristina as a hippy trapped inside a yuppie--she is really green, lived in Oregon (and liked it....), but is now a corporate lawyer living in the burbs in a lovely, traditional brand-spankin'-new home.  Oh, and she grew up in Connecticut long enough for it to leave a little bit of a prep stamp.
I still love you, Asuka (Osbourne & Little).
So, while any pattern can be delivered in a tonal metallic, I focused on non-figural, non-floral here and things that could swing modern but aren't locked in to the cover of Dwell.
Osbourne and Little's Coronata Star

First, what are my sources for wallpaper?  I like Tangletree Interiors out of the UK.  Their prices are really good.  I have bought samples from Inside Fabric.  Serena and Lilly and Anthropologie also offer wallpaper to us commoners.  And if you have a to-the-trade print, you can go to the Pacific Design Center and they will get it for you (at a significant discount from MSRP, but sometimes the internet can do better).  Locally, Everyday Paint and Wallpaper carries a lot of big brands (and soon I'll have a retail license so I can source almost anything...mwahahaha).

Tone on tone is pretty easy to find--a lot of patterns will be available in it so long as you are good with white-cream-gray as your "tones".  Cole and Sons offerings alone will satiate most wandering minds (pic your pallette, and see what they've got), and they offer some nice metallics.

But what really gets the mind going is eye-candy, right?  So let's go down the rabbit hole.............

While it may surprise some, I have shopped for a calm, greige wallpaper for my bedroom.  I ended up going with paint for cost reasons, but these were my top choices:

Farrow & Ball's Lotus has always topped my list, although it is not available with any sheen:

Cole & Son's Malachite (delightfully metallic):

Side note:  Available in tonal green.....

And Brunschwig's Monterrey, available at a steal from a fav ebay seller:

And its pretty awesome.  A cream to beige metallic with white caning over it.  A little preppy, a little classic.

But there are plenty of others....Beside's Cole and Son's offerings alluded to above, I like  Graham and Brown 's shiny, tonal offerings (and they are very affordable at under $100/roll).


This zen beauty is on sale for $30 a roll!

What else to discuss with tonal wallpaper?
Tonal damasks (like above) are a dime a dozen, and I don't think there is anything wrong with them...they just got so accessible the plebeians have misused them.   And Candace Olsen may have used them one too many times, but I wouldn't totally rule it out if the rest of the room is nice and modern.  Tonal might also be in the overused category, but I just can't quit KWID's trellis
 in Alabaster, via Schumacher
(and there are plenty of stencils, if you need trellis on a budget).

On the less-sheen side, Farrow and Ball has a ton--everything is available in tonal hues, but they don't offer any with sheen.  However, their hand-screened prints have enough texture that I think its worth considering:  (I sent a link to their new designs last week).

I'm kinda feeling Ocelot:

And then there is the faux bois camp.  Which I'm an honorary member of.

Nobilis is chic, and you'll pay for it

Nice roundup of Nobilis use here.
Apparently, Cole and Sons has faux bois too.

And then you can always DIY a faux bois with some glaze.  Martha did, and so did Jenny.  Just google it....the secret is this rocker:

Or you can grab Martha's paintable 3-d faux bois wallpaper and paint it however you like ($30/yd).

The other big tonal group trending these days is the cloud camp.  Which I'm also a fan of (we're like Fox News here--I rarely give airtime to anyone I disagree with):
Cole and Sons in House Beautiful, via 

detail of Cole and Sons in another colorway

Anthropologie, available here.

 Assuming the spacing works out, I like Anthro's mural if the room is being done in soft grays.

Anybody got some more ideas?  Bonus points for everything under $100/roll.

Happy Super Bowl Monday,everybody!

Have an extra cup of coffee and don't eat chips and dip form another 364 days.  Obvs, I didn't watch it (no cable) so I'm expecting you to tell me which ads are worth watching.  Are you guys following Patrick Stewart on Twitter?  Apparently you should--if you want to keep up with his bromance with Ian McKellen (see here).  Yeah, that is totally reason enough for me.

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