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Archive for March 2014

Honeybees Adorn this J. R. Burrows Wallpaper

Burrows’ Honeybee Pattern in Powder Room – Detail 1

Burrows’ Honeybee Pattern in Powder Room – Detail 2

As painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, we recently did extensive plaster restoration in preparation for the redecorating of this century-old house in one of Chicago’s rejuvenating old neighborhoods. For the project, we used several historical colors and historical wall coverings. The client referred to her wallpaper selections as the “Jewels” of the house.

The wallpapers she chose for the house were all from the J.R. Burrows collection of American Arts and Crafts designs and patterns from the 1880s – 1920s. All the wallpapers are untrimmed and made to order. Before installing the wall coverings, we first hung liner paper to ensure a proper bond to old plaster walls.

During the past week, we installed he first wallpaper in the powder room adjacent to the kitchen, using the Honeybee pattern. We also cut out the edge pattern of the frieze version of this Honeybee pattern and used it to frame the arched opening for the pedestal sink and mirror.

We are looking forward to installing three more Burrows wall coverings in the next few weeks, as the papers are delivered to us. They will include: the Coleman Bower style in the Dining Room, the Pervis wallpaper and its companion frieze in the Vestibule and The Stag border in the Upper bath. You can expect to see more pictures soon. We enjoy helping clients give a “period” look to their vintage houses.

An Upholstered Border Was the Answer, Not Paint this Time!

Roman Shade - Missoni Fabric

Roman Shade – Missoni Fabric

As painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, we are regularly asked to execute decorative painting projects of all sorts. On occasion we are asked to reproduce a pattern from a picture or a fabric. We recently came across such a project. However, in this particular instance, we felt that a painted finish would not give the optimal result for our client. Read on for details and pictures.

Installed Upholstered Border

Installed Upholstered Border

Detail of Missoni Upholstered Border

Detail of Missoni Upholstered Border

In her master bath, our client had a Roman shade made out of a most expensive Missoni fabric. She wanted to replicate the pattern in the upper part of the shade on the three other walls (about a foot in height and twenty feet in total length). She approached us with the idea of using paints to recreate this intricate pattern with about a dozen different colors. Considering the complexity of the pattern, this request was somewhat intimidating, because it would virtually impossible not to have imperfections in the execution of the work.

In the course of the conversation, she told me that she was a brain surgeon. Then the light bulb went off in my head! I said to myself: “As a brain surgeon, she has microscopic vision and will see any small imperfection in the color or pattern of this painted border”. This is when a brought up to my client the idea of creating an upholstered border using the same Missoni fabric and a cording to frame the edges. My client had never heard of upholstered walls, but thought this alternative to paint would give her the exactness she was looking for. So, she agreed to proceed.

Ten weeks later, the fabric finally came from Italy and our team proceeded with creating the upholstered border, and completed the installation within a week. The client was delighted. The border pattern matched perfectly with that of the Roman shade! Upholstered walls can at times be the best choice, if the budget permits.