One feature of interior design is wallpaper. Offices, restaurants, surgeries, public houses and of course homes, are just a few of the numerous places wall coverings have been and continue to be utilized. Whatever the reason to add a wall covering, the result is always impressive. Be it a simple wood chip paper to hide cracks or an expensive embossed paper with a crushed velvet finish, the added touch of a decorative paper will always be appreciated.
Wallpaper materialized in the 1500's but before that wall tapestries were being hung up in the prosperous properties and cheaper woollen or canvas hangings in the homes of the more suburban. As well as providing colour to a room these coverings also have the additional benefit of insulation which was and is still much needed.
Wallpaper can influence the choice of other furnishings in a room and has had a long and important role in decorative strategies. Design imitations range from tapestry, velvet, chintz, silk drapery, linen, wood and masonry and continue to change as the needs of people's preferences in decor change.
Employing the block and stencil method wallpapering designs were first created in just that way. Blocks would have been fashioned from hard woods such as oak. A pattern would first be sculpted into the block and then different coloured dyes would then be coated over the design. After colouring the block it would then be positioned and pressed down onto a paper leaving a design. As manufacturing improved, blocks would have been mounted above a table with the paper being pulled below as the block would descend and make the impressions in a repetitive process. In this day and age screen printing is used for specially hand-printed wallpapers, although block printing may still be used for specialist restoration work. Time and demand led to much faster processes of machine printing and can be seen printed today on continuous rolls of paper.
Having discovered the joys of wallpapering, some ingenious souls have come up with new design ideas such as patterned borders and embossed friezes which are produced to separate walls, frame intriguing features and improve the proportions of a room. With many of the older buildings built with higher ceilings to make rooms look very tall, diminishing furnishings in size, splitting up the wall areas with friezes and borders can create a more objective and cordial feel to a room.
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