Ghosts of Wallpaper Past

I’ve actually never had wallpaper anywhere I lived. We always used paint in the house where I grew, which surprises me in a way. My father is colorblind (red/green, the most common form) and that influenced all the color choices of paint.

Translation: The interior was yellow. It was the one color he could see.

But wallpaper design certainly would have been something he could see. It was probably too much work to put up. If something got too complicated to do, he’d say, “This is turning into a project.”

Then there’s the wallpaper in the house my great-great father built. The house was built in the late 1800s, right when the Victorian era was a huge influence. The house itself is on the state historical register and the national register, and the family trust is trying to get it declared a national landmark.

This site has seven photos of the exterior.

Everyone describes walking into the house like stepping back into time. Every family member who lived in that house did not change anything (unlike other houses in the area where owners put a wet bar into the entrance way or remodeled to make it modern).

But all the walls are covered with handmade wallpaper.

And it’s textured!

My grandfather was a dry goods merchant turned future big business owner (Kimberly-Clark), so he had a good eye for textures. He hand picked all the wallpaper in the house.

So this video was fascinating to watch, even if it is about a process from 1968. The machine process probably came out of the hand making process, and there are some techniques done by hand were probably used in my great-great grandfather’s day.


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