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JLB 2012 Show House Reveal: Design Inspiration Part II

Posted by Cecilia Walker on

My space at the Potter Estate is the Back Entrance and Hallway, which is open to the Back Stairwell.  John Coles was assigned the Back Stairwell space, so when coming up with a design plan, I wanted to get an idea of the wall mural that he would paint.  I met John late in July, when the Junior League held a luncheon for all the designers who had been selected for the show house.

John had a rendering to show me.  His inspiration came from Auguste Edouart (1789–1861), a French-born portrait artist who worked in England, Scotland and the United States in the 19th-century, and specialized in portrait silhouettes.

by Auguste Eduoart – Portrait of Abbott Lawrence family “in their library,” no.5 Park Street, Boston


John’s idea was to capture the silhouettes of the Potter children climbing the back stairs and would use creams and grays in his color scheme.  Fantastic!  I thought.  Besides being so creative, his design would be a neutral palette, certainly something I could work with.  John’s mural would have a pattern to it, so our one shared wall (from the back door entrance to the stair landing halfway between the 1st and 2nd floors) would need careful consideration, so as not to compete or take away from his work.

Before I had seen John’s mural rendering, I had ideas of what to do with the hallway space.  It’s narrow, has ten doorways (into other rooms or closets), 11-foot ceilings, and very little wall space to hang art.  I wanted to do a bold wallpaper, and incorporate a modern aesthetic with the Victorian architecture, and came up with the idea to use 3 different wallpapers in greys.

 From top to bottom:  Schumacher Scrim Texture | Schumacher Indore Paisley | Graham & Brown Sherwood | Farrow & Ball Blackened 2011

The Graham & Brown paper is textured, embossed and shiny.  I chose this as the main wallpaper because I wanted to make a statement with a bold print, but also because I wanted the paper have movement and an organic feel — to ease the eye, in a hallway filled with so many doorways at different heights with so many straight angles.  And both the Graham & Brown paper and Schumacher Indore paisley (the paisley, a traditional design in an oversized scale) are contemporary — playing into the aesthetic of a juxtaposing a modern feel into a Victorian setting.

A close-up of the textured Graham & Brown paper.

Stay tuned for more of the reveal, which will show how I placed the papers in my space, and look back here to see Farrow & Ball on the ceiling.

images:  (1) Auguste Eduoart via  Wikipedia Commons; (2-4) photos by Ei3’s

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