Walls & Ceilings
Old House Journal|September 2020
Walls & Ceilings
DISCOVER DECORATION you could never dream up! Even early on: It turns out that the murky “colonial” palette of the 1950s–1970s was based on paint samples embedded with dirt and altered by time.

True colors included brilliant yellow, Prussian blue and turquoise, clear green, blood red, and rich ivories tinted with grey, yellow, or pink. By the 1870s the Victorian tripartite treatment was fashionable: walls divided into dado (or wainscot) below the chair rail, a fill or field section, and a frieze at the top of the wall. By modern standards, even the simplified treatments of the Arts & Crafts period were decorative. Colors were earthier and yet included gold, grass green, and eggplant, while pastels were used in the bedrooms.

Learn about the rich history of the decorated wall— paint techniques and printed papers, embossed surfaces, ornamental plaster, tile—and white walls may come to feel like the absence of finish, or even a reminder of the whitewash once used in stables. History offers options from subtle to fantastic—adaptable today for something unique.

1. W.F. NORMAN CORPORATION wfnorman.com

Founded in 1898, W. F. Norman Corp. has the nation’s most complete collection of quality, hand-pressed ceilings, cornices, mouldings, and ornaments. Call for a catalog or view their products online. (800) 641-4038

2.& 3. J.P. WEAVER jpweaver.com

Designers and manufacturers of European-inspired interior architectural mouldings since 1914. Creators of the intricately carved Petitsin collection of flexible resin interior mouldings for walls and ceilings. Design services available. (818) 500-1740

4. DRIWOOD MOULDING CO. driwood.com

They create architecturally correct, elegant, embossed and plain hardwood mouldings for residential or commercial projects. More than 500 exceptional mouldings in stock to fit any project. View and shop online. (888) 245-9663

5. WALLPAPER DIRECT wallpaperdirect.com

Suppliers of diverse wallcoverings, including historical Anaglypta and Lincrusta. (855) 972-9723

6. MCCOY MILLWORK mccoymillwork.com

Offers fine interior details for your home. Restore a vintage home or enhance a newer one with finish lumber, corbels, mouldings, mantels, and stair parts. They stock mouldings in hard-to-find vintage patterns. (888) 236-0995

7. DECORATORS SUPPLY decoratorssupply.com


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September 2020