Hanging Up

Today’s wallpaper is not your grandmother’s wallpaper.

By Joohee Muromcew • Photography by Cole Buckhart

Wallpaper adds drama to the interior of Frost2.

The most expensive wallpaper in the world, according to Guinness World Records, is an astounding thirty-two-panel panoramic depiction of the American War of Independence printed from original woodblocks carved in 1852 and made (to order) by the venerable Zuber company in France. Each panel is about twelve-and-a-half-feet high and a foot-and-a-half wide, and clients must commit to the entire scene. A version is installed in the White House. Aside from the oligarch-worthy scale and expense (around $40,000, depending on exchange rates), the story of “Les Guerres D’Independence” might reinforce some misconceptions about wallpaper—namely, that it’s an outdated, expensive decorative art for old people with boring, antiquated taste.

My husband, Alex, and I had a turn-of-the-century Colonial home in California, and I had the powder room covered in a paper from an English design firm that was reproducing sketches from photographer Cecil Beaton’s little-known time as a fashion designer as wallpaper and fabric. I thought the pattern, loose hand-drawn cabbage roses in lipstick red with bold black outlines, was beyond chic. My chicer friends with more contemporary tastes made fun of “Grandma’s bathroom.” Arrivistes! Nevertheless, for my next project, I might take a page from Jackson designer Jennifer Prugh Visosky, who brings a fearlessness to choices that transform her clients’ spaces.

“Frost2 needed an element of drama to take away the ‘white box’ effect.”
[ Jennifer Prugh Visosky, Grace Home Design ]

Rob and Patty Hollis, owners of Frost Hair Salon, opened a second location, Frost2, in the very back of the Altitude boutique on the Town Square in September 2017. Rob Hollis described the space as “nothing, just storage.” Now, though, when you walk into Altitude, your eye is immediately drawn to the salon in the former storage space at the rear of the store. The back wall—covered in a dramatic, edgy, oversized floral print—commands the salon space, a fairly stark white cube aglow with mirrors and bright lighting. The paper is from Ellie Cashman, a European designer who is among a new generation of textile and paper designers who are revolutionizing the very idea of wallpaper with innovative materials and a contemporary aesthetic. Visosky provides some background on how just one decorative element can define an otherwise unremarkable room: “Frost2 needed an element of drama to take away the ‘white box’ effect. The scale Patty chose is perfect for the volume of the space; if we’d gone any larger, it would have been overblown. The pattern needed to be seen and repeated. It also plays well with the industrial lighting, [achieving a] subtle feminine and masculine balance.”

“The paper was the inspiration around the direction of the space.”
[ Nanette Mattei, Nanette Mattei Interior Design ]

Nanette Mattei, also a designer in Jackson, recently finished the lobby of the Teton Sports & Spine Imaging clinic on Scott Lane, an unexpected spot for some very cool wallpaper. She installed a paper from Kravet made of 100 percent mica stone. Passersby are compelled to touch it, curious about the wall covered in tiny stones. Mattei describes the choice as “very impactful. The paper was the inspiration around the direction of the space.” Mattei, formerly head of sales for Cole & Son, a British textile company that distributes through New York-based, Kravet-owned Lee Jofa, is often challenged to find wallpaper hangers in the valley. The Kravet paper was hung by a team from Idaho Falls. With apologies to Visosky—who may regret sharing his name—Rick Tharp of Exceptional Painting and Papering Services has been covering walls in Jackson since 1991, and before that, since 1976 in his native Alabama. Tharp says wallpaper is now more popular than ever. His team, including ace hanger Luis Tzompa, does more than thirty jobs a year.

While the abstract artwork is the first thing you’ll notice, look closer at the walls in Teton Sports & Spine Imaging clinic and you’ll see the wallpaper is made of tiny stones.

At the same location as the stone wallpaper, designer Nanette Mattei framed a different wallpaper as a piece of art.

| Posted in Departments
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