Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bradbury & Bradbury and other Fine Wallpapers

From time to time, readers have commented on my blog background and wondered what it was. When I started this blog, I had ordered samples of fine historic wallpapers from companies like Bradbury & Bradbury and Aesthetic Interiors to see what I would like to put up in my house someday. That inspired me to piece together a blog background out of my favorite wallpapers!

owl wallpaper

Well, Stephen J. Bauer, owner of Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers, commented on my last post, noting that I was using one of their wallpapers in my blog background! Mind you, I would not use these two wallpapers together in real life, but in separate rooms.

My Blog!

The bottom half of my background is called the "Iris Frieze," part of Bradbury & Bradbury's Fenway Roomset. In taller rooms, I've seen it used as a frieze near the ceiling. But I've also seen it used as a dado, on the lower part of the wall. That is the way I want to use it in my library, in the Aesthetic Green colorway.

Fenway Iris Frieze, Bradbury & Bradbury
Fenway "Iris Frieze", Bradbury & Bradbury

The top half of my background is called "Nocturnal Owl" by Aesthetic Interiors. It is an Anglo Japanese style pattern in the Olive Ochre colorway. It is so typical of the Eastlake/Aesthetic patterns from the 1870's-1880's. My home was built in 1873, and I'm trying to stay within the 1873-1885 range in my choice of decor.

Nocturnal Owl wallpaper, Aesthetic Interiors
"Nocturnal Owl" wallpaper, Aesthetic Interiors

Bradbury describes their Iris Frieze as being adapted from the work of Walter Crane, one of my favorite Victorian illustrators, whose illustration My Lady's Chamber I discussed in an earlier post.

Frontispiece, "The House Beautiful" by Clarence Cook. Drawing by Walter Crane

I do follow the Bradbury Blog, and Stephen pointed out that his company has a new roomset out called "Persian" that has a different kind of exotic feel than the Japanesque feel of the Eastlake/Aesthetic patterns I tend to lean toward.

Persian Roomset, Bradbury & Bradbury
"Persian" roomset, Bradbury & Bradbury

This wallpaper set would look great in a Moorish or Turkish room, with large tufted ottomans, tasseled draperies and Persian carpets. If you like rich jewel tones, lots of tassels, and decorating with multi-colored scarves and pillows, this wallpaper is for you! Turkish rooms were a craze in the United States after the Centennial Exposition of 1876, which exposed Americans to the "Oriental" decorating sensibilities.

1891 photo of Turkish room
from Life Magazine online

I am still in the wishful-thinking-stage. It will be the icing on the cake when I can finally do any wallpapering! Did I mention that I intend to add some built-ins and replace all the molding and doors in my house? This will not be cheap, as I am using oak. But it must be done. Somewhere along the way, this house was stripped of all original molding and doors. It was replaced with cheap stuff. And since I do not like painted molding, oak it must be. I am designing the built-ins and building them myself (yes, I'm the one that wields the power tools, NOT my husband!).

So, the wallpaper will have to wait. Until then, I can dream!

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Blogger Liz said...

The Victorians loved their colours and patterns, didn't they! Love the cute wee owl!

February 17, 2011 at 3:52 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Liz-

Yes, those Victorians weren't afraid to mix and match! And the little owl from the wallpaper has become my mascot. :-)


February 17, 2011 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger victorian parlor II said...

Love the wallpapers! I can't wait to see the wonderful mouldings and built-ins you are doing:)!



February 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Kim-

I really need to build some built-in bookcases. I've got a pretty good idea of what I want. And I have so many books just stacked in piles upstairs where it's hard to use them. They need to be on proper bookshelves!


February 20, 2011 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger La Petite Gallery said...

I lone the look of this paper, my word, you know how to miter?? Why aren't we neighbors. Good luck thats a huge undertaking.


February 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Yvonne-

Yes! I can miter! I love working with wood, but haven't done much lately. I'll tackle anything, if it saves me $$ in the long run!


February 21, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Sea Witch said...

Love Bradbury wall papers. Pure joy, marvelous colors and a riot of patterns every which way you turn. Heaven I tell ya, heaven. Sea Witch

February 22, 2011 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Richard Cottrell said...

I love Bradbury paper, but the cost is just too much, I used there corners only on my ceilings, got a good effect, for not the big bucks. Built the colors around them and I think it works. Something you might try to keep the cost affordable. Thanks, Richard

February 22, 2011 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Sea Witch-

I agree, whenever I see the Bradbury & Bradbury wallpapers, my heart races. It's just so beautiful! And there's so many great choices for different styles of historic homes. : )


February 22, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

I like all the varieties of wallpapers you've used in your house. You really have a great eye for mixing and matching. I can see why you couldn't afford to do it all in Bradbury papers. Your home is large. Mine is small, so someday, I should be able to afford the few rooms I need to do!


February 22, 2011 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger victorian parlor II said...


Just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my new blog:).



February 23, 2011 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Romeo said...

They did WHAT?!?! The fools! They took away the real wood and put up some cheap stuff?!?! Okay, so obviously the insane asylum got a few more members as a result....they should get some electric shock therapy for that bad call. Sheesh, even this old cat knows not to do that! Sharpen my claws on it....possibly....but replace it with sub-standard materials?! Eeekkk! The thought alone is enough to make my whiskers fall out! Well at least YOU have your wits about you! Maybe my whiskers will stay intact....I'm sure that whatever YOU design and do will be wonderful!


Romeo and "her"

February 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

You're welcome, Kim! looks very promising. What a great idea, starting a blog on how to get "the look" without spending a fortune. I'm all about saving a buck! :-)


February 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Romeo-

I think it was pretty common to get rid of Victorian-looking parts of houses when they were out of style. The original plaster walls are still there, but have all been drywalled over. That's probably when they removed all the woodwork, threw it away, and put up cheap stuff, trying to look more "modern."

Romeo, you can come over any time and sharpen your claws on this woodwork! :-)


February 23, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Pam,
If you don't mind, you will be my muse and i will show off my wall paper as well. I've been so uninspired lately and I totally blame winter.
Keep well,

February 26, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Anyes-

I know what you mean about winter. I can't wait for the sunlight and warm weather to return! I've been uninspired lately, too. Do you have Daylight Savings Time where you live in Canada? That's coming up in March, and I can't wait! :-)


February 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Pam...WHERE do I start ?
First of all you have a very comfortable looking works for you and that is all that is necessary. Love your faucet too.

My old brain will not hold all the things that I would like to say about ALL these images..just TOO overwhelming for me to remember them all.
But I am sure you and I could EASILY shop together at ANY Antique Mall and we could be very happy...chatting about all the wonderful VICTORIAN/EASTLAKE things we love and want to buy. KNOW I am going to make a Kaleidoscope out of you wallpaper.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY..and admiring the "Painted Ladies".

You are going to get an email soon.

March 2, 2011 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Rose-

It would be so much fun antique shopping with you! I think ours tastes in Victorian things are very similar. I do LOVE the items you find and post to your blog!

I'm hoping to start ripping apart my kitchen sometime this spring. I'll post on my progress, although it may be slow-going, working full-time and all! :-)


March 2, 2011 at 8:23 PM  

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