Decorators Get Hung Up On Matching Wallpaper

September 15, 1991|By Jill L. Kubatko | Jill L. Kubatko,Staff writer

Borders, expanded vinyl, coordinating prints, ready-made ensembles and fabricated vertical blinds -- that sums up what's new in wallpapercoverings and design this year.

Interior designers are finding the "fully-coordinated" look is in for their customers. Wallpaper patterns match comforters, shams and dust ruffles, curtains and accent pillows. Bathrooms play host to coordinating shower curtains, window treatments and rugs.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the most wallpapered rooms in the home, says Jim Forsythe, co-owner of Wallpapers to go at the Festival at Pasadena on Ritchie Highway.

He and his wife Anne bought into the "Wallpapers to go" franchise 2 1/2 years ago. Nationwide, there are 126 stores.

The Forsythes' background includes Anne's business administration knowledge and Jim's more than 25 years of retail experience at Marshall's and Hit or Miss, two discount clothing stores.

TheArnold couple decided to open the store because they both enjoy decorating. They are certified wall covering consultants through the National Decorating Products Association.

"It was something we could do together," Jim says. "We relocated often and gained a lot of experience decorating our many homes," adds Anne.

Wallpapers to go offers 750 in-stock wall covering patterns, paints and sundries, 550 special-order wallpaper books, moldings and custom vertical and mini-blinds as well as pleated shades. In addition, it is a distributor of ready-made Waverly home fashions and boasts two on-staff interior decorators. Customers are welcome to take home wallpaper books and the wallpaper they would like to purchase to check its compatibility with the lighting and surroundings of their home.

They also offer a "Frequent Hanger Club," which allows customers to receive discounts based onpurchases.

Free monthly clinics are offered on wallpapering, too -- from choosing the right wallpaper to preparing walls to hanging wallpaper. The next seminar will be Oct. 8. Call 544-5270 for information.

"It's wonderful nowadays," says Alice Dunlap, an experienced decorating consultant for more than 20 years who works as part of the custom design service at the store. "I just love the Waverly line."

Waverly, a division of F. Schumacher & Co. of Cranberry, N.J., takes the task out of coordinating on your own and offers a catalog filled with ready-made comforters and wall coverings in several patterns -- everything needed to give a room a complete look.

Part of that look includes the use of borders.

"Borders are a cost-effective wayto decorate a room," explains Anne. "You can coordinate them with different color paints and get a lot of decorating mileage. Borders canbring a decorator touch to a bare wall," she adds.

Borders can beused as a divider for wallpaper and a painted surface or can be usedas an economical accent to a plain wall. Borders also can hide flawsbetween ceiling and walls that have been freshly painted.

Moldings are another way to add a touch of elegance to a room. Chair rails are used as a border between paints and/or wallpaper. Baseboards and inside and outside corner pieces can hide imperfections in workmanshipor can frame a wall's design.

Expanded vinyls may be the newest trend in wallpapering.

"It's very popular and is used more in contemporary settings," says Dunlap. "It's usually not found in traditional-type homes."

The vinyl wallpaper goes through a manufacturing process in which heat is applied to give it a textured appearance.

"It has a three-dimensional look. It's wallpaper without looking like wallpaper," says Jim.

Wallpaper in the '90s is more vibrant, with dramatic and striking colors.

"Jewel tones, such as garnet and reds, deep greens and emerald and hunter greens seem to be more popular," says Dunlap.

Flowers, always a popular choice, matched with stripes can create an unusual look. Wallpaper with a faux finish of marble can add a touch of elegance. Moire and corduroy textured prints also are available. A tile look is popular for bathrooms or kitchens.

Country mini-prints also are a staple in design, but not as popular as they were a decade ago. These patterns feature miniature flowers and small geometrical shapes or hearts.

"That look is kind of phasing out in the books," says Dunlap. "Wallpaper is more sophisticated nowadays."

Wall murals, featuring everything from a baseball field to an outdoor beach or tree-lined scene, may be used to create a specific atmosphere in a den, office, club room or child's room.

Another new item on the retail decorating scene is the vertical blinds fabricated custom look. Wallpaper is inserted into the vertical blinds to match the walls.

For more information on Wallpaper to go's classes, call 544-5270.

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