Inspiration  Wonderful Wallpaper & My Search for Stairwell Revival

This summer I am making a few small changes to my house that I hope will have a big impact.  It has been 9 years since we bought our old Victorian house (circa 1905) and we have not done much besides maintenance since our initial rehab.  Things are looking a little tired, and I am looking for a refresh!  In my search for wallpaper for our front hall staircase, I fell in love with some amazing designers!


The first thing I did was summon my wallpaper collection on Pinterest.  Here are some of my favorite wallpaper designers who are doing interesting and very unique work.  I really love designs that show the artist’s hand and feel like a work of art—the way art deco designs and Indian block printing allow you to feel the direct nature of the making.



Julia Rothman’s White Daydream design is my choice for my staircase.  If you read the whole post, you can see my “before” situation and why I am so excited about this choice!  When I saw this wallpaper in the above feature in Boston Home Magazine, I was sold.




The best selection of amazing designer wallpapers I have found is at Hygge & West.  You will find Julia Rothman, Rifle Paper Co., Emily Isabella, and many more wonderful designers at your fingertips on their site.  

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I recently discovered Katie Deedy of Grow House Grow on Design Sponge, in a great radio interview about finding inspiration.   Katie takes a scholarly approach to finding ideas for her design, that grow out of storytelling, research and a process of word association.  It is fascinating to see her gorgeous designs and understand her highly original and personal approach to them.  (I also totally recommend the After the Jump radio show and this interview!)



Sister Parish is another designer whose work has a great hand-painted feeling that to me feels a bit modern and even a little Colonial.  I just love the scale of her designs and the way they seem to work well as a neutral/solid once on the wall.


I have a bunch of incredible children’s wallpaper designs to share with you in a post later this summer!  If you would like to see my very own “Cheeky Home” and the before pictures of my staircase situation, click here to read more!


The Cheeky Monkey Staircase Situation:

We have a disproportionately grand entry hall that was meant to impress guests, with finer wood floor boards, a tiny emerald green tiled fireplace, and wide staircase.  The rest of the rooms are fairly small and modest, which tells me most guests must have stayed in the front hall!


The entry hall opens into the living room and dining room, so each of these spaces needs to work together visually since you see them all at once upon entry.  The staircase is accented by a landing that has a lovely stained glass window, but in tricky colors that I would not have chosen.  The emerald green-tiled fireplace and the stained glass have dictated my color choices so far, and I am looking to “take back control” over my color scheme and style with the wallpaper selection for the stairwell.


I want the entry space to be welcoming and relaxed, honoring the classic features of the house, but I want to introduce some fresh, contemporary elements to the otherwise pretty traditional look.


I have been admiring Julia Rothman’s amazing illustration and design for some time–her website is so exciting and she has incredible patterns, illustrations, textiles and wallpaper.  When I saw her White Daydream wallpaper, it struck me instantly!  While I don’t love emerald or minty greens, the way the birds pull on the green of the fireplace tile and the stained glass, is perfect, and it achieves the light, contemporary feel I want.  


I am collecting rolls of this paper via Hygge & West, and will be posting the After pictures soon!  I’d love to hear your comments and ideas!  Thank you and stay tuned for the outcome!

Your Comments

  1. Holly, what about a mural, then you can invite people to see it and write off the whole project.
    Your murals are so amazing: any of the Scandanavian ideas would be great. Just a thought: you can do anything, beloved.
    Hugs, Juju

  2. Holly, what about a grand Scandanavian
    design? You have captured them so beautifully in your pillows.

  3. Hi Juju, I like it! Hmmm, your book would be a great inspiration for that idea! Thanks for the ideas. Much love!