Laura Ashley for English Country Cottage Charm

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Decorating themes by Welsh designer Laura Ashley were all the rage in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s, and every now and then a modern-day homeowner seeks the charm of this very British, flowered, cottagey look. Indeed, today’s client had stored this wallpaper (left over from a previous house) for several years. It was still in good condition, and hung very nicely.

I hung this on just one wall of a powder room in a large home in Sugarland (Houston). Usually I recommend papering all the rooms in a powder room, because such a small room can look very chopped up if different walls are treated differently. But this pattern has so much going on, and is so “sweet,” that putting it on all the walls might have been overwhelming. I think the homeowner made the right decision by putting it on only the wall you see when you first walk in.

This is a solid vinyl material on paper backing, pre-pasted, and the manufacturer is Imperial. Laura Ashley used to be made by another company, and required using their own special (and difficult to get) paste, or you would get horrible bubbles. This version made by Imperial was much nicer to work with.

I don’t usually like solid vinyl material on a paper backing, especially the pre-pasted varieties. In humid rooms (steamy bathrooms), it is prone to the paper backing absorbing moisture and curling back at the seams, and also the vinyl layer can even delaminate from the backing. This type of problem is impossible to repaste or repair.

I didn’t mention anything to the homeowner, though, because, well, gee – she already had the paper. It was funny, though, because she had read my information about which papers to buy and which to avoid, and she sheepishly brought up the fact that this was “one of the papers you don’t like.”

I am sure she will be fine, though. This powder room will not be subject to humidity, and I put a good primer on the wall, plus used additional adhesive to ensure a tight bond. I predict that it will hold up quite nicely.

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