Historic William Morris Wallpaper Pattern for a Historic Home

William Morris was an innovative designer who was instrumental in the Arts & Crafts movement from about 1880’s-1920’s.

This historic 1883 home (see previous post) has been kept very authentic to its origins. The current homeowners continue the authentic feel by decorating two front rooms with wallpaper patterns that are true to the era.

“Seasons in May” in the navy blue colorway is nothing short of a stunning transformation in the home’s entry.

Or maybe we should say that the home has refound its way – back to its roots.

Many sources are selling William Morris patterns. This one was purchased from Finest Wallpaper, a very reputable on-line outfit in Canada.

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3 Responses to “Historic William Morris Wallpaper Pattern for a Historic Home”

  1. Mira C. Says:

    Hello there. Thank you for sharing your work on this blog. It really helps me understand the high skill that goes into installing wallpaper (and has sealed the deal that I’m not going to attempt to install the wallpaper myself lol)

    I adore the Seasons by May wallpaper, especially in Indigo, as your client chose. I ordered a sample from finest wallpaper many months back, and have been pondering it for my bedroom. Again, I find the pattern and colours just gorgeous, and it would pair nicely with my more modern walnut furniture. I guess I’m just hesitating because I’m wondering if the paper will be too stimulating for a bedroom. I’d like to be to hear your, and / or the homeowners’ view on that. Thank you very much.

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Mira. Thank you for reading my blog! I usually try not to turn on the computer on Sunday nights, but I felt jazzed about replying to your question. So here we are. ๐Ÿ™‚

      First, prolly good that you are considering hiring a professional. That paper is printed on the traditional “British pulp” substrate, which is a bit stiffer and more brittle than most modern papers. On flat walls, it was fine. But in a room with obstacles like toilets and cabinets and even windows, it will be rather delicate, so experience with working with these pulp papers is a good idea.

      Yes, agreed – it’s a fantastic pattern, and the navy is the most dynamic colorway, IMO.

      But, because it is so strong, and the design so rhythmic, it can be a bit of a test to live with this on all walls in a room. In fact, funnily enough, re the historic house where I hung this, the homeowners and I actually stood in the rooms (8′ apart, of course! ) taking about this very topic.

      As mentioned in my other posts, in the adjoining dining room, which is larger and a room in which people spend more time, they used Morris’s “Fruit,” which is a much more subdued pattern and essentially a tone-on-tone colorway. We had the very discussion that the “Seasons” would have been way too overwhelming on all the walls of the dining room. Even if they used a calmer colorway – and who wants bland with that particular pattern?!

      Which brings us to – what do you do with your bedroom?

      First of all, the primary purpose of a bedroom is SLEEPING. And if you’re ASLEEP, then you are not looking at a wildly patterned wallpaper. Right? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Still, it’s a strong pattern for all four walls.

      One way to minimize the intensity of a pattern is to not use it on all the wall space. If you look at my blog posts, both the dining room and the entry had the paper on only the top 2/3 of the walls. However, the “Seasons” is still really strong.

      Another option that works well for a bedroom is to do just one wall – an accent wall behind the headboard.

      Another idea would be to use wooden molding to frame the “Seasons” in ‘panels’ on the wall. Be sure the paperhanger and carpenter take into account the width and height of various elements of the design, so the frame captures the motifs in a pleasing manner. The same idea can be used to frame and hang one chunk of the pattern as a poster or piece of art.

      Let me know what you end up doing. And I would love to see photos.

      If you purchase from Finest, please send Daniel my regards … tell him the Wallpaper Lady in Houston.

  2. Mira C Says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for replying to my question, and with such detail and great ideas. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

    I have latched onto the word “rhythmic” you used to describe this paper – yes that is the perfect word. It’s probably the thing that drew me to ‘Seasons by May’ in the first place. I have to say that your client made a great choice with this paper for an entryway… it packs a lot of punch right when you walk in, but because you don’t linger too much in an entryway, you can afford to go stronger in style. This paper is just so gorgeous!

    I really wanted all 4 walls in my bedroom (one wall is all closets, and the other is a large window) but my husband feels strongly that it would be too much. (It sounds like you’d agree with that assessment). We have agreed that I can do 2 walls, but I’m concerned that the room will feel unbalanced.

    I really didn’t want just an accent wall behind my headboard because I want to feel enveloped in the paper, and I want to be able to look at it and enjoy it while I read before bed. Anyways, the idea of framing the wallpaper is quite interesting….I hadn’t thought of that at all… I’m considering it… This paper would really set off my furniture, which is rather modern but would work wonderfully nonetheless.

    Still a bedroom is a place to rest and retreat, and perhaps if I’m hesitating this much I should listen to that, and try to find a slightly calmer wallpaper. Ahhh!!

    Anyways, I just really appreciate your careful consideration of my question. I will certainly be ordering something from Daniel, so will give him your best.

    Thanks again
    From,
    Mira in Ontario

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