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Slow Wallpaper

An exhibition devoted to wallpaper designs is my kind of exhibition. 

W is for Wallpaper, at the Ruthin Craft Centre this September, is rather special for two reasons – most importantly, because of its focus on traditional hand screen and lino printing techniques, which many of the papers exhibited used. And secondly because it takes place in North Wales, one of my favourite places ever. I feel the excuse for a long weekend coming...

Meanwhile, a few highlights from the show. Above, Custhom design and fabricate some of the most innovative wallpapers around. I've written about their digital embroidery previously and their contribution to the exhibition is the Igneous paper, a luxurious looking design that resembles marble bursting with solidified gold. Made from carbon powder and hand-foiled, the non-repetitive design is named after the effect of crystalized igneous rocks, which are formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. It's currently also on sale on the Custhom website for £159 a roll.

The exhibition features designs by Timorous Beasties, Sian Elin, Angie Lewin, Deborah Bowness, Kirath Ghundoo, Brigitte Zeiger,
Edward Bawden and William Morris among plenty more. Such as Daniel Heath, whose Heal's-stocked Perivale paper celebrates the art deco architecture of the Hoover Building.

Interesting wallpaper fact: in the early 18th century, a wallpaper tax was introduced that lasted until 1836, after which there was a boom in the popularity of papered walls, which suddenly became far more financially accessible to many.

I've already featured a couple of Eley Kishimoto's bold and bouncy wallpapers here before, but they're too good not to show again (above and two below).

Artist Hugh Dunford Wood painstakingly hand-printing one of his papers. Below, two more of his designs.

The designs are printed using lino blocks engraved by Huge in his studio, which overlooks the sea in Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast.

John Burgerman's innovative and kids' room-perfect colour-it-in-yourself design, 'Burgerdoodles'. 

Award-winning Tracy Kendall's extraordinary Another Colour wallpaper, above and below, is tantalisingly tactile. It looks beautiful – but what about the dusting?

A Claire Florey-Hitchcox woodblock, above. Claire, who graduated just last year and chose to take a step back from new technology, carves her designs onto woodblocks and then prints using her awe-inspiring 18th century Columbian printing press. You can see photos of it on her website.

Mini Moderns' graphic Gulls paper already feels like a classic.

W is for Wallpaper is on at the Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, North Wales from 26 September–22 November 2015. Admission free. #WisforWallpaper

Before & After: the dark grey hallway takeover continues

I've been banging on about my hall sporadically over the past couple of months. The entryway part of it got quite a major overhaul to boost light and declutter it. 

But leftover was this little understairs nook. Which I sort of liked as it was...

But since we'd painted a wall in the top part of the hall dark grey, there was an argument that the new wall needed a same-coloured buddy to balance things out (you can check out the other wall here, where I also asked your advice about whether or not to repaint the stairs nook dark grey too).

Apart from the untidy lighting wire I need to find a solution to, the area looked OK. But because there's no natural light, the white never really looked especially white...

Though it still was a vast improvement from what it had been previously...

...somewhat cluttered. It was my workspace for a while when I had lodgers, and I'm not sure now what those charts were stuck up on that shelf, but seeing them every time I came in and out of the neighbouring kitchen can't have been relaxing.

Even tidy it looked pretty busy.

But then this scary giant clear-out happened, and I moved my workspace upstairs and out of sight from day-to-day living.

But in the end, I was seduced by dark paint. And things went from this... this...

...and this...

I'm kind of over dark grey, but – like its wall partner up the stairs – the understairs area had to blend with the floor to visually create more space rather than being chopped up with colour changes (and the floor isn't due for a change for a good while yet). And the other point was to make it dark so it was cosy rather than grubby looking. I think it's better. Do you?