Old-House Wallpaper Surprises

Unexpected old-house wallpaper selections from our familiars.

You may know Adelphi for historic patterns going back to 1750: damask, arabesque, figural, pillar-and-arch. Bradbury & Bradbury is beloved for their Victorian and Arts & Crafts designs, while Trustworth Studios reproduces Voysey. But there is so much more, for every taste!


These two show how stunning is the work of every period. With animated birds and stylized foliage, in exuberant yellow and black, ‘L’Oiseau Moderne’ is a French Art Deco paper that was advertised in 1930 in The House Beautiful. How graphic is the three-dimensional grisaille ‘French Coffered’ (ca. 1830)? Call for pricing.  


The art-wallpaper company has introduced Art Deco and 20th-century papers! A pretty branch pattern from the 1920s Vintage collection is also available in smoky blue and rose pink. From the 1960s Mod Generation collection comes ‘Nouveau’ in Earth Green (also in other colorways). bradbury.com 


Papers, murals, and embossed coverings are sold through Wallpaper Direct, including The Mulberry Home’s paper ‘Ancient Tartan’ in Spice, bringing back a classic for English, country, and modern rooms. The embossed ‘Early Victorian’ design in vinyl-on-paper Anaglypta is sold ready to finish.


This eco-friendly Portland studio channels folk art and Steampunk. ‘Big Moon’ reminds us of the abstract ceiling stenciling at Morris’s Red House. ‘Sisters of the Sun’ (shown in gold on charcoal) is similar to naïve polka-dot wall painting at the 1744–58 Peter Wentz homestead in Pennsylvania. jujupapers.com


Trustworth’s English Arts & Crafts papers are often pretty and sometimes magical or diabolical. ‘Fin and Tentacle’ is a C.F.A. Voysey design suitable for an enchanted bath. Voysey’s 1911 design ‘The Shallop’ presents peaceful salt fog and gulls. 

Tags: OHJ December 2019 wallpaper

By Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes. 

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