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Article: Wrap Your Rooms in American Country Comfort


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This patchwork ceiling is an easy-to-install wallpaper quilt made of five different go-together patterns in the Country USA III collection from S.A. Maxwell Co.

Decorating With Wallpaper

By Jaima Brown

(ARA) - The comforts of home have rarely been as important and meaningful as they are to us today. Home design trends emerge as a reflection of how we feel. They depict what we are longing for.

It is not surprising that right now we are in a nostalgic frame of mind, in search of tranquility, continuity, familiarity and a warmth that exceeds the simple need to be harbored from winter weather.

This year, fabrics, furniture, and the home furnishings palette are all softening. Curved and rounded shapes are replacing sharp edges. Rustic and nautical references are seen in many popular decorating magazines. Expenditures on handicrafts are rivaling families' investments in electronics. And the handmade looks that characterize a style we call American Country are popular again.

This led S.A. Maxwell Co. to introduce Country USA III. It is our third version of previously successful Americana collections, and it recalls many comforting images from our nation's quiet past. Ellison Bay, which will be released by Maxwell's Piper Designs division in January, takes inspiration from the tranquility of our shores.

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Because the wallpaper patterns in each of these collections are coordinated in design and color, you can mix and match them in unique ways. But the creative possibilities inherent in the designs don't stop at the wall. They encourage your own handcrafting capabilities, starting, for example, with a patchwork quilt ceiling.

By itself, wallpapering a ceiling adds warmth to a room. It envelops a space and gives design continuity. For an entirely unique effect, however, we've combined five different patterns from Country USA III: two stripes, a floral trail, a plaid, and a mini-print floral design. Stair risers, covered in alternating borders from the soon-to-be released Ellison Bay collection from S.A. Maxwell's Piper Designs division, make this hallway entirely unique. Decoupage drawer-fronts turn an old chest at the top of the stairs into a country cottage heirloom.

The floor of the room is your template for this project. Cut an equal number of 12-inch squares from the five different wallpaper patterns and arrange them in a pleasing alternating sequence on the floor. Then simply transfer them, one by one, to the ceiling. The squares make overhead installation especially easy.

Installing a horizontal run of one pattern -- the plaid, for example -- along the top 24 inches of the wall, adds even more warmth to the room by seeming to lower the ceiling and bring a cozy scale to the space. Add a strip of molding under the plaid. Finish the walls in a mini-print floral and then add a scalloped-edge birdhouse border under the molding.

Decoupage gives painted furniture an authentic cottage look and can also add some surprising and unique decorative touches. We "customized" an old three-drawer chest by covering the drawer-fronts with a simple stripe from Ellison Bay, creating an interesting contrast with the nautical-figured wallpaper from the same collection.

Then we transformed an ordinary staircase into the hall's dramatic focal point by alternating two coordinated border designs on the stair risers. A pattern of stars and stripes alternates with one of lighthouses and maps, gently beckoning everyone upstairs for a good night's rest.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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