Let Freedom Ring in Red, White and Blue
Decorating With Wallpaper
By Jaima Brown
of patriotism in home décor date back to before
this country was born. Actually, they first appeared
on painted Chinese rice paper as early as 200 B.C.
In more recent times, American
folk art furniture is replete with stars, stripes
and primitive renderings of our earliest flag.
Yet, ours is not the only country to utilize patriotic
themes in decorating. Nor are we the only nation
to celebrate freedom and independence in documentary
wallpaper and fabric prints.
In the archives of the Smithsonian
Institution's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New
York, there is a piece of 18th-century handprinted
wallpaper depicting themes that replaced the symbols
of monarchy in France during the French Revolution.
As America prepares to celebrate its independence,
we're experiencing a renewed sense of patriotism.
Whether you're an ardent flag-waver or a more subtle
celebrant of the red, white and blue, this anniversary
presents an opportune time for citizens and home
decorating trend-setters alike to show their colors.
The classic combination of red, white and blue is
"in," at home and around the world.
In honor of the nation's birthday, two very different
approaches to rallying around the flag unfurl in
Parasol, a wallpaper and fabric collection from
Jaima Brown Home, my new signature brand for S.A.
Maxwell Co. One approach is hearty; the other, subdued.
What's more, the themes and designs in Parasol can
be mixed and matched, so those who use them can
achieve their own level of affectionate display
for the land they love.
Toiles de juoy are among the most popular wallpaper
and fabric pattern motifs today for good reason.
They provide a non-intrusive, subtle pattern that
is relaxing, and at the same time increasingly interesting
as the various sketched drawings in the pattern
come into focus. Toiles are simple, yet elegant
and easy to use alone or in combination with other
designs. Typically, their images tell a story.
For Parasol, we created "Independence Day Toile,"
an all-American version of this European motif.
It tells the story of our independence with such
familiar images as the U.S. Capitol Building and
our founders signing the Bill of Rights.
The print is offered in both wallpaper and fabric,
so we used "Independence Day Toile" for upholstery,
draperies and wallpaper in a traditional-style living
room, then gave it the coordinated accent of two
different stripe patterns on decorative pillows.
We then papered the ceiling in a coordinating
"Federal Harlequin" wallpaper pattern from Parasol.
This is a red-and-white room with a very quiet Wow!
The sensation doesn’t hit with a jolt; it grows
as you settle in.
American patriot-inspired room stands in stark contrast,
using vivid symbols of Americana at every turn.
Wallpaper with crossed flags against a deep blue
ground are framed in crisp, white molding. For added
interest, the various flags in the pattern show
and date the historic evolution Old Glory has taken.
As additional states joined the union, more stars
adorned our flag, and all the variations are shown
in the pattern. The surrounding flag border alternates
Betsy Ross's initial design with a later model.
"Independence Day Toile" also appears here, in
fabric, on a simple roller window shade. A variety
of coordinating checkered and striped fabrics are
used on linens for the antique bed, painted white.
Bolder elements of our grand old flag make the seating
-- an antique occasional chair -- a stand-out, not
only on the Fourth of July, but every day.
Courtesy of ARA Content