Design Lesson

Decorating trends: Grasscloth

Decorating trends: Grasscloth Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson

Decorating trends: Grasscloth

A decorator staple in the '60s and '70s, grasscloth is enjoying a big comeback, with fresh designs being used in exciting new ways.

What is it?
A wallcovering made of woven plant fibres.

Where do you use it?
I count on grasscloth to provide a decorating element that defines a space. It works in both casual and formal living areas in traditional or contemporary interiors. Tip: Not the best choice for moist areas.

Why use it?
Grasscloth lends natural texture to a room and can add a jolt of juicy colour or bold pattern.

How do you install it?
Typically not pre-pasted, and wider than other wallcoverings, grasscloth can be difficult to manage when hanging. For large areas, I recommend hiring a pro. If you're an intrepid DIYer, go for it in smaller applications.

Who's using it?

Some of my favourite designers, like Jamie Drake, Mary McDonald and Windsor Smith.

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1 The look Modern rustic
Why grasscloth works Today's designs epitomize the use of traditional materials in new ways -- like this metallic paper, which makes a salvage-glam statement when combined with raw wood.

Image courtesy of Crezana Design

 

grasscloth-bedroom.jpg 2 The look: Updated classic
Why grasscloth works I was immediately drawn to this bedroom featuring a Phillip Jeffries grasscloth. Think of your space as a well-tailored outfit: the grasscloth is the beautifully textured suit fabric; the draperies, linens and accessories are like your silk blouse, scarf and jewelry, which pull it all together.

Image courtesy of Karyn Millet

 

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3 Gutsy textures & colours
Palm and banana leaves bring exotic rough-hewn appeal to new traditional decor. Nowadays, grasscloth comes in a wide-range of saturated brights. Punch up a sunroom with one of these irresistible options.

Wallcoverings {from left}: Schumacher Natural Textures III Sachi Arrow Root in Aqua $86 per roll and Tapan Raffia in Light Red $120 per roll, through designers, bilbroughs.com. Phillip Jeffries Bahamas Raffia in Orange $177 per yard and Juicy Jute Grasscloth is Split Pea $47 per yard, crownwallpaper.com.

 

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4 Elegant embroideries
Stitched designs are stunning for a powder room or dressing room. Splurge on a small amount -- think of it as art for your walls.

Wallcoverings
{from left}: Peegee in Pink, Mandalay in Pistaccio, Jungle Fever in Twilight, through designers, crezana.com.

 

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5 Shimmery metallics
Add striking iridescence to a dining room or study with metallicized grasscloth or cork wallcoverings.

Wallcoverings {from left}: Blue Mountain Wallcoverings Albert Van Luit Designer Program AVL 183802, avlwallpaper.com. 2010 Liquid Metal Madagascar in Mercury, through designers, crezana.com.

 

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6 Punchy graphics

Refreshingly upbeat geometric patterns have brought grasscloth -- once mostly neutral -- into the 21st century. Boost the wow factor of a contemporary living or family room.

Wallcoverings {from left}: Phillip Jeffries The Voyage Collection Arches in Blue on ivory manila hemp $142 per yard, crownwallpaper.com. Fiorentina in Pea/Vanilla and Cala Luna in Aqua/Vanilla each $298 per roll, through designers, leejofa.com. Schumacher Natural Textures III Check Paperweave in Red $180 per roll, through designers, bilbroughs.com.

 

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Design Lesson

Decorating trends: Grasscloth