Friday, March 14, 2014

A Closer Look at the Dining Room Wallpaper

My striking dining room owes its wow-factor to the stunning hand painted Chinese wallpaper and gold-leafed ceiling that envelopes visitors with its jewel box effect.


I’ve always been a hard core fan of Chinoiserie design and have admired the handiwork of  companies like Gracie and De Gournay, but my passion for this type of wallpaper was cemented when I visited Rough Point, the estate of Doris Duke in Newport. Her music room had antique panels of Chinese wallpaper she had purchased at auction and it left such a magnificent and regal impression on me. (you can read about it in this blog post I wrote almost 3 years ago- you can’t say I’m not consistent!)

dining room- wallpaper meeting

With my enduring passion for this type of wallpaper, I was very happy to stumble upon the work of Griffin and Wong a couple of years ago, whose sales operations is based right here in Canada in Vancouver. The design department of Style At Home was lucky enough to view a presentation from Douglas Bray and I fell even more in love with how the delicate illustrations shimmered right off the silky paper.

dining room- paper

After perusing Griffin and Wong’s 24 Chinoiserie patterns, I chose Du Paqier, a delicate motif containing mostly blooming cherry and magnolia trees with some birds and butterflies. I requested that the birds and butterflies be toned down in favour of more flowers so the impression was more blooming garden and less nature reserve.


I knew I wanted a soft aquamarine background to complement the similar colour of the Angelica mirror above the adjoining living room mantel, and for the main blooms I also colour-matched two accent textiles from the living room: the pinky-lavendar mohair in the flair chair and hot and pale pinks in the Madeline Weinrib lumbar cushions. The wallpaper also contains dashes of the blue of my formal china: Bernardaud’s Elysee.

dining room- wallpaper 2

The design truly was a collaborative effort, with photos of the process being shared with me along the way to ensure the correct colour balance was being achieved.

dining room- wallpaper

Seeing photos of the artisans at work makes me appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship behind each panel every time I am in the room. It also emphasizes the truly bespoke factor of the paper and appeals to the luxury lover in me!


The crowning jewel of the dining room is the gold leafed ceiling. It looks like it was applied by hand when it is in fact another wallpaper from Griffin and Wong. This dazzling gilded effect was not just an aesthetic choice.  It was also installed to help deflect from the fact that the ceiling height is dropped 2 inches more than the adjoining living room due to a structural beam. The warm metallic ceiling bathes the room in a soft glow, flattering guests and creating a warm festive mood which is the cherry on top of this fabulous space!

(top wallpaper detail and dining room photo by Stacey Brandford)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the process! It is absolutely amazing! Your dining room IS a jewel box! Love it!

Katerina said...

I am crazzzzzy about Chinoiserie papers! I'm especially partial to a couple of the gold ones on griffin and wong's site.
And i have to agree- your dining room is absolutely gorgeous.