Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dining Room... and Damask Wallpaper

Above: The dining room at Chatsworth, laid for Christmas.

I think that red is the perfect colour for a dining room. The colour red heightens the senses and evokes feelings of desire and craving, of passion and heat: an ideal way to enhance one's gustatory experience. Just as the flavours of food are immensely enhanced by its appearance, colour and aroma, one's surroundings should enhance the experience of one's dining companions as well.

I love the three examples below. The gilded picture frames on the red silk background are stunning (and red and gold is my favourite colour combination).

Above: The dining room at Buck House

Below: The dining room at Chatsworth

Below: The dining room at Althorp

Below: Red silk damask wall covering.

One would think that finding a red damask wallpaper would be fairly straight-forward, but no!

The closest one we could find was the Trefoil pattern from The Royal Collection, but although the green version comes in green on green, the red version doesn't, it comes as red on gold, which when one is planning to hang many gold-framed pictures on the wall becomes too much of a good thing...

Above: Mulberry Trefoil

Below: Emerald Trefoil

Above 3 photos from The Royal Collection Website

After Min's very useful comment about a wallpaper supplier called Tapetorama we found the hummingbird wallpaper from Cole and Son for the Blenheim Suite. Then after a visit to Icon textiles and wallpaper in Auckland - which was thoroughly unsuccessful in finding a red damask wallpaper- the very helpful people there suggested we contact Cole and Son and have them make us bespoke wallpaper. One of the staff had just returned from a visit to their factory outside London and saw them making all the wallpaper. So, we have been given a selection of damask patterns, from which we may choose, then we decide what background and foreground colour we would like, and which we would like flocked, and then they hand-make it from their original blocks, which date back about a century. As long as one orders a minimum of 100 metres, then there are no problems.

Damask is a reversible fabric made out of silk, cotton, linen or other synthetic fibres, woven with differing warp and weft threads (sometimes actual gold or silver threads) to create the reversible and often iridescent patterns. The word Damask is derived from the city of Damascus, which was once a large city trading in fabrics, textiles and furnishing. It was preeminent in the Byzantine and Islamic world for its weaving. By the fourteenth century Damasks were being woven on drawn looms in Italy. Today, however, most are made on computerised Jacquard looms.

Above: Examples of 14th Century Italian Silk Damask

Below: Gold on Gold- Too much of a good thing?

We have also started looking ahead to how we can turn the ballroom around for dinners for weddings. These pictures capture the style and ambiance we wish to recreate at these times...

The 3 above photos are of the Hotel Du Pont, Delaware


  1. impressive!

  2. You could buy a damask anaglypta or lincrusta wallpaper and paint it whatever shade of red you want. And if you decide you don't like the shade you can just paint it again. That's what we have in our Victorian dining room. I love the raised texture of the wallpaper from the pattern.


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