For some designers “making it” might mean a magazine cover, but personally, I have a bucket list of dream fabrics and wallpapers I’m dying to use. At the top of that list: Zuber wallpaper. When I’m finally able to use a Zuber wallpaper in a project you’ll know I’ve really arrived. 😉
Founded in 1797, the prestigious French manufacturer produces the most exquisite panoramic wallpapers all woodblocked by hand using blocks carved in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
The production of the wallpaper is a laborious process involving painting an undercoat, applying the woodblocks (one color at a time with a days rest in between!), and finally outlining the design by hand in gouache. It’s truly a work of art.
Zuber specializes in panoramic papers–scenes that carry across a room without repeat–and were traditionally meant to be installed above a dado (the lower third of the wall–below the chair-rail). My personal favorite is Decor Chinois–shown above with a rare pink ground.
Decor Chinois again in the entry of a project designed by McGrath II.
The walls of New York’s historic Gracie Mansion (home to Mayor Bill de Blasio) decorated in Decor Chinois and juxtaposed with a room full of West Elm furniture–this was an interesting read on that choice.
Another favorite scene is Hindoustan, an exotic print with elephants and camels.
Lisa Fine decorated her mother’s Houston home with Hindoustan. The inlaid bench with its silk velvet ikat cushion pairs perfectly with the paper.
Another McGrath II project (they seem to have hit the Zuber lottery!) featuring a beautiful Zuber paper and even more gorgeous Georgian architecture.
Perhaps the most famous installation of Zuber in America can be found in the Diplomatic Receiving Room of the White House. Jaqueline Kennedy saved the circa 19th century paper, Views of North America, from demolition and brought it to the White House in 1961. It’s still hanging today.
If I’ve left you coveting some Zuber of your own, I found a panel of Decor Chinois available here!