{room inspiration: vintage wallpaper}


wallpaper, house beautiful. . . a complete and longstanding love-affair with floral wallpaper, especially hand-painted or vintage {or both}, and the more elaborate, the better — and so, was absolutely filled with delight upon discovering this bedroom {thanks, felicity!} in a tiny {tiny} apartment in the east village, with walls enveloped in an incredibly stunning hand-painted 18th-century wallpaper . . .

{an excerpt:}

I want to know more about that wallpaper. It gives the room an ancient, exalted feeling.
It’s 18th-century Chinese. I stumbled across it at an auction, this pile of dilapidated pieces that nobody else wanted. I had to have it. I found three large scenes, placed them around the room, and pieced in the gaps and torn bits. The idea was to create a jewel-box effect in the bedroom, with pattern to distract your senses from the tight quarters. I papered the wall in the spirit of a collage, trying to make the most of a beautiful old thing. . .

— designer david kaihoi, house beautiful



{p.s.} the little trundle bed cleverly tucks away in the morning

{also lovely:} hand-painted wall murals

{images: photography by ngoc minh ngo for a small one-bedroom apartment made big by barbara king for house beautiful}

21 Notes
  • Monique Lehnhardt said...

    It reminds me of Doris Duke’s home in Newport. She had such lovely Chinese walls of dogwood branches. Exquisite.

  • Genius! Sounds like it was tedious work, but wow, what great results!

  • Anonymous said...

    These photographs are taken by me, and I would appreciate it very much if you could credit me. Thanks.

    Ngoc Minh Ngo

  • Gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS!


  • felicity – hello lovely! and of course had to mention you – thanks again for always sending along the best things – have been on the wallpaper search as well and if only could stumble on something as magnificent as this! xoxo

    knitlit kate – too funny!

    abs – it’s true – very nearly had the same affect on me :)

    beauty comma – so beautifully put!


  • That is one gorgeous room!

  • i love this. it doesn’t matter that the wallpaper is torn – it actually makes it look even more poetic. it’s like you can see the love with which the wallpaper has been meticulously pieced together…

  • I LOVED this article in the current House Beautiful, I find myself going back to it all the time. Can you believe how gorgeous it is in such a small space?! This worn vintage paper is amazing.

  • Absolutely stunning! This wallpaper is what dreams are made of… absolutely enchanting. I love the rich feel of lines of it, and the worn character. What a lovely feature,


  • The beautiful rose, birds, and gardeny bliss–this makes me want to cry a little.

  • forget the wallpaper (gorgeous as it is)…my dog wants to know where he can get one of those trundle beds! (that would be for ME to sleep on, natch.)

  • FXOX said...

    Hey beautiful, it’s lovely – and you really didn’t have to mention me:-).

    I now have been surfing the web for Chinese wallpaper!! Tho’ where Id actually put it is another matter:-) hugs & love to you and yours


  • Very interesting work. There’s nothing like it. That wall paper is an art!

  • OMG! SO gorgeous!! I want that for my bedroom. xoxo Cindi

  • Delightfully Asian-inspired flora and fauna. The dusty, weathered rose hues are enchanting…

  • That wallpaper is simply gorgeous!

  • oh wow. That wallpaper is fantastic! I love the color and all of the detail in it. amazing.

  • I love wallpaper. I love it in other people’s home so I don’t have to deal with the before or after part of it :)

  • That wallpaper is incredible!! I’ve never seen anything quite like it – it has such an old-world feel!! Love it! :)

  • The word wallpaper used to conjure up such wicked images in my mind: mostly of my poor mom trying to peel it off the walls. oy

    But in the past few years I have seen some remarkable wallpapers that have begun to change my mind. This one here is antiqued and beautiful.


  • Oh my goodness…. Are you kidding me? I can’t take it! From the divine wallpaper to the hideaway trundle! I’ll be dreaming sweetly tonight!

    xo tash

Comments are closed.

  • Thank you for stopping in to say hello — it's lovely to hear from you!

    Please note that comments are moderated for spam, profanity, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.