Historic Decoration Study Days

Most weekends, you’ll find me touring a stately home somewhere in England.  So I jumped at the chance to attend one of Historic Decoration’s study days, held at Syon House.  Discussing all things wallpaper, with Allyson McDermott, expert conserver, creator and hanger of historic wallpapers. 

Allyson began by peeling back the layers on the wall for us, exploring the history of wallpaper from Damask to Chinoiserie through to very the 21st century method of digital printing.  We enjoyed demonstrations of flocking, block printing and grounding colour, a taste of the labour intensive methods used to build rich layers of texture, colour and pattern.  

photos courtesy of Allyson McDermott Studio

Whilst I’m probably not about to paste my Victorian flat with Pugin style flocked wallpaper, there were plenty of inspirational ideas to take away.  I especially loved ‘The Print room’ aesthetic of pasting old prints directly onto the wall.  A much, underrated technique and perhaps the most economical way of tackling my own long barren hallway.  

Towards the end of the day I was itching to look around Syon, and it doesn’t get much better than a tour with Caroline Percy, who knows every Robert Adam inch of the house – she was born there.  You get to soak up the atmosphere and history with tea finishing in the Green Drawing Room…. nothing short of magical. 

To book yourself in on the next study day, click here.