28 January 2009

so wong, it's right (finally, m21 talks about the yellow wallpaper)

after asking for advice on how to clean lucite (one of the top ways our blog is found via the google), the next most common question maison21 gets asked is, where did he get the fabulous yellow chinoiserie wallpaper he used in the bachelorette's living room? and to everyone who searched in vain through every single post, maison21 offers his sincere apologies- though he promised often, he has never revealed his source- until today.
maison21 knew he wanted to use a fabulous de gournay or gracie chinoiserie hand painted silk wall covering somewhere in the home, and the bachelorette was wild for the idea. since gracie and de gournay are exquisite, but rather pricey, maison21's original concept was to use 2 panels on one side of the living room as a focal point, and frame them as "art". they also started out orange, btw!after spending some time in the house, as maison21 likes to do at the beginning of a project, we realized that the room was dark and gloomy even in the brightest hours of the morning, so orange was out, and a liberal dose of white and yellow was the cheerful cure diagnosed by dr. m21, ID (yellow is probably our favorite color, but lots of clients are scared to use it- not our bachelorette!) he also decided that 2 panels were never going to cut it, as he needed the whole room to be circled in a cheerful yellow garden to banish the gloomy malaise and bring in the happy. the new happy concept unfortunately also posed a bit of a sad problem- our budget would never allow the number of panels of de gournay or gracie we needed to bring life to what was until our intervention, a rather dark and oppressive room.so on to the internets we went, hoping to find a budget alternative, and the gods of home decorating smiled upon our search- we struck gold in finding the wallcoverings of griffin and wong.the griffin and wong panels are about a half to a third of the cost of the other sources we were considering, and even better, no upcharge for matching a custom color, or resizing the panels! m21 was leery of ordering over the internets sight unseen, so he contacted douglas bray, g & w's north american rep and douglas sent us a finished sample in a stock yellow background- fast! painted and fed-exed to us from china within two weeks!the quality of the sample was excellent, but the background color wasn't quite right (too timid, we wanted knock-your-socks-off yellow). we then asked for a background strike-off to match benjamin moore banana yellow #2022-40, and since this didn't have to have the florals painted, we had the strike off in 3 days! pretty amazing. we selected the "shen de tang" pattern from the many styles g & w offers, and once the pattern is selected, you can then specify which panels you want to use off a line drawing. since our panels were to be framed, we didn't necessarily need continuity, so maison21 selected some panels in sequence, and some not. that way we were able to get all the juicy bits- a little lotus leaf, some cherry blossoms, cranes and songbirds, trees in pots, hanging lanterns, etc. fun...we were then further able to customize how we wanted the florals painted, full color or white and pastels. we originally intended to go white and blue, to keep things light 'n bright, but as our sunny garden room concept took hold, full color seemed to be the option that "sang" to us...during the painting process, douglas was excellent about supplying us with jpegs of the panels in process, and we were even able to add in a few more birds and butterflies where things looked a little bare, just before they shipped. how's that for custom?from start to finish, the process was amazingly quick- once we gave our deposit, we had the finished panels in about a month! and as we've said the customer service provided was excellent- the whole customization process was a breeze. even non-decorators will be comfortable working with douglas.we are really pleased with the results- truly gorgeous, especially for the price. we honestly couldn't say whether the panels are entirely hand-painted, or whether they are a combination of printed material and hand-painted finishing, but we really don't care, either- the results look good. we did have 2 panels delivered with a few branches unfinished in spots (still needed some flowers and leaves), and while g & w offered to replace them, we didn't feel the need to wait for new ones since we were cropping some of our panels & just worked around the missing bits. no big deal. even if we used them as painted, we doubt anyone would have ever noticed the missing bits. the verdict? if our budget were unlimited, would we use griffin & wong rather than de gournay? probably not- de gournay (and gracie) manufacture true works of art, and while g & w comes close, it's the difference between a couture gown and ready-to-wear. more importantly, will we use griffin and wong again in the future? heck, yeah! for the price of two or three panels of de gournay, we were able to do a whole room, so off the rack prices really helped make the project sing. added bonus, g & w's lead time is about a hundred times faster ,and the customer service couldn't have been more personal. all in all, we couldn't be happier with g & w, and we think the results speak for themselves. two thumbs up- way up!ps- if you do decide to order from griffin & wong, please do us a favor and tell 'em maison21 sent you. we don't get paid for our endorsements, but we sure wouldn't mind if they gave us a really good deal on our next order- every little bit helps in our new economy! ;-)

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love you.

Putting my order in today!!!!
Dana

Anonymous said...

M21 -- This is great -- love it. How did you attach to the wall? Did you mount them on panels and hang? or actually glue them to the wall and surround with a molding?

Patricia Gray said...

Hi Maison
I just did a posting on the color yellow and posted a picture of this room because I love it so much. And now that you have given the background information it makes it so much more interesting. Every room really does have a story and in your room the walls are really talking. Great job. Here is the link to the post:
http://patriciagrayinc.blogspot.com/2009/01/yellow-mimosa-debut.html

LA Chic said...

Very pretty! I'm calling them now and will mention you.

Also, very pretty color on your walls. Is it F&B Borrowed Light?

maison21 said...

awesome dana- send pictures of the results, ok?

anon- i added a picture showing the moldings applied to the wall, and my wallpaper fit the panels to the spaces (excellent work, if you live in LA, i'm happy to provide his info). i discussed mounting them on board first and hanging them like pictures, but since i was mounting sconces on top of some, that option wasn't so appealing.

the toughest part of this process was laying out the molding frames- the house is almost 90 years old, so there are slopes to the ceiling & floors, and none of the distances between doors, sconces, etc. are the same, so i had to eyeball each panel's placement and lay them out with painter's tape. when the contractor came to put them up, i got a panicky call- "your lines aren't level and the distances between them aren't uniform- was i sure this is what i wanted?" yes, i was sure.

patrica- thank you so much for your mention- it was the kick in the pants i needed to get this posting done! after your post, i got three emails in a day asking for my source!

LA chic- thanks! color is benjamin moore sidewalk gray 2133-60.

C said...

Love having this info-- THANK YOU! Also dying to know about that console table with the white lamps on it. What? Where? LOVE!

gina said...

Very nice. Glad to see someone using wallpaper and not afraid of COLOR. stop by my wallpaper blog you might see some things you like.

LA Chic said...

Thanks for the color information! Do u happen to have any after pics of the fireplace?

Tracy said...

That wallpaper is just too beautiful! And if I'm ever so lucky to have a client who wants something like it, thanks for the source! I'll keep my fingers crossed - and the pics from your post bookmarked :)

My Notting Hill said...

Thank you Thank you!!! So great of you to share all this info. IF it's ok I'm going to mention it on my blog. Michele

housewears said...

Hey M21- I'm a bigger fan by the day...first it was your amazing black fireplace, which before knowing you, I cut out the magazine photo of that fireplace and had it replicated for a client a few years ago...when I saw it again on your blog, I was so impressed with your eye!!! Then it was the whole puppy stuff around the holidays, which almost made me truck over there from Canada to get that cutie-pie and now this....truly stunning, and I love the zebra with the paper!!!!

Mrs. Blandings said...

It's such a great room and the before and afters are knock your socks off. You are generous and lovely to share your source.

Suzy said...

It's turned out so well, thanks for the contact!

Anonymous said...

Love it! What a great alternative to the expensive alternative. Looks like G & W are also very eager to please given your experience. I've put the blog info. into one of my folders so when the time comes to change my dining room, I can give it a look-see again. Oh, maybe for a very pretty powder room that I'm looking to do too - wow - now that may be just perfect - thanks again. - KBN

Beaux Mondes Designs said...

Thank you for sharing your sources and for the inspiration of your project. I love the yellow paper you selected. It's fantastic. I'm currently considering wallpaper for our master bedroom but have only been searching online via google. Nothing like de gournay or gracie has come up on the search(go figure). I'm very grateful you posted this so that I can rethink my choices. Great job Bachelorette!

kelleyp said...

seriously awesome post. have been wanting to call and get some of these panels but currently trying to sell my home so i must wait for my next project house. i will mention you when ordering!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Very resourceful and a great end result. Which is why when something needs to be done right, you should hire someone to do it right for you.

Paul Pincus said...

i love love love this! very beautiful work, M21 : )

Ivy Lane said...

Gorgeous!!! I love it!!

Velvet and Linen said...

Love your yellow wallpaper!!!!
You did a fantastic job Maison.
Thank you for the new resource. I am definitely going to check them out, and of course I'll let them know who sent me.

xo
Brooke

Bayou Contessa said...

This is fab, fab, fab, and looks like a million bucks! What a find!

Lauren said...

I am trying to recreate and my wallpaper hanger is nervous to mess up the paper. what kind of board would I apply it to?

maison21 said...

lauren, i applied directly to teh wall, so i can't really advise you... i would recommend going to a lumber yard, and asking questions about the kind and quality of their plywood. you'll want something with a smooth, closed grain finish and thick enough that it doesn't warp.

good luck!

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

How generous of you to do this. If we had more people like you, we could rule the world or at least, win a Peace Prize. The room is beyond beautiful. We all thank you for the source and the inspiration. Yellow is the new orange! Thanks, you know now, I really have to meet you.

Alexandra Rae said...

Hello Christian,

Stumbled upon this post via houzz where I was actually looking for brass sconces. How had I missed this post on your blog!? Anyway, loved the sconces in this room as well as many other "finds," like the rams head. (I have his twin brother, btw). So serendipitous that my search landed me here as I am also culling pieces for my latest project, a bright yellow and black dining room--inspired by an old post of mine. THAT PAPER! WHAT A FIND! I am doing that exact Gracie paper in another home (was orange, but became blue when we got the strick-off!-OMG that Gracie orange is bright!) However, this yellow dining room client would cough up a lung if I proposed Gracie. So this may be the answer. God bless you, Design Angel.

Anonymous said...

Maison, I live in LA ad would love the details for the contractor who created the wall moldings. I am thinking of doing it with the boarding (so if we move we can take it with us) and would love your advice on who to work with. Roughly how much did they cost? Thank you for such an inspiring blog. I'm such a fan!

KitKat said...

I was wondering if you could share the contractor who made the moldings for you? I live in LA and would love to connect with them to do a similar project. Thank you again for this inspiring blog posting!

maison21 said...

sorry kit kat, i had issues with that contractor, and am no longer using his services. try angie's list for a reputable contractor near you.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, Christian, while I was looking up Chinoisierie wallpaper.

THANK HEAVENS there is a decorator out there that LOVES COLORS. This grey/greige/white blight has to stop! Nearly a time waster to navigate on decoration blogs now - and HOUZZ is a whiteout, too.

This room with the fabulous Chinoiserie panels is a testiment to how many people out there haven't been brainwashed with the grey decoration binge. Love it and thanks for keeping the faith in COLOR! Color is happiness!