As my first post for 2008, I thought I'd pull out the magic book - Carleton Varney's 1971 classic "Book of Decorating" and see what it has to say.
It's Time for Texture... texture is on the decorating scene in a big way. Consider brick, wood paneling, cane vinyl wallcoverings, burlap papers, tweeds, cut velvets, linens and crewels. Vinyl asbestos tiles are easily installed (!). Walls can be covered in an orange, white and beige grasscloth.
Except for the scary asbestos tiles, which should be removed anywhere they're found, this is still pretty sound advice. There's nothing more classic than beautiful wood paneling, and nothing worse than bad wood paneling. Grasscloth can be mindful of tropical bars or more sophisticated rooms, with beautiful detailing. Donghia has a wallcovering collection that includes some beautiful grasscloths as well as vinyl coverings in teapaper, raffia, bamboo and tapacloth look-alikes.Crewel is a classic texture and it can be found on everything from upholstery to pillows, from bedding to clothing. It was widely used in colonial times in the US, but most of it that you find these days is made in India. Crewel is different from needlepoint in that crewel-work doesn't cover the entire fabric. One of the most common patterns is the Tree of Life, a variation of which is shown below.Except for the asbestos tiles, I think that it's still Time for Texture!