One of my favorite things to do is to help a neglected property reclaim its beauty and dignity. I know that sounds like I am personifying an inanimate object but seeing a house or building that was once beautiful fall into a state of disrepair and decay upsets me. Through no fault of the house or building, it became ugly and unwanted. I can get really worked up when I see an antique property that was once stately and dignified be left to rot. In my mind, this is criminal. Something inside me can almost hear its small voice inside saying, "please help me." So, whenever I have the opportunity to work on an old house or building, I jump at it. For the past year, I have had the privilege of working with a great team on the renovation of a lovely old property for my church. Taking on a property that was once used as a restaurant and club but had been vacant for years and turning it into a place to gather and worship was a big endeavor and a real labor of love by the congregation. We are nearing the finish line and it has,bit by bit, reclaimed its former dignity. The road hasn't been easy and there have been many bumps and surprises along the way, as there always are when tackling a project like this. One of the last spaces we are doing, is the Narthex which is the front entry foyer. It is located in a beautifully proportioned room with high ceilings, heavy crown molding and a lovely fireplace. It was used as a dining room and had beautiful custom hand painted wallpaper on one wall above the chair rail. The walls behind the paper were plaster and had been badly damaged by water leaks so the walls had to be redone. Rather than getting rid of the paper, our contractor carefully removed it and saved 4 large panels. We plan to frame the undamaged sections and reinstall them on the walls in the Narthex. I can almost hear the room singing! I will post photos when we are finished, but in the meantime, here are some photos of the paper:
De Gournay and Gracie are the most well-known companies that make this hand painted paper. We aren't sure who made it but it is beautiful and special and worth saving, even if it has some signs of age and wear and tear. Here are some photos of paper from de Gournay to feast your eyes on.
And here is an example of how panels can be framed and installed on a wall if you only have one panel or section:
Beautiful, aren't they? Definitely something worth saving. Have a great weekend and see you on Monday!