[Guest Post] Society Social Thibaut Wallpapers

Please welcome Roxy of Society Social and A Cup of Te!

Now here’s a gal who goes big or goes home, in style! I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Bar Cart Extraordinaire on my recent trip to NYC, and take it from me, not only is she beautiful and vivacious, she is so generous and warm to boot. I so admire everything she has done with Society Social (while somehow finding the time to maintain A Cup of Te!), and really, it comes as no surprise that she would go above and beyond with this guest post too!

Hi Small Shop readers! I’m excited and honored to be visiting with you today as Erika is one of my favorite reads! Not to mention her smashing style finds, don’t you find you’re always learning something new and fascinating? Well today I hope to do the same with a little history on one of my favorite wallpaper companies- Thibaut!

Did you know that Thibaut is the nation’s oldest continuously operating wallpaper firm? It was established in 1886 and brings a rich history and craftsmanship to all its designs. Home decor not your thing? Think Hermes in 1837 beginning as a harness shop and what those distinguished roots do for the brand today!

If you haven’t explored their vault of patterns and prints, you simply must. You’ll discover sophistication, incredible class, and the best part, a playful sense of humor which I find so refreshing coming from a such stately name!

Their range includes historic reproductions, toile, chinoiserie, tropical, and novelty patterns. I used their Cheetah print from the Jubilee Collection in my latest Manifesto Magalog

…and Tiffany Richey, a darling new designer who was so kind to send me pictures after styling out her Society Social purchase, went to town with their Tanzania print!

Wallpaper can be intimidating so I’ve brought in Thibaut’s very own Molly McDermott Walsh, the PR and New Media Managaer, who gracefully agreed to share her expert tips and knowledge to get you to Thibaut fabulous in no time!

Grasscloth is back and better than ever.  Refined techniques have made this 1970s throwback wallcovering a hot commodity in the 2010s.  Grasscloths are now infused with water based inks to bring color in to this great textured wallcovering option.  Made of a sustainable materials – seriously grasses here – makes this an eco friendly option as well.  As grasscloth has grown in popularity, wallpaper companies have taken notice and pushed the creative boundaries even more by bringing in even more natural materials – hello cork! – and surface printing designs directly on top.  Check out Thibaut’s Grasscloth Resource Volume 2 for their Celtic knot inspired Endless Knot or the super summery Andros, complete with floating blooms of sea grass.

One note though!  Grasscloth is natural!  This means seams and it’s not the most durable of wallcovering options.  You can totally use it anywhere -but beware.   High traffic areas and areas of moisture are not ideal – so do not put in your mudroom or kitchen!  You are just asking for upset.  Also being handmade – literally woven on a loom – means that there are inconsistencies and discrepancies between dye lots – so be ware!  The little quarks are what make the product so unique and do so much for a space – just be aware of that going in.

One major difference between paint and wallpaper (other than the obvious designs and freedom of color) is durability.  Wallpapers have improved in recent years and are considered to be much more durable and lasting than paint.  And by being more durable and ‘living longer’ (on average, 10 years) you are also being more green!

Most papers today are vinyl coated, which makes them somewhat durable- but new textured performance vinyls have taken durability to the next level.  Residential wallpaper companies like Thibaut were inspired by the contract vinyls seen round the world – but wanted to refine them a bit more for residential application.  These wallcoverings, such as any of Thibaut 3 volume of Texture Resource, are amazing options – especially for people wanting to include wallpaper in their design scheme for hte first time.  Bringing in a rich texture cannot be achieved by anything else out there.  This is ideal for wallpaper newbies, as they can focus on color and texture first – and then be ready for designs and pops later. Best part of textured vinyl is that when I say durable, I mean it.  A friend of mine hung this in both of her small boys’ bedrooms.  Like 24 months and 6 months small.  The vinyl wallpapers have saved her from some pretty ugly walls!  A rag and some bleach – yes bleach! – can take away any problem.  My local salon also has a textured vinyl hung, and has withstood several hairdye mishaps.  Oh and the best part?  When I say textured – I mean anything.  Large scale alligator?  Try Greater Gator.  Want to live in a Hermes?  Try some Natural Ostrich.  Love grasscloth, but afraid your partying lifestyle won’t fit?  Get some vinyl Bankun Raffia and plan that party now!

Do not be afraid of prints!  There are literally millions of designs out there in a million different color combinations – so you really can find something for you and your home!  Take a long look at your life, your wardrobe, your personality and how you want your home to reflect you – and go wild!  Afraid to do up a whole room first?  Rock out your powder room or entrance hall.  There are so many different options out there – there really is no excuse.  Want a flash of metallic pop?  Try Thibaut’s surface printed Cork wallcovering in Metallic Gold.  Want some bling?  Try Starburst by Thibaut from the Jubilee Collection.  A subltle print – accented by mica stones!  Yes Mica Stones!  Wallpaper in a space just adds an extra level of refinement and taste – and sets other houses apart.  A chic chinoiserie print in your dining room will make you the dinner party house of envy – while a guest room dedicated to Toile du Jouy will make you an unintended bed & breakfast.  Let out your closet Victorian and add some damask somewhere.  Trust me – your friends will admire your creativity, and seethe with jealousy at your strength and resolve.

There’s a reason this trend is catching on!  Utilizing your fifth wall – aka the ceiling – allows for a designer or savvy home owner to make a real statement in their space.  By selecting a non- directional print, pattern or color  you can elevate the space and add interest to a large or small space.  Installments in certain areas, such as over a breakfast nook in a large open kitchen, also help to segment out an area and add a touch of cozy.  Textures, geometrics and subtle colors work best and can work great in rooms filled with art, architecture lines, etc.

While wallpaper companies have evolved from the tacky 1980s stigma that left the design choice wanting – today, people are more willing to take risks and try old styles – but in thoroughly modern ways.  Some of the damasks available today would make a Victorian woman blush – but are totally hot and current now.  Rockstars like Manuel Canovias have reexamined toiles and come up with some pretty trippy, but totally modern alternatives to the light tone on tones that France originally offered.  And with retro rearing it’s crazy head – it’s no wonder that so many wallpaper companies have taken a look back into their archives to recycle some truly groovy prints.  Take Thibaut’s Cheetah wallpaper from Jubilee.  This originally came out in the 1960s- and was brought back to life this year.

Either way – whatever style you select – wallpaper is just one more way to make a space yours- and to define your design style – and make you the envy of all your friends.  Because that’s what it’s all about, right?

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Thanks again to Erika for having me over and a special thanks to Molly for joining in on the fun! I hope you enjoyed today’s wallpaper lesson and are inspired to step outside of the box in your home whatever it maybe!

Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an “occasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

  1. you are such a sweetheart, Erika! The pleasure was mine 🙂 p.s. That picture of little Leighton pounding it cracked me! Ha! Y’all are too cute!!

  2. Roxy is a rockstar. Love these tips. I totally did rock out my powder room and entry hall. Mostly because they’re the smallest rooms in the house and wallpaper gets real ‘spensive. Ha!

  3. Excellent post. I recently discovered the Magalogs and blogged about it myself. I absolutely love that cheetah/leopard wallpaper and this is coming from a more conservative person when it comes to designs on the walls. I love color, but a real busy pattern isn’t my taste but I can dig it if it’s in a smaller room or area like a powder room or backs of built-ins. This was great info to know esp about the grasscloth which is becoming my fav.

  4. Love this post! Thanks so much for rockstar Roxy picking out these awesome Thibaut designs – and helping to make wallpaper hot again! Thanks Erika for featuring on your super fun blog!