Ann Clark had one reaction after seeing the walls in two rooms of the 200-year-old Providence, Rhode Island, mansion she had been hired to restore: “What are you going to do with that?” The wallpaper was a little overwhelming, to say the least. The full-color woodblock-printed landscapes had been commissioned by the home’s first owner just after its construction in 1814. Joseph Brown, a founder of Brown University, designed and built the 6,570-square-foot house for daughter Eliza Ward; she lived there for over 30 years. The house passed through multiple hands over the years and underwent a variety of renovations, but the wallpaper remained.
The house had been on the market for a few years before a couple relocating from Chicago to Providence bought it. They hired Clark to restore the house, which was in need of some 21st-century updates as well as some general maintenance. Various features had been added over the years, some of them dated blunders that begged for removal, but it was the wallpaper that Clark worked tirelessly to bring back to its original state. “In the end the wallpaper is the story,” she says…. Read Full Article