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Restoration retrospective: Wallpapering the Tyrolean Chimney Room

Estate History 04/16/15

Written By Judy Ross

This April marks the sixth anniversary of the restoration of the Louis XV Suite, the grandest guest bedrooms in Biltmore House. We’re taking a look back at the exquisite artistry employed over the course of this extensive project that brought these rooms back to their original and stunning appearances. Today, we’re focusing on the wallpaper in the Tyrolean Chimney Room. Appearing simple at first glance, a closer look reveals an elegant floral design with delicate gold striping in the background.

It is an exact reproduction of the original wallpaper, and was created by Atelier d’Offard, a small company in Tours, France that specializes in traditional block printed wallpapers.

The original wallpaper had long been removed and the room had been used for storage before the three-year restoration project began.

Biltmore’s Museum Services staff discovered small fragments of the original paper beneath drapery brackets and behind wood trim.

These were pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle to determine the original wallpaper’s design.

From these samples, Atelier d’Offard reproduced the original design. Craftsmen carved wooden blocks to create the patten, then applied paint to the blocks and pressed them onto the paper by hand. 

Each section of paper was carefully matched to the previous section to ensure the pattern was perfectly aligned.

Once completed, the wallpaper was shipped to Biltmore and installed in the Tyrolean Chimney Room, helping to return it to its original appearance.

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