Clients often ask us about grasscloth, whether it wears well, and especially whether it’s possible to get a “seamless” look with it.
We love grasscloth! Yes, it wears beautifully (this is not your 1970’s straw-looking stuff – today the fibers and weaves are tighter and lay flatter). You’ll find many lovely versions that have patterns printed on them, or metallic fibers, and the color palette is lighter and fresher now than in the past. Also, you’d be amazed by the many commercial vinyl wallcoverings that imitate it – or silk or linen, for that matter! Virtually anything with a “weave” will be made into a beautiful wallcovering eventually. We installed some in our own beach condo that we often rent out, and it holds up beautifully.
However, the “paneling” effect that you get with grasscloth or other woven-looking wallpapers is unavoidable!
It cannot be eliminated, it’s the nature of the beast. The texture of the fibers will not “match up”at the edges, and will not be uniform. Many of our interior design colleagues will warn their clients to expect this, so that the homeowner doesn’t think they got a faulty wallpaper or substandard installation.
If you love grasscloth or similar textured wallpapers, consider the “paneling” to be part of the charm and authenticity. There’s nothing else quite like it!
Remember: even the priciest grasscloth, perfectly installed, has this “paneled” look!
This is not a function of the cost of the wallcovering, or a reflection of quality. Sometimes you’re lucky and you can barely notice it – as here with this linen-look pale pink wallcovering – but you’ll still see it:
Here are some projects we’ve done, to show more examples of the effect:
And for some “light reading”, here’s a nice little article about what you can expect from grasscloth. It was written years ago for professional installers, but the first page makes the case for grasscloth, and it’s “natural imperfections”, very well! (The reading gets a bit technical after that.)