NEW ASHFORD WHITES COLLECTION

Ashford Whites is a collection of monochromatic, largely geometric, metallic, neutral designs that fit smartly in the background of modern interiors.

The pattern below consists of distorted vertical bands which form waves of metallic and matte inks, giving movement and sheen to this tribute to the 60’s; this Ashford House wallpaper is named Groovy, of course. This design is available in four colorways, Groovy Geometric Wallpaper.

The Point Of View Geometric Wallpaper, available in four colorways, features trapezoids and parallelograms, forming a puzzle-like geometric with a sense of humor.

Valdivian Leaves Wallpaper, available in four colorways, features generously scaled leaves in raised inks for beautiful texture, and captures the lush foliage of South America’s rain forest.

The Piet Geometric Wallpaper design, available in three colorways, is inspired by the artistry of Mondrian, and is striking in a two-tone palette and audacious scale; this geometric is wonderfully compatible with open contemporary decor.

The Diamond Lattice Wallpaper, which we offer in two colorways, is a small scale design featuring X’s or diamonds. The shapes, defined by slender lines, form a web of both, creating a neat, tidy, two color pattern. It’s on a medium scale, slightly larger than four inches tall and two inches wide. This wallpaper would look fresh in a modern or contemporary setting.

Another distinctive design in the Ashford Whites is the Theorem Toile Wallpaper in black and white. This oversized linear geometric grid of 10.5 inch squares is reminiscent of tracery. Used in the creation of stained glass, these lines provide depth and additional dimension, much like this large trellis effect, but without an overwhelming commitment to pattern.

All of these designs are produced on York’s technologically advanced SureStrip substrate.

 

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GRASSCLOTHS COMPARED PART V

Basic Grasscloths

Basic grasscloths consist of triangle, sea grass, and boodle grasses. In any collection of grasscloths, these would be the least expensive grasscloth patterns in the collection. They have a 3 dimensional texture that is both visual and tactile. While less expensive than other grasscloths, they offer the essential qualities many grasscloth customers are seeking.

Basic grasscloths are often identified as “grasscloth”, “straw”, or “grass paper”, with no further identification. Of course, this tends to make price comparison difficult, if not impossible (which may be the intention). Grasscloth also suffers from the same “priced by the single roll” but “sold by the bolt”, that needlessly adds confusion to shopping for wallpaper in general. Grasscloth can also be priced by the “yard” and occasionally by the “square foot” (and still sold only in 8 yard bolts), to further test the consumer’s arithmetic skills. Discount Wallcovering prices by the bolt – the way wallpaper is packaged, and actually sold.

When shopping for wallpaper, if time allows, it’s recommended to get a sample before making a selection. At Discount Wallcovering, the sample fee is refundable at the rate of a sample fee for each unit subsequently purchased (for a subsequent purchase of the product sampled, or for a subsequent purchase of any other product).

We examined two basic grasscloths, both found on our website, BSB781 (left, below) and MPC004 (right, below).

BSB781  MPC004

From samples of each, we counted 5.5 strands per inch for BSB781, and 7.5 strands per inch for MPC004. From the strand counts, we can deduce that MPC004 is a significantly higher quality than BSB781, although, some wallpaper shoppers may prefer the less dense BSB781 for artistic reasons.

Sisal Grasscloth

Sisal grasscloth has a neat, trim look without the slubs that are characteristic of the basic grasscloths. We examined three sisal grasscloths from our website, GRR036 (left, below), GRS900 (center, below), and MPC048 (right, below).

GRR036  GRS900  MPC048

From samples of each, we counted 18.5 strands per inch for GRR036, 14.5 strands per inch for GRS900, and 16.5 strands per inch for MPC048. Although the strand counts would indicate similar quality, the price variance (the brand effect) is huge with GRR036 and GRS900 priced at $266.90 ($314.00 MSRP) and $255.00 ($428.00 MSRP) respectively, compared to our house brand, MPC048 priced at $110.00. While all are priced by the bolt, GRS900 has a smaller bolt length of 19.5 feet (information found in the data sheet, below the GRS900 product listing) compared to the standard bolt length of 24 feet for GRR036 and MPC048.

Jute Grasscloth

Jute grasscloth typically is made from the jute core and is homogeneous in color although jute can include some of the jute skin which would give it occasional dark streaks. Of the grasscloths, woven jute grasscloth most resembles a textile. We examined three jute grasscloths from our website, BSB799 (left, below), MPC044 (center, below), and NEP430 (right, below).

BSB799  MPC044  NEP430

From the samples of each, we counted 10.0 strands per inch for BSB799, 10.7 strands per inch for MPC044, and 9.5 strands per inch for NEP430. The strand counts were similar for all three, and on our website, the price of $110.00 per bolt was identical for all three. Other jute grasscloths, on other websites, generally sold for about double our prices.

Specialty Grasscloth

Specialty grasscloths reflect the brand effect on price differences. From our website we’ve selected GRR002 (left, below), a designer brand grasscloth, and MPC058 (right, below) – our house brand of a similar grasscloth (both are natural sisals accented with color highlights).

GRR002  MPC058

The prices of these colored sisals, accented with color highlights, was $348.50/bolt for the designer brand compared to $150.00/bolt for our house brand.

DESIGNER WALLPAPER & WALLPAPER BRANDS PART IV

what makes a designer pattern so expensive (for example Schumacher’s “Balloons” – at $355/bolt on our site, or more elsewhere)? Is a designer pattern more attractive than other wallpaper? Does it cost more to produce? Is it the label on the packaging? The answers to these questions respectively are probably, possibly, and most definitely.

Is designer wallpaper more attractive than other wallpaper? “Balloons” (our example) is more attractive than more common wallpaper patterns. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this pattern certainly catches the eye. Designers make their mark by successfully influencing others, so for attractiveness, designer patterns probably have an intrinsic, if intangible, value.

Does designer wallpaper cost more to produce? The answer here is possibly. Some designer patterns are produced in fairly large quantities and probably cost no more than mainstream patterns, however, in general designer patterns represent small production runs, and consequently cost more to produce. Also, some materials (raised print, glass beads, metallic inks, etc) add additional cost, so it’s easy to see that designer patterns could cost more to produce.

Does the designer label on a bolt of wallpaper have a lot to do with the perceived value of that wallpaper? This is the heart of branding, and has a lot more influence on the cost of a wallpaper than its attractiveness, or cost to produce.

There are a couple of strategies that discountwallcovering.com employs to offer its customers a price advantage when shopping for designer brands. First would be our Closeout Designer Wallpaper category. Schumacher’s “Balloons” wallpaper is a designer wallpaper pattern, and is priced accordingly. When shopping for wallpaper, though, keep in mind that even designer wallpaper patterns (like the “Balloons” pattern) can end up in the bargain bin. On our site, our designer bargain bin is our Closeout Designer Wallpaper category. For each pattern in that closeout category we show the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) for reference. As a courtesy to the manufacturers (some of them can be rather insistent), we generally don’t reference the actual brand names on site (these brand names infer an exclusiveness), but all of the patterns in this category carry a recognizable designer label.

The second strategy we offer is our Price Buster Quote form. For current designer wallpaper patterns (like “Balloons”), we price as aggressively as possible, however, many designer patterns are price protected by MAP (minimum advertised price) policies. For those patterns, our Price Buster Quote form is a useful tool. We honor the MAP advertised pricing, but for our customers that want a deal, we offer our Price Buster Quote form. Simply tell us what you want to buy, and we’ll give you the best price that we can come up with.

Yet To Follow Of A Five Part Blog

PART V – Grasscloths Compared

SHOPPING FOR WALLPAPER, PART III – Euro Rolls & The Mythical “Single Roll”

America Goes European

Historically, a wallpaper unit was a roll. If you wanted to buy wallpaper, you bought a certain number of rolls. A roll of wallpaper covered about 30 square feet, or roughly, the same as a sheet of 4 foot by 8 foot sheetrock.

Each particular wallpaper pattern was packaged usually in either 2 roll or 3 roll bolts, but could be cut as needed. For example, if you  needed 3 rolls of a particular wallpaper pattern, and that particular wallpaper pattern was packaged in 2 roll bolts, you could get a 2 roll bolt, plus one “single roll” – a “single roll” was just a 2 roll bolt cut in half. Here in America, these 2 roll bolts of wallpaper could be either 20½ inches wide and 42 feet long, or 27 inches wide and 32 feet long – pretty much the same coverage either way.

In the early 1980s, America began importing a lot of European wallpaper. Europe did a good job with wallpaper and manufactured a lot of it – they manufactured lots more than we did here in America. European bolts were 20½ inches wide and 33 feet long (or in metric, 52 cm wide and 10 m long). Europeans called these bolts, rolls. For American marketers, however, there was a problem because these European “rolls” contained more wallpaper than American rolls, and consequently, would cost more. It would mean that a collection featuring European rolls of wallpaper would carry a higher price per roll than collections featuring American rolls of wallpaper.

To remedy this disadvantage, American wallpaper marketers choose to call this European bolt two “single rolls” instead of simply a “roll” (which it had been in Europe); also, the term “double roll bolt” was used – a “single roll” was equal to ½ bolt. If you’re wondering why these American wallpaper marketers did this, the reason is obvious. A $90 bolt of wallpaper could be advertised as $45 per “single roll” – which of course sounds a lot cheaper than $90 per roll (European roll, that is). Of course when you go to purchase this $45 “single roll”, you have to buy two at time – so you end up paying $90 per bolt, anyway.

Soon American sized bolts disappeared, and all wallpaper, including wallpaper made in America, was made the size of European bolts, and were priced by the “single roll”. These newly termed “single rolls” were mythical, however, because there was nothing “single” about them. Customers couldn’t buy a “single roll” because nobody would cut a European bolt. Cutting the already abbreviated 33 foot long European bolt wasn’t practical. Cut in half, a “single roll” would be 16½ feet long, and with any kind of pattern repeat, it would only be enough material for one 8 foot strip of usable wallpaper.

Today, almost all wallpaper is packaged in two “single roll” bolts, so when you see it priced by the single roll, you will end up paying double that single roll price. At discountwallcovering.com we feel that this marketing technique is deceptive, and needlessly confusing. Consequently, all of our wallpapers are simply priced by the bolt.

On our website, beneath each wallpaper product image (brick wallpaper example) is a data sheet that contains the dimensions of our wallpapers. There are several different sizes of wallpaper bolts – but we always price by the bolt, and the dimensions of every bolt are contained in our “data sheet”. We hope that you find our website straightforward and easy to navigate, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us – we’ll be glad to help.

More Parts To Follow Of A Five Part Blog

In part IV & V: designer wallpaper & wallpaper brands, discussed, and finally, grasscloths compared.

PART IV – Designer Wallpaper & Wallpaper Brands

PART V – Grasscloth Compared

SHOPPING FOR WALLPAPER, PART II – In Stock Wallpaper

A Major Shift Occurs With “In Stock” Wallpaper
In the late 1970s, wallpaper dealers were offered “in stock” wallpaper, and wallpaper merchandising was fundamentally changed forever. Before wallpaper dealers carried in stock wallpaper, wallpaper dealers were pretty much the same. Each dealer basically carried the same lines, and bought from the same distributors, for the same prices. By stocking selected patterns from the tens of thousands available at any given time, wallpaper dealers were able to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and to give their customers the convenience of immediately taking their purchase home, rather than waiting on the arrival of a shipment.

About this same time, a west coast wholesale distributor opened a chain of “in stock” wallpaper stores as a way of dumping discontinued, unsold patterns from expired collections. This chain was later franchised, and upgraded with current inventory, and seemed to usher in the general market acceptance of the convenience of in stock wallpaper stores. Many small chains, including ours, popped up across the nation. Wallpaper border, and wallpaper murals, were added alongside the in stock sidewalls.

By carrying in stock wallpaper we have been able to noticeably improve our customer service. We are oftentimes able to deliver next day service to nearby destinations by simply getting ground orders shipped the same day. And several times we’ve been able to scavenge our sample bolt for a customer needing just a bit more of a recently sold out pattern.

More Parts To Follow Of A Five Part Blog

In part III through V: the standard bolt size changes to “Euro” and confusion abounds, designer wallpaper & wallpaper brands, and finally, grasscloths compared.

PART III – Euro Rolls And The Mythical “Single Roll”

PART IV – Designer Wallpaper & Wallpaper Brands

PART V – Grasscloth Compared

SHOPPING FOR WALLPAPER, PART I OF V Our Perspective

Our Association With Wallpaper Began Over 40 Years Ago
Discount Wallcovering has been in existence since 1976 when we opened our first Discount Wallcovering store, in Tulsa, OK. However, we actually began selling wallpaper five years earlier, in 1971, when we began importing and selling grasscloth wallpaper through our import shop, Creative Imports. When our Creative Imports landlord, an architect, found out that we sold wallpaper, he stopped by and told us that if we would get some sample books, he’d order his wallpaper through us, so we contacted a distributor in Memphis, TN, and have sold a variety of wallpaper ever since.

We Started Out By Discounting Prices
When we opened Discount Wallcovering (1976), the idea of offering discount wallpaper appealed to us, because we didn’t have a lot of expertise to offer our customers, but we thought that we certainly could offer our customers a lot of value, with discount wallpaper prices. Our wallpaper sample books came with prices preprinted. We discounted the preprinted prices 10%, which discount at the time made us the price competitive wallpaper store in town.

Generally speaking, discounts have increased over the past 40 years – you know, free enterprise and the market place at work. However surprising it may seem, though, we’ve actually found several of our competitor’s today selling wallpaper at above MSRP, online. More about that later.

First Of A Five Part Blog
This is the first of a five part blog. In parts II through V we tell: how a California distributor creates an “in stock” wallpaper national chain and stocking wallpaper dealers proliferate, how the standard bolt size changes to “Euro” and confusion abounds, about designer wallpaper & wallpaper brands, and finally, how grasscloths compare.

PART II – In Stock Wallpaper

PART III – Euro Rolls And The Mythical “Single Roll”

PART IV – Designer Wallpaper & Wallpaper Brands

PART V – Grasscloths Compared

Classic Wallpaper Designs

We have recently added seven designs to our website from the recently released Waverly Classics Volume II collection (our search code WCL). Discount Wallcovering now carries the following designs: Kent Crossing, Peaceful Temple, Clifton Hall, Cozy Up Stripe, Swept Away Paisley, Lotus Lake, and Arbor Imagery. These new designs are produced on York’s technologically advanced SureStrip substrate. The blue tones colorway of Peaceful Temple is shown below.

peaceful-temple-wallpaper

LOTS OF BORDERS

York has recently released Border Portfolio II (our search code BPY) and there are several oldies but goodies, several updates, and many totally new designs. All of the borders are produced on prepasted SureStrip. Here are a few examples:

meander-border
perception-border
conifer-bordercomfort-food-borderThe designs shown above are Meander Border, Perception Border, Conifer Border, and Comfort Food Border. In Border Portfolio II, there are over 50 designs in all – check them out using the search code BPY.

 

Grasscloth – a practical decorating solution

Shop For Grasscoth Wallpaper

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Our company has had a long association, and many experiences, with grasscloth. Here are some of the things we’ve learned:

Covers Textured Walls
Our first grasscloth shipment, received back in 1971, was evidence that grasscloth wallpaper was something different. Back then, the Japanese and Koreans packed grasscloth 25 bolts to the case, and those 3 foot long cases were hefty. Hefty has its advantages. Back in Oklahoma, where textured paint was popular with homebuilders, putting wallpaper onto textured walls was a painful process. First, you had to smooth the walls. That involved sanding, or knocking down the texture with a used brick, or first applying a liner paper. That meant time and toil. Voila – grasscloth. One application with this hefty, thick, and naturally textured wallpaper, and the painted texturing disappeared.

Please note that for purposes of covering textured walls, some grasscloths work better than others. The best at covering textured walls would be nubby with coarse grass.

lesson learned: textured walls could be papered with grasscloth

Repair Is Fairly Easy
One of our company’s early ventures was homebuilding. One day, while hurrying into new construction with a load of last minute hardware, the heavy solid core front door was briskly swung open, and since the door stops were not yet in place, the door knob went right into and through the already wallpapered, grassclothed entry wall.

This gaping hole, immediately in the front entry, was an eyesore to be fixed. First the sheetrock was patched. And while with many wallpapers, repairing previously hung wallpaper could be a problem, not so with grasscloth. By removing a horizontal band of grasscloth, a replacement strip was applied, and because of the many horizontal grass strands comprising grasscloth wallpaper, evidence of the splicing, once completed, was hidden from sight.

lesson learned: repairs are fairly easy with grasscloth

Blends In
Another early company venture was an import shop whose display wall shelving was sectioned by vertical posts. To distinguish the different sections, we used different colored grasscloths – green, blue, tan, etc. Rather than clashing, the muted tones of the various grasscloth colors worked well together.

lesson learned: natural grasscloth (even when dyed) is muted in tone, and tends to work well with a variety of colors

Hides Small Holes
Over the years we covered a lot of walls with grasscloth, and then we punctured those walls. We drove nails into them to hang racks, we stock pins into them to display bulletins, and we used picture hooks to hang pictures. When we moved the racks, took down the bulletins, and removed the pictures, the resultant holes were lost in the grasscloth texturing.

lesson learned: grasscloth works well for walls that receive small punctures

Can Be Waterproofed
People loved to put grasscloth in bathrooms, but grasscloth and moisture didn’t mix. Using the internet, we found a site that had tested waterproofing agents for marine applications. One of their best test subjects, and one that was readily available, was 3M’s Scotchgard. We conducted our own test by spraying a strip of grasscloth with Scotchgard,  and afterwards, water ran off our treated wallpaper like water off a duck’s back.

Believing it’s prudent to error on the side of caution, we would suggest three applications of Scotchgard.

lesson learned: protect grasscloth from moisture by using Scotchgard

Grasscloth, the environmentally friendly, easily adaptable, decorating enhancement, is also quite practical.

Shop For Grasscoth Wallpaper