Published at Sunday, April 07th, 2019 - 16:35:20 PM. Home Decoration. By Altmann Pfeiffer.
McClain loves it when someone wants to walk up and touch walls hes designed. Papers today are made with a variety of textures, such as grass cloth, leather, vinyl, silk, linen, suede, and even mother of pearl, creating excitement and countering the flatness of most paint finishes. Some textures are woven onto metallic paper so theres a glint of sheen in the background. New breathable wall coverings aim to enhance indoor air quality, and many companies offer environmental sourcing information. “I think we will see more of these, though its still a very niche market,” McClain says. Shifting economies, demographics, and land shortages are issues altering how we live and what buyers are looking for in a home. Going smaller has become bigger—a trend Not So Big House author and architect Sarah Susanka first advocated more than 20 years ago.
Spindler is active in local preservationist and historic groups. But perhaps the most important connection she can make is with a capable contractor. While the exteriors of many San Francisco Victorians are protected by historic preservation ordinances, the interiors are generally not. Electricians and plumbers often suggest that the only way to update a Victorian is to tear out original walls. But Spindler knows it can be less expensive to drop pipes and other infrastructure straight through the homes balloon framing or to wire electrical lines through an attic than to tear out valuable, original plaster work. “The crazy things that people do to these poor old houses. The walls never look the same,” Spindler laments. She compares the work of contractors who skillfully retain old Victorian walls to that of arthroscopic surgeons, who use fiber optic technology and video cameras to avoid open surgery: “Its better for the patient in the long run.” While Spindler is glad to see more young people interested in historic homes, she acknowledges her niche is limited by the number of Victorians in her market, estimated to be around 7,500 single-family homes. “Its not a lot, and we lose more every year,” she says. “Theyre not making any more of them, obviously.”
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