Escaping The Vanilla Envelope

One of the common challenges people have in their renovation efforts to create something different (aside from money) is to escape the vanilla envelope.  The great majority of our homes are essentially, on the interior, stacked and butted white boxes of sheet rock with only flooring to distinguish between each.  Indeed, we all have our tastes and differences in paint color, but often, painting those vanilla walls just doesn’t match our visions.  And for good reason.  Little has changed with the wall.  Yet to make great changes, not much needs to be done in most cases.  Quite often, changing the surfaces and textures will do the trick.  Any interior decorator will agree.  That’s why we hire them. 

One common example of changing the surfaces of a wall is to install bead-board wainscoting.   But if that alternative has become too passé for you there are many other choices.   Smith and Fong’s  Plyboo is available in a wide array of decorative and architectural plywood from bamboo to coconut palm that will add depth and character to any room.  Plyboo architectural plywood is used for everything from cabinetry to wall paneling.  Hardwood accents on places such as the tops of half-walls, open stairway side trim, and vertical accent pieces  add immediate warmth and naturalness to every space.  Kirei Board, made from sorghum wheat chaff, adds vibrancy to cabinet faces, the face panels of islands and even as wall paneling.

And then there is American Clay Earth Plaster, a natural trowel-on plaster that comes in a wide range of colors replaces the dullness of gypsum and paint with a surface that feels, looks and behaves naturally.

The choices to bring new life to a room with easy solutions abound.  The first step is to escape the vanilla envelope.  Surfaces can often mimic the depth of natural materials such as trees and stone.  The trick is simply finding a way to bring them safely into your home.

* Yes, I know people often call it the manila envelope, but it just doesn’t make the point here.

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One Response to Escaping The Vanilla Envelope

  1. Matthew says:

    Great ideas and materials. I try to think outside of the box as often as possible. But hey, I build boxes….

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