Wallpapers for Biltmore

Recreating Historic Wallpapers for Biltmore

From one repeat and some tiny fragments discovered in two rooms at Biltmore, Stuart Stark, in association with Charles Rupert Designs Limited, recreated two colourways of wallpaper for the restoration of two of the four rooms in the Louis XV suite of guest bedrooms, which were opened to the public for viewing in April of 2009.

Biltmore was designed by the celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt in a lavish French chateaux style of architecture. Biltmore has 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement houses a swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, bowling alley, servants’ quarters, kitchens, and more.

Bitmore is the largest private house in North America, and is operated as a very successful Historic House Museum. Set on an estate of 8,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, just outside of Asheville, Biltmore is renowned for its care in curatorial restoration.

The owner of the house was George Vanderbilt who opened the home to friends and family on Christmas Eve in 1895. He married Edith Stuyvesant Dresser (1873–1958) in Paris in 1898, and they came to live at the estate. Their only child, Cornelia (1900–1976), was born and grew up at Biltmore.

The distinctive wallpaper was designed to mimic tapestry, and has a fine network of gold and black lines that simulate the warp and weft of fabric. Exacting attention was paid to the artwork that enabled the pattern to be faithfully replicated, and many strike-offs were made prior to printing, in order to capture the print quality of the original papers.