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A Brave 
New World of 
Published: 09/16/2010
The Motivo line of patterned & textured quartz paneling from Caesarstone comes in 3/4-inch-thick sheets and is perfect for use in bathrooms on walls, showers and backsplashes.
The Motivo line of patterned & textured quartz paneling from Caesarstone comes in 3/4-inch-thick sheets and is perfect for use in bathrooms on walls, showers and backsplashes.

Whether you choose to paint, paper or panel it, there are lots of options for today's wall coverings.

If you watch many of the home improvement television shows, you would think wallpaper was dead. It's all about accent walls painted bright red or purple. Then I was handed a book of designer wall coverings and realized wallpaper is alive and well – and fabulous!

Today's wall coverings are not just your grandmother's style, although you can still find those little rosebuds. Your room is really whatever you want it to be. Choose neutral colors or vivid hues; muted stripes or big, bold graphics; linen or leather feel. Cavalier Wall Liner has textured wallpaper in faux brick, stone, cork and wood patterns in several colors. Brewster Wallpapers produces a textured, white, paintable vinyl wallpaper that comes in patterns resembling plaster, grasscloth, orange peel, spatter, and many more. Deeply textured vinyl wall coverings are especially good at concealing paneling and cracked or damaged walls. These wall coverings can also be used on ceilings for an interesting accent similar to the tin embossed ceilings that are in vogue again.

At Randall Lee's in Gearhart, interior decorator Jeanne Tagg recommends York wall coverings. They've been in business in the same location since 1895, their products are nature-inspired, eco-friendly and York wall coverings are 100 percent made in America. Some of their wallpapers have matching fabric in the same pattern and colors.

Painting a home's interior involves more than just choosing pretty colors and, while your color palette is important, there are other factors to consider when selecting paint. According to Kathleen Tyler in the paint department at Rosenberg Building Supply in Tillamook, she's noticed that the trend toward faux paint finishes is fading, and people are tending to buy more paint without volatile organic compounds (VOCs). There are few zero VOC paints on the market, but Rosenberg carries Pittsburgh Paints Pure Performance, which is one of them. With this eco-friendly, 100 percent acrylic latex interior paint with anti-microbial properties, you can paint today and occupy the room tonight without a strong paint odor.

Jeanne Tagg also agreed that people are getting away from faux paint finishes. "Whatever surface effect they want, they can obtain with wallpapers," she said. "But when they do want paint, I recommend Devine Color." This low VOC paint was developed and is produced by a woman in Oregon, using colors found in Oregon. There are 10 shades of green, for instance, on one of the handmade palettes she creates, using the paint "that goes on like yogurt." Her palettes are named Cool Grasses and Evergreens, Ocean Tide Pools, Silver Skies and nine other descriptive names, with about 10-12 colors per card. You can find it at Pacific Paint in Gearhart.

One beautiful alternative to granite surfaces is CaesarStone, made of quartz and commonly used for countertops. Now the company has introduced its Motivo line for backsplashes, shower walls, vanity tops, wall paneling, custom furniture and other applications. Motivo quartz paneling is currently available in a white lace pattern and a black crocodile design. To achieve the patterns in stone, CaesarStone utilizes a unique, patented polishing method to create a contrasting gloss and matte finish. CaesarStone is a sustainable manufactured stone combining 93 percent natural quartz with seven percent polymeric resin as a bonding agent. This terrific material is non-porous, so it never needs sealing, is stronger than granite and is resistant to scratches, stains and heat damage. The 3/4-inch thick Motivo quartz paneling costs approximately $90-$100 per square foot installed and can be obtained at Randall Lee's in Gearhart.

With all these exciting innovations in paint and wall coverings, just looking at them can get your creative decorating genes jumping.  - By Stella Bennett

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