1879 parlor with paint stenciling to look like period wallpaper
Photo: Helen Norman

They Sprayed Their Way to Greatness

"Not sure if we’ll ever renovate on this scale again, but we love it." —Karl and Amy Gelles, Bedford, Virginia

Amy and Karl Gelles perfected the art of mixing luxe finishes and hard labor while restoring a parlor in their 1879 house. To get a look right out of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, they splurged on $700 worth of handprinted wallpaper—enough to establish the right tone—and finished the rest with paint, stencils, and elbow grease.

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