In England, when a dignified old house is purchased by an architecture or history buff intent on restoring the building to its former glory, the new owner likely will arrive at the door of Hamilton Weston with a wallpaper fragment hoping to have the pattern recreated—which is precisely what the company specializes in.
But while Hamilton Weston bills itself as reproducing and recreating historic wallpapers and has a collection of wallpaper reproductions dating to 1690, the 20-year-old English company goes far beyond the call of duty when the restoration of a venerable old house is at stake. Robert Weston, a trained architectural historian and an expert on the fabric of period buildings, often is asked to consult on the architecture of a Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian house that is being renovated by an architect. Sometimes he and his partner, Georgina Hamilton, are commissioned to design the interiors—from sofas to curtains to the appropriate period furniture.
“We just finished work on a Regency villa on the Thames dating to the 1820s that is listed because it's a historic building,” he says. “We used some of our own collection of wallpaper reproductions, such as Jasmine Dot (above), which we printed in terra cotta with metallic gold to sparkle in candlelight, for the dining room. We reproduced Carlyle damask (below) specifically for the drawing room, where we recreated the plasterwork ceiling and cornices and designed bookcases to fit into recesses.”
Weston’s interior design commissions occasionally come from across the ocean. He recently designed and furnished several rooms in a Washington, D.C., house using furniture bought from showrooms in New York’s Design & Decoration building as well as pieces he had made in England.
Although Hamilton-Weston does a lot of work with architects, interior design companies, the National Trust and museums, Weston notes, “Surprisingly most of our commissions are from restorers of old houses walking in to look for period wallpapers.”