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venerable Cosmos Club, overlooking Massachusetts
Avenue from its prominent corner of real estate, is known for its elegant
period decor and design. So when the owners decided to convert the
old carriage house into an opulent meeting and entertainment space, they
wanted an elaborate look that would match the rest of the mansion.
For the building's Powell Room, some of this effect was achieved using upholstered
walls. But the owners eschewed the modern method that involved
plastic frames and cloth sections: They wanted the authentic style
of installation that very few craftsmen practice anymore.
Fortunately, Al Sousson, owner of Custom Furniture & Wall Upholstery,
create a frame on which to hang the fabric, they installed a strip of laun
material around the room." Martello explains. Laun is a
thin, flexible wood, which can be easily bent around archways and curves
in the space. "Working around the large bronze wall sconces,
archways, and inset wall niches made the job especially
The fabric is a deep gold silk pattern with decorative accents featuring a variety of images, form flowers to crowns to cups, all in an 18th century style. Because the fabric comes in 54 inch widths, walls had to be measured and the silk positioned carefully in advance, so craftsmen would know how to sew it together so the pattern would stay consistent around the room.
Martello 3explains, "The pattern was repeated with precision and matched the pattern at all the other points in the room.
example, each sconce 'touches' the cup design in the fabric in exactly the