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The Cappon House

The Cappon House

Photo Courtesy of the Cappon House

This Italianate style house was designed and built in 1873 by Dutch immigrant architect Jan R. Kleyn for Holland's first mayor and tannery owner, Isaac Cappon, and his large family. It stayed in the Cappon family until 1980. The house which is now a property of the Holland Historical Trust, Holland Michigan was comprehensively restored in 2000 - 2004 including the reproduction of original wallpapers, floor coverings and silk upholstery material.

The Dining Room

The Sidewall paper was found in the dining room on sections of the original horse hair plaster wall. The elegant colors were visible and included three metallics, in copper, silver and gold which was typical of the opulent style of the period.

Fleur de Lis Medallion

The frieze had no original evidence but extensive research of stylistically similar frieze papers from the same period helped LMD to develop a historically appropriate design. The frame-work was created to feature the main motif from the sidewall paper and a secondary motif was also derived from the original paper. The same colors were used but the lighter background color was added after the fashion of frieze styles found from the period.

Fleur de Lis Medallion Frieze

Again there was no evidence available for this paper on site but research of archival wallpapers of the period gave direction for the lay-out and again motives from the original sidewall wallpaper were adapted and used in the design. The number of colors in the design were less as was typical of ceiling papers of the time and the ground shade is lighter and matches the lightest area of the Frieze background.

Fleur de Lis Medallion Ceiling Paper

Dining Room

Photo Courtesy of the Cappon House

This beautiful suite of papers was installed in the Dining Room of the Cappon House where it can be seen today. This wallpaper design project won the Connecticut ASID Award for Excellence for Product Design.

The Parlor

Although there was no usable evidence found in the house, then curator Joel Lefever had found large wallpaper fragments on a gilded background in another house of the same period in the area. Based on his compilation of evidence from the Cappon House such as small scrapes of paper showing color preference and gilding and paint color analysis, he felt the bold floral design fit the taste of the Cappon family.

Parlor Floral

Parlor Floral Frieze

Fragments were found with the sidewall representing the matching frieze as well. As in the original, the large scale of the densely placed, elegant pastel floral suite of sidewall and frieze is printed on a gold foil paper which peeks around petals to glitter in afternoon sun or evening gas-light. This sumptuous paper was an expression of this wealthy man’s status in this one of the most public rooms of the house.


Photo Courtesy of the Cappon House

LMD Wallpapers in the Cappon House, Holland, MI.

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