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Richard Lippincott’s Obsession

Rich Lippincott
Rich Lippincott

Versatile in texture, color, pattern and presence, interior designer Richard Lippincott shares why grasscloth is better than ever

If you have the itch for an interior fix, look to a textile that’s covering a lot of ground.

“I’m totally obsessed with grasscloth-covered furniture,” says designer Richard Lippincott with Madden-McFarland Interiors. “Using it on a piece of furniture rather than simply on a wall makes for a great conversation starter.”

Breaking away from its wallpaper-only stereotype, it’s now used on consoles, cocktail tables, and larger pieces such as sideboards and dressers. Tactile in nature, this lustrous material is woven with dry, natural fibers, including hemp, reed, arrowroot, jute and more. Extremely versatile and an “underutilized design trend,” as Lippincott sees it, grasscloth brings a touch of delicacy to wood surroundings and adds texture—in varying degrees—to hard surfaces.

A three-drawer chest wrapped in Thibaut’s East Gate grasscloth. A three-drawer chest wrapped in Thibaut’s East Gate grasscloth.

From lattice work to geometric shapes and from soft neutrals to richly saturated hues, its wide range of patterns and colors is impressive, allowing it to fit right in with any style preference. Industrial loft? Absolutely. Classic furniture? Bring on repurposing. Or, if you need a touch of playfulness, try out a geometric design. But if you’re wondering where it’ll make the biggest statement, Lippincott’s answer is “anywhere you want to create an individualized focal point using an unconventional material.” As shown in Thibaut’s wrapped three-drawer chest, grasscloth offers a refreshing approach to any furniture piece or wallcovering.

A selection of grasscloth wallcoverings from Thibaut. A selection of grasscloth wallcoverings from Thibaut.

“This new application brings grasscloth to a whole new generation in a fresh and unexpected way,” Lippincott says. “It adds instant personality.”