In the homes of 200 or 300 years back, wallpaper and fabric covered all the flaws of irregular, patched, and peeling walls. With the advent of smooth plaster and dry-wall, wall coverings are seldom used for their therapeutic properties.

There are, however, many homes where badly patched wall or walls where chronic water damage occurs, and in these situation, wall coverings can do a fabuluous job of masking their imperfections.

One of the best materials in this camouflage game is textured vinyl wall covering, a wide and rugged material, easy to clean and showing little wear and tear. It comes in hundreds of different textures, from fake bamboo to fake leather, and in as many colors. The heavier the texture, the better it covers the bad spots on your walls.

In a home I am renovating, one of the living room walls was a mess, peeling and spotted. The painter advised a heavy-duty vinyl wall covering. I chose one that looks for all the world like white linen, using bleached oak floors, off-white area rugs, natural canvas upholstery, and lots of plants and flowers to make a spacious, airy room.

In another, older home, the living room walls were similarly defective. It was essential to cover the areas where doorways had been filled in, where a partition had been and where other patching had made rough spots on the walls.

To cover this mess, I used trellis. You can buy trellis at your local home center or in lumberyards. It is a handsome and decorative covering for rough walls and is probably the easiest way to create a feeling of a garden room.

I used the trellis on all the wall surfaces, framing it with a border of one-by-one lumber for a finished look. The wall behind the trellis is deep beige and the trellis is white, factory finish. The contrast between light and dark makes the pattern more obvious.

In a room at hand, a newly installed picture window was the main feature of the space, leading the eye to a pretty garden outdoors. I used a pair of hinged panels as a window covering. These are on casters so they are easy to move, to close off or open up the view.

A contemporary chaise covered in camel-color leather combined with a Japanese chest in lacquered dark wood, large square wooden tubs painted white to hold trees, and a handsome natural wicker chair complete the seating group at the window end. The trellis makes an elegant but airy transition from indoors to outdoors.