...and complete boredom that somehow ignites the imagination?
If you've ever had a moment where you didn't feel like reading (this happens to me very rarely) and instead decided to fixate on a square foot of hideous, busy wallpaper, what is it that turns a chintzy magnolia blossom into a short-eared elephant with a mane? Or a random paisley flourish into the remnant of some unidentifyable spice a kid might find at the bottom of a bowl of alphabet soup?
I wonder if Frank can still use wallpaper as creative departure, after a year of having to purge our house of it.
Aside from homes in Akron (and, I'm sure, elsewhere) that haven't switched owners in forty years, I recommend small French hotels for strange wallpaper seeking.
One place I stayed ten or so years back had a tiny loo (toilet only) with a 10-12 foot ceiling and wallpaper all the way up: funny little characters taking a hot air balloon ride. Absolument parfait, a mon avis! (Albeit a bit of a closed metaphor.)
Now, a way to work this into my pedagogy...