Wallpaper is no longer just for your Grandmother’s bathroom. In fact, the amazing options available (flocked, bold patterns, metallic, textured, mural, colour blocked, hand painted, faux effect, fabric, mirrored etc. etc.) ensure that you can find the right paper for ANY room or Design style from ultra modern loft to sumptuous and Zsa-Zsa traditional. It all comes down to selecting the RIGHT paper and how to use it to the most Designer effect. You can use wallpaper like you would a paint colour-blocked wall (as a sexy bold accent on just one wall), you can wallpaper a ceiling, you can do a faux mural style paper to create an out of this World experience, you can select a bold and graphic pattern to add ZEST to a dull and lifeless space…the list is endless.
This photo shows the effect wallpaper can have on a room…one half is papered while the other half is a rich colour. It all depends on you.
The magic of Wallpaper is that it can totally transform a room, altering its feel and appearance, making a huge room more “cozy” or expanding the ceiling height visually of a lower ceiling space, or creating the effect of an endless vista from a faux style paper or through the repetition of a pattern, make a small space feel more modern and larger…the list is endless. One of my current LOVES in wallpaper are the amazing creations by Swarovski Elements … crystal encrusted wallpapers in classic designs with elegantly updated colours and lines… AMAZING.
A visually strong, graphic wallpaper that adds drama and depth to a clean lined, modern room
A sense of whimsy, humour and wit pervade this wallpaper that at first glance is just a random cobblestone until closer inspection
Now comes the HOW TO HANG WALLPAPER portion of our blog…
Believe it or not, hanging wallpaper is relatively easy to learn but as you can well imagine, wallpaper requires a heavy attention to detail, especially when hanging patterned wallpaper (you need to match the seams precisely or your visual effect is ruined and all you notice is the offset match). So now after combing through thousands of paper samples, taking them home and hanging samples on your wall, you have finally made your choice. Whether you are chosing to just highlight a wall with an intericate pattern or completely covering a room. You will need to assemble the troops (some tools for the job). You will need a flat work surface, the floor is easiest, also you will need to find a tape measure and level, utility knife (the sharpest and best quality one you can find), scissors, ladder, drop cloths, sandpaper, spackle & putty knife, warm cotton cloths, a large natural sponge and a smoothing (finishing) brush. Now to the wall itself; if your wallpaper will be hung on new drywall, make sure to prime the wall first with 2 coats of primer to help the paper adhere to the wall properly (and so that one day in the future you can take the paper down without having to redrywall the entire room). For old walls, first wash dirt or dust off with warm, soapy water, followed by lightly sanding over any chipped paint. Its never good to wallpaper over old layers of wallpaper so the old paper can be removed by using wallpaper remover, a putty knife and a paper steamer you can rent by the day from Home Depot/Lowes/Rona. I have also heard tricks of the trade about fabric softener… with no doubt a little elbow grease. You need to make sure the walls are as smooth as possible, thus some putty and sanding may be required to get those walls as smooth as a babies bottom by filling any existing holes and cracks in the walls with putty and lightly sanding once it is dry.
Take a deep breath and start with a game plan. Choose a starting place in the room where your first strip of wallpaper will match up with the last strip of wallpaper you hang. Specifically,choose a corner in a room behind a door or near where your curtains will hang so that any mismatch will be less obvious (this is a JUST IN CASE plan) so don’t be ashamed if doesn’t line up perfectly… especially it your are a wall papering virgin. You want the focal point of your room to have the fewest seams. Use a level to measure out from your starting point and draw a vertical straight edge on the wall. This line marks where your first strip of wallpaper will be placed. These steps may seem exhausting but once you get going, it will be repetitive and easy. Try inviting a few friends (by this I mean the clever, confident and patient ones) over for dinner and wine, not too much wine however, or those seams won’t be very straight. Then, lay the wallpaper print side down, on your working surface. First measure and then cut the strip to the proper length, you may add a couple of inches at the top and bottom of the paper, which will be trimed off later to ensure you have measured enough paper. Measure and cut several strips of paper at one time,making sure to match the pattern. Most wallpaper is pre-pasted nowadays so to activate the adhesive on the paper, immerse one strip right side out in room-temperature water in a water tray or bathtub. Beginning at your starting point, line your paper up at the ceiling, carefully unfolding the top half of the paper and placing the side edge of the strip along the measured line. Allow a few extra inchesof paper along the top and bottom which will be trimmed off later. When you have aligned the top half of the paper to its vertical measureline, open the bottom half carefully and gently smooth the wallpaper against the wall with your hands. Begin at one edge and work your way across, then begin using a smoothing brush and damp sponge to smooth out any air bubbles (A seam roller may also be used to smooth down the edges of thewallpaper). When tackling the corners of the room, measure from the last full-width strip of wallpaper to the corner. Add an inch to that measurement and cut the strip to that width. Apply the wallpaper to the wall, making sure to totally smooth it in the corners. Then make a small slit from the top of the strip to the wall to allow the strip to lay flat at the ceiling. Repeat the same at the bottom and then trim off the top and bottom. A wide-blade putty knife can be used to hold down the wallpaper strip at the ceiling. A quality utility knife can then be used to trim the excess wallpaper at the top and bottom. But please be sure to cut the paper off of the bottom once the entire room has complete finished drying. I advise taking a well deserved break overnight and then trimming with care around light switches etc…And the well deserved final step is to sit back admire your masterpiece.
Attention to detail is CRUCIAL with wallpaper.
Wallpaper can transform your wall into a work of Art…think about placement and purpose.
A Bold Wallpaper can unite your Design theme if you keep all your elements cohesive to your vision.
A fresh update on a classical Wallpaper will liven up a period room and add LIFE & Personality.
A sense of magic can be added to a room with the right choice of wallpaper and how you interpret it.
Remember…you can use it anywhere…think creatively about your home and set the stage for your life.