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Printed, patterned, textured, bold or subtle – wallpaper is back and better than ever.
If your most recent impression of the popular wall covering dates back to a faded floral peeling off Grandma’s powder room, time to update your outlook. Wallpaper, applied with skill and creativity, can help transform a ho-hum room into an eye-catching designer’s dream. Also, advances such as nontoxic inks, soy-based coatings, washability and UV resistance are adding to its overall desirability. But before you grab a roll, a bucket of paste and a ladder, check out these tips from local designers who know a thing or two about wallpaper etiquette.
ADD COLOR AND TEXTURE WITHOUT PAINT
“Wallpaper is making a comeback due to its design and visual interest, as well as the splash of color it brings to any space,” says Katherine Kawaguchi of Guchi Interior Design. Wallpaper is repetitive patterns or textures with repeats of up to 36”, so keep those measurements in mind when planning out your project. What kinds of patterns are “in” these days? Depending on your style, you’ll find papers that range from natural tones and textures, to shiny metallics and big pattern motifs. “Wallpaper is definitely going more modern these days,” says Destiny Weideman of Destiny Designs. “Fun, large patterns tend to make a statement.”
MIX AND MATCH PAPERS
Wallpaper is a great option to the owner with instinct and vision. “There needs to be something that ties the papers together, as well as colors that work,” Weideman says. “Perhaps using a larger pattern with a unique design [on one wall] and a smaller, simpler pattern [on another].” Kawaguchi recently installed textured paper with soft metallic undertones in a cathedral ceiling area and a soft metallic pattern in the bathroom vanity and one wall in the water closet to tie the look together.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Both designers concur that rather than attempting a DIY with tricky wallpaper it’s best to bring in an expert. “Many homeowners think hanging paper is relatively easy...well, so is laying carpet or tile or even hardwood,” Kawaguchi notes. A professional installation will insure proper adhesive and tools, perfect project room temperature, correct sizing, booking time and installation methods, equaling a quality and professional look. Adds Weideman, “It’s a messy job and there can be a lot of wall prep involved. It takes little time for a professional and it’s worth the cost.”
CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET
Unlike a coat or two of paint, installing wallpaper can be pricey. Therefore, you might want to limit your wallpaper addition to one focus wall for dramatic effect. “In many cases, less is more and a touch here and there shows you are in sync with current trends in home interiors,” Kawaguchi says. Find a focal point in your desired room and pick a paper that complements or contrasts with the paint color of the other walls, the flooring and style of your furniture. Confirms Weideman: “This helps create a unique space but not an expensive one.”