In my last post, I regaled the qualities of wallpaper. I may not have included that wallpaper adds luxury, depth, pattern and interest to any room. I also may not have mentioned that using wallpaper, though an investment up front, can be an economical choice in that it’s durability saves from repainting every few years and, with a statement design, less artwork and accessories are needed to complete a balanced look. Furthermore, I may or may not have inadvertently overlooked the fact that wallpaper creates a backdrop and a mood for an entire room.
Now that we have that cleared up, and everyone is as convinced of the positive attributes of wallpaper, let’s move on to the practical part of choosing and using wallpaper in your home.
The key to decorating with wallpaper, like all things design, is balance! Balance is created by joining hard and soft, textured and smooth, printed and solid, high and low. But, like your mother always said, “Everything in moderation — including moderation!” This is when a design expert needs to be called in. When is too much, too little, too big, too busy? If you don’t know, call someone with the experience and eye to know.
Your mother may have also said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you love it, that’s what matters most. This is your palace. You get to be the king or queen of what gets put on your walls.
Personally, my kingdom is covered with vinyl grasscloth. It simply offers so much to a room: texture, layers and drama. Thibaut and F. Schumacher & Co. are my go to distributors for wallpaper. Their designs add the opulence I am typically trying to achieve for my clients’ homes. My front hall welcomes my guests with the formality that only printed grasscloth wallpaper can bring: texture plus pattern, depth and interest.
Once while in Atlanta, I walked into the Lee Jofa showroom and saw this blue and white wallpaper that made me gasp. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I knew that in that moment some wall in my home would be covered with it within the week! I also used the same pattern in one of my clients’ guest rooms. Amazing!
Here’s the one caveat: never put grasscloth in a bathroom or kitchen. Wallpapering bathrooms is crucial (all of the bath and powder rooms in my home are papered), but avoid paper that is a chore to wipe down.
Generally, wallcovering a room is a luxury in that its initial investment is high. However, you can cut down on cost by papering one accent wall. The cheapest paper you can find on average is about $45 a roll. For a standard-sized room with a chair rail, you can get away with around 14 rolls, without one 24 rolls. You can hire someone to install it for around $1000. One of my clients wasn’t ready to invest quite so much, so we did an accent wall so it cost her $800 versus $3000. (I know it’s tacky to talk about money, but I’m just telling it like it is.)
Your wallpaper tips are brought to you complements of moi and a little thing I like to call #redemptivedesign.