If you went out to lunch with a friend and you had spinach stuck in your teeth, you’d want him or her to tell you, right?
Or if you went to a site meeting with five construction workers and you had a gigantic rip up the back seam of your skirt, like practically right up to your underwear, you’d want the pervy foreman to let you know, right? (Why did I not feel a breeze back there?)
The point is, I’m more than your go-to design chick. I’m your friend. And as your friend, it is my duty to tell you: you must have some wallpaper in your home.
Wallpaper is now more than a trend. It’s de rigueur. People are embracing it. They’re recognizing its potential. They’re unleashing the power of patterned walls!
I think I’ve identified the 3 main reasons you’ve resisted wallpaper. You think it’s expensive, complicated, and permanent. I’m going to shoot these down one by one. (As your friend.)
EXPENSIVE? Not necessarily! Look online: Graham & Brown is very reasonably priced at about $45 for a European roll (which equals two American rolls…but that’s a whole other blog post)…
If you’re pattern-averse, grasscloth is everywhere, and it adds such warmth and grace to any space – especially foyers and stairwells.
COMPLICATED? Ok, I’ll admit that wallpaper can be a little complicated to calculate, but that’s why we have wallpaper store people (and wallpaper hangers) to help.
Before you go to the wallpaper store, measure your room, each wall, and get the total square footage. To be safe, I recommend NOT subtracting windows and doors unless you have an entire wall missing. Then bring those dimensions to the wallpaper store and they’ll help you calculate how many rolls you’ll need.
If you have a powder room and you’re using my installer, you will need six single (American) rolls, or 3 double (European rolls). He ALWAYS tells me that’s how much we need. ALWAYS. Sometimes we have leftover wallpaper, but we’ve never run short. For what that’s worth. (If the powder room is teeny tiny and you’re using a small pattern, 4 single/2 double rolls should do it.)
As for the installation, Google, YouTube…there are lots of resources to show you how to hang wallcovering if you want to try it yourself. It’s no messier than painting; it just requires a large flat surface, different tools, and more precision. The last room I wallpapered myself was a bathroom when I was about 14. If I could do it then, you can do it now.
If you can’t stomach hanging wallpaper yourself, hiring someone doesn’t cost as much as you’d think. We’re talking hundreds, not thousands.
PERMANENT? Definitely not. This is the biggest difference between today’s wallpaper and wallcovering of yore: this WILL strip off easily when you’re ready.
Have I convinced you?
Remember that I’m doing this because I love you, Gentle Readers. The truth can be hard to hear. But the truth is that it really, REALLY is time to wallpaper. Like, right now.
Annie Elliott – aka bossy color – is an interior decorator and design blogger in Washington, D.C. She has been quoted in publications from The New York Times to Real Simple and is considered an expert on color, residential space planning, and telling people what to do in the nicest way possible.