A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling like my living room – while nice and cozy – could use a little more zing. I wanted to create a clear focal point in the room…one that wasn’t the tv. I have a small space, so there are only so many options. Large artwork or a feature wall? Why not both?
I immediately had an idea that I knew would work. I was going to wallpaper one wall. Why not paint? Well, because my living room is open to my kitchen and I already have two great colors that flow together. Wallpaper is an option that appealed to me, because there are so many choices in terms of patterns and designs.
I did some research online and as much as I loved the idea of scooping up some vintage wallpaper, I couldn’t find any design I liked that was available in the quantities I would need. Etsy is a great place to look for this, though. Besides, when I get something in my head, I want to do it right away.
After trolling through various sites, I realized that I was drawn to bold graphic patterns. A mix between retro and modern were the ones I could picture best in the room. But I wasn’t willing to pay $60 plus per roll, that’s for sure. So, I headed out to see what I could find around here.
By the time I hit Home Depot, I had almost given up on the whole idea. Then, I spotted this fantastic wallpaper for $32.99 per roll. Black, white, grey, with some metallic silver thrown in and a bold, retro graphic. It HAD to be mine.
I got some much needed help from the Home Depot staff who calculated how much I’d need (Tip: length x width of wall to be covered divided by the square footage covered by each roll. Don’t forget to subtract any openings in the wall before dividing. And account for the repeating pattern of the wallpaper.)
I hesitated only slightly when I realized that it wasn’t pre-pasted. It was a “paste the wall” designer paper from Graham & Brown. Meaning, I would have to buy paste and roll it on the wall first. This was a bigger job than I expected, but the package said it was easy to do, and that it would be easy to strip off at a later date. I had read about this when doing my research. Guaranteed to peel off in whole strips. The hardest part was finding wallpaper paste. Home Depot carried one brand in one size – gigantic and expensive. Eventually, I found a much more reasonable sized bucket of paste at Piercys ($16.99)
Little did I know that the hardest part was still to come. Take your time when you start to ensure that the first piece is both level and plumb. No walls are ever truly square…and if you are slightly off with the first strip, it will be exaggerated with each piece and obvious to the eye when you are done. I’m still not sure I got it completely true…but it looks good to the eye, so that’s good enough for me!
Tip: wallpaper hanging is not really a one person job. It requires a lot of patience, a lot of measuring and a steady hand (especially when you are using paste). I did do it on my own, but at some point, I used both hands, knees, feet and probably even my head to hold up the paper. Needless to say, I was a sticky mess at the end. And it took me somewhere around 4 hours to do the job.
But I absolutely love the end result. It added much more than a bit of zing to the living room. It’s sexy, bold, sophisticated, and fun. It takes the room to a whole new level. I would do it again…in someone else’s house and with a bit more help.