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Category:  Decorating

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Decorating with Wallpaper


By Nikki Willhite


Pleasures and Pitfalls of Decorating with Wallpaper

Wallpaper is exciting. There are so many patterns and colors. It is so much fun to imagine how they would look in your home. It's instant character! I don't want anyone to think I am against wallpaper. I love it. There are, however, things you need to consider before putting it up. This article is just to help anyone who may need more information to make an informed decision.

When I was taking my interior design classes in college, my instructor use to say, "Wallpaper is cheaper than paint". They must have had some very inexpensive wallpaper in her day! Not so anymore.

Wallpaper is expensive. Not only do you need the wallpaper, but you should put sizing on the walls before you hang it so that it will come off easily when that day comes- which it will. No matter how thrilled you may be with it at the beginning, you are going to get tired of it, outgrow it, or feel it is too dated someday. It may fade or otherwise look shabby and you will have to remove it. If you have to move, you will be advised to take it down by your Realtor to make your house more marketable, as tastes vary.

Hanging wallpaper is not easy. If you don't do a perfect job hanging it (as most of us do not), when you look at it your eyes may constantly go to the seams and they may bother you.

Perhaps that is why so many different paint techniques were invented. It solves that problem. Also, if you live with builder's walls (any finish other than smooth), you will either have to sand off the bumps, or apply an under layer to hang the wallpaper.

Some homes look much better with wallpaper. Traditional homes can look wonderful with wallpaper and beautiful moldings. If you pick a subtle, traditional design, you may find a pattern you can live with for years. Or you may want something that will excite you. Here are some rules that will help you get the look you want:

Consider the room you are putting the paper in. If it is the bathroom, what you see is what you get. If it is a room where the wallpaper will be seen from a distance, stand back and look at it before you buy it. What looks like a curvy, feminine pattern up close may turn into a harsh geometric looking design when you view it from the distance.

Take a sample home and try it out in your room first. It is impossible to retain color in your mind. That is why decorators always have samples of all the fabrics and colors in a room. Take it home and look at it in the room you plan to hang it to make sure it blends and you like it.

Remember to squint and get the overall colors in the paper. Remember that the color you see in your sample will be much stronger when all the paper is applied. Review how to use color in your home for climate control using light orientation.

Read the instructions thoroughly before hanging the paper. Don't get in a hurry. Let the paper soak a couple minutes when wet or the glue won't activate. Remember, the larger the repeat in the design, the more paper you will need. Do your homework. You can do it by yourself, but read ALL the instructions, and don't hurry the project. You are spending a lot of time and money.

If everything goes well, you'll love it.


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