“Not my mother’s wallpaper,” you say. But every decorating magazine features the return of bold fern fronds, period designs and luscious florals. An emphasis on texture has revived grass cloths and similar styles. Metallic is another popular trend. A single accent wall is often featured with a bold print. With wallpaper prices increasing, a single wall is much more affordable than an entire room. Some of the newest products are very easy to remove, a difference from wallpapers of old.
Large print florals and scenic designs are often shown in bathrooms where a little goes a long way. Wallpaper can add depth, length, shine, and interest to any room. And, it need not be limited to the wall. Ceilings, bookcases and other furniture can all benefit from wallpaper design. Solid vinyl papers are easy to clean, which makes their use in heavy traffic areas practical.
So far the country looks of the 80’s with their ducks, geese and baskets are not making a strong comeback. But they are still available.
For the most part, wallpaper is priced in single rolls but sold in double rolls. Two double rolls are usually enough to cover one eight foot wall with eight foot ceilings, depending on the match and pattern repeat. When ceiling height increases you need to measure accordingly. One double roll usually has 33 running feet and you don’t want to be piecing paper in the middle of a wall. While most wallpaper comes in 21” wide rolls, others come in 27” rolls which may be shorter. Wallpaper is printed in lots and it is important to be sure you have enough for the job, because a roll from a different dye lot may not match exactly.
While wallpaper stores are fewer than they once were, most full service decorating and paint stores still carry wallpaper books from which you can choose and order your paper. Online sources are many, but without seeing the actual product it is more difficult to choose the right paper. Wallpaper and paint stores must buy their sample books. These books are only good for about three years. If you use these books for selection and then order from an online discounter, you are cheating the merchant who made your selection possible. Some stores code their books so that you cannot see the real pattern number for this reason.
One way to buy wallpaper on a budget is to use closeouts. Since wallpaper fashions change often, there are online as well as brick and mortar stores which sell wallpaper closeouts (no longer available from the manufacturer) at discounted prices. Since there is no more stock available, it is advisable to order extra when dealing with closeout merchandise. There is also the chance that this product may be defective in some way and hence was originally sold at a discounted price.
An entire generation of Americans has grown up more or less without wallpaper. Wallpaper application, like most skills, improves with practice. When in doubt, hire a professional or find a skillful friend. Think of a boring nook or cranny and explore the options. A new world of design awaits.