Design Lesson
Jun 2, 2009

Wonderful wallpaper 101

By: Jenn Houlihan

Wonderful wallpaper 101 Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Jun 2, 2009

Wonderful wallpaper 101

By: Jenn Houlihan

Wary of wallpapering your space? Karen Keller, product manager of Graham & Brown Canada, and Sarah Cole, director of Farrow & Ball, share their tips for getting you over your wallcovering willies.

Style at Home: Why are so many people afraid of using wallpaper?
Karen Keller: Their biggest fears are about installation and removal. It's a fear of commitment—that the paper will be difficult to put up and remove.
Sarah Cole: If you're afraid to commit to an entire room, try using it as an accent. Wallpaper can create scale and add texture to a room. It can be striking on a feature wall or lining the inside of cupboards, alcoves or shelving.

S@H: Some papers can be rather expensive.
SC: Yes, but Farrow & Ball papers are unique. They're made to order at the company's factory in Dorset, England, using Farrow & Ball's environmentally friendly zero-VOC paints and traditional manufacturing, techniques. Each design has a texture that’s achieved by hand-brushing the background colour. Plus, the patterns are block printed, and the stripes and striés are trough printed.

S@H: Are there options for those of us working with a smaller budget?
KK:
Sure, there are plenty of great patterns in more affordable brands. On a limited budget of $100, you could conceivably paper an 8' x 10' feature wall yourself; that total would include the cost of two double rolls and all supplies, like paste, a roller tray and a sharp blade.

S@H: Any helpful hints for first timers?
SC:
Start by measuring the height and width of all walls to be papered, taking into account the pattern repeat, to calculate the quantity of paper required. Prior to hanging, all surfaces must be clean and dry. Remove any wallpaper, dirt or flaking paint; fill in cracks and irregularities with filler; and sand glossy paint finishes.
KK: Once you've prepped, applying wallpaper yourself is actually quite easy, but if you have any reservations, take baby steps! Following the
instructions on the back of the product label, hang two strips of paper and wait a day to see the end result. If it turns out well, you can continue; if not, remove the product and correct your hanging technique.

Image courtesy of Graham & Brown Canada.

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Wonderful wallpaper 101