Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wallpaper, continued

I’m currently working on a top floor room that has very large exposed beams in the ceiling and on the walls. Unfortunately this beam is off center on the bed wall. We want a headboard but this 8 inch wide vertical beam throws everything off center and out of balance. Back to design principals: If you have an architectural element you don’t like you can ignore it, accent it or camouflage it. We can’t ignore or accent this beam so I’m opting to camouflage it by either painting it out or wallpapering the entire wall. Voila, off-center beam gone. I’d like to use a good textured paper and put a fantastic upholstered headboard against it.

Wallpaper has many uses. It can help conceal troubled walls, it can make a small room appear larger or a huge space appear more intimate. It can draw attention to the focal point, or it can be the focal point. It can establish a theme.

In a small bedroom consider wallpapering the bed wall only. In a really tiny bedroom ( or powder room), consider wallpapering the entire room and ceiling too. Remember the contrast guideline? Contrast is what makes rooms appear cluttered and small. The consistency of walls of all the same paper will increase the perceived size of the room, not decrease it.

If you like to change your decor a bit by the seasons, put wallpaper inserts in a headboard, or use it as a large piece of wall art. Totally removable papers make this easy. Wallpaper just the insides of the china cabinet or closet. I’ve seen wallpaper used on the risers only of stairs but I’m not sure about this one. The contrast rule comes into play here too and when I looked at the stairs all I could see were the risers. Not sure this is what was intended.

Remember tin ceilings? Anaglypta and Lincrusta were the original vinyls that replicated these ceilings and are still available but much less expensive paintable papers are readily available to fit every decor style. A leather wall? Why not. These paintable papers are so effective if done properly it’s difficult to tell them from the real thing. They also make wonderful dados.

As with so much in fashion and home decor, styles evolve and come back over and over again. Welcome back, wallpaper.

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