Things To Know | Wallpaper

That title may be a little deceiving...This isnt really a post about wallpaper info as much as it is about installing wallpaper.  Wallpaper is it's own animal.  It's major impact and we use it all the time but there is an art to being a wallpaper installer.  Wallpaper isn't just slapping up some paper and calling it a day.  There are many more steps to it and, to be honest, everyone could use a little bit of an education in wallpaper.  It's just good to know what an installer has to go through, pretty much for anything, because it helps you appreciate their work much more and understand the value of their job.

So here's the quick and dirty on wallpaper.  For starters, walls are not always just ready for wallpaper.   If walls have texture, they must be smoothed out or "skimmed" before wallpaper can be applied.  There are certain instances where wallpaper can be used with a liner paper underneath it but this is only if the wall has a light orange peel texture.  Any walls with heavy knock-down texture will need a separate drywall repairman to come in a skim the walls before wallpaper can be applied.  This is the little secret that can make wallpaper a little more complicated and expensive.  Drywall skimming is not cheap, so keep that in mind before you decide to install wallpaper.


Even after walls are ready for wallpaper based on their texture, they still need to be primed.  So a wallpaper installer doesn't just come in and quickly throw wallpaper up.  He has to first prime the walls.  He does this so that the glue or adhesive being used for the wallpaper actually stays on top of the wall and doesn't get absorbed.  The primer creates a top coat that prevents adhesive from getting sucked into the drywall causing there to be a bad adherence and, ultimately, peeling wallpaper.  Which nobody wants!


Once the walls are primed, a good wallpaper installer will use a good adhesive to adhere the wallpaper.  The purpose of a good adhesive is two fold.  One, a good adhesive will keep the wallpaper on the wall and prevent peeling which is a major deal!  And two, a good adhesive will come off easily when removed right.  The difficult thing about the way wallpaper used to be was the removal.  Removal was messy and damaging to the drywall which made for a much bigger expense than anyone wanted.  Good adhesives available now are water-based which means that a little steam should soften the adhesive and allow for the paper to be removed easily without much damage to the wall.


We love wallpaper and, like we said before, we specify it all the time.  However, we do NOT attempt to install wallpaper.  We always higher a professional to install wallpaper and we actually recommend that you do too!  It IS possible to install wallpaper yourself and, I guess, if you're really handy, you could attempt that.  But we've also seen wallpaper installation go very wrong and we place a lot of value in the installers who do this for a living and do a great job!  They are worth every penny they charge!


Trends | The Big Trend That's Making a Comeback

For a long time, gallery walls have been big.  They've been done every way imaginable in every room of the house possible.  The cool thing about a gallery wall is that it's personal.  It's filled with family photos or your children's artwork...maybe even some of your personal art.  So it will make sense anywhere because you're connected to it emotionally.  Now, we're not saying these walls are dead but we are saying there's something that may be taking the lead in wall design...

Accent walls used to be, very simply, a different paint color.  They were the early trend of color-blocking.  After that died out in the 90's, pretty much any designer who was forward-thinking avoided accent walls like the plague because it immediately dated a space.  However, accent walls have continued to evolve, despite every designer trying to ignore them.  And now, they're making a comeback because they're considered a style statement and are created with much more than just paint.

Now, an accent or statement wall can be created with wallpaper instead of paint.  This application seems to have more of a flow in a space because you can selected a paint color that coordinates with the wallpaper rather than something that completely fights it.  The great thing about statement walls is that they also serve as art pieces.  One reason that accent walls have evolved is because art has evolved.  What is considered art now is much less complex and rigid than what used to be considered art.  People find beauty in so many different things that art has really become an expression.

Accent walls can also be created with tile.  Sometimes it's the pattern on the tile but oftentimes it's the way the tile has been applied.  Tile shape and direction has so many different possibilities with mixing that you have an incredible number of ways to make a wall pop.

One of the more recent developments in accent walls is the green wall.  We love bringing greenery inside for so many different reasons, but the depth and natural beauty a green wall adds to a space is 100% winning.  In our minds, a green wall brings the entire room to life as well as the people who live in it!

Finally, mirrors are a great way to make a focal wall.  When a wall is covered with mirrors, we typically call it an installation but it is an accent wall, undoubtedly.  We always use mirrors with frames so that the outline of the mirrors creates a shape on the wall adding what looks a lot like an architectural detail.  Sometimes this is a number of square mirrors, other times this is round mirrors or mirrors that are different shapes and sizes.  However you lay it out, it will make your space look much larger and will also make it feel much more dressy!

We love accent walls!   We like that they give us opportunities to create art in different ways and introduce things like wallpaper without overwhelming a space.  There's a good reason they're still around!


Wallpaper | Let Me Count The Ways

Wallpaper is still here!  Yep!  Surprise, Surprise!  It hasn't faded away from the trending pool.  It's still holding it's own on the design spectrum.  So today we're going to talk about all of the ways you can use wallpaper in and around your kitchen.  We understand that tile can get expensive and there are lots and lots of options for color, style, and pattern when it comes to wallpaper so why not put it to work?!  The other nice thing about wallpaper is that it's a much easier change then tile is.  It's more work than paint but there's a lot more visual interest with wallpaper so the price is worth it.

Although we don't recommend paint accent walls anymore, we do recommend wallpaper accent walls.  The reason for this is that wallpaper and paint can still coordinate with overlapping colors whereas a paint accent wall is going to be a completely different color and can easily look like color-blocking.  The kitchen is no exception when it comes to accent walls and wallpaper is an easy option.  Go clean on your cabinets and countertops and throw a little pop in there with a funky wallpaper and you've got a fun kitchen.

A lot of people want to put their wallpaper in a focal area but there's something to be said for a little unexpected punch of pattern in your kitchen.  Areas like the kick-plate of an island or peninsula, or the back of open shelves.  These little spaces are perfect areas to add charm and visual interest without a ton of pattern becoming overwhelming.  Since wallpaper also comes in textures, a little texture could be exactly what your kitchen needs to warm it up a bit.  Grasscloth is so fun and adds a ton of depth!

One of our favorite places to add wallpaper is on the ceiling.  If you have an eat-in kitchen and want a fun way to segregate the dining area, try wallpapering the ceiling area over the table.  This could work for the area over the island too.  Any little focal space can have a little trim added to the ceiling to frame out some wallpaper and without the hassle of a  rug, you've automatically defined the space.

Remember.  There are a variety of types of wallpaper that can work well in kitchens.  Obviously patterns do hide dirt and grease, but vinyl wallpapers are great for wet areas.  They are wipeable and durable!  We just love wallpaper so much that we want to see it everywhere!


The Bedroom | If These Walls Could Talk

That title is a little more dramatic than this post will be, but i thought it was fun. Haha!  Contrary to what you might be led to believe this post is about, it's not about the dirty little secrets of the bedroom.  It's about bedroom walls and how to make them speak volumes in the design of the space.

Bedrooms are personal.  You have a lot of liberty and leeway with these spaces because they are really meant for your eyes only.  Because of this, you don't have to hold to the typical form and function of common areas.  Of course, you want it to flow and be easy to manuver in, but you can think a little more outside the box when it comes to the style of the space.

Depending on the size of the bedroom, you may not have a lot of room for furniture--aside from the necessary items--bed, dresser, nightstand, so styling it with accessories or other items that would sit on top of furniture could be difficult.  In cases like these, we recommend using your wall space.  For many, the first thought that comes to your head is, oh!  paint it a color!  And, yes, that is one option, but there are other things you can do with wall space as well.

One great way to use wall space is to add some sort of applied molding or paneling.  Applied molding can be used to accentuate a piece of furniture--like a bed.  Build up the shape of the headboard on the wall with applied molding so the bed really becomes a feature.  Or, you can frame out certain items.  Frame out your windows and doors, or even just add square paneling for architectural detail.  Applied molding is classic and versatile, so even if you change the color or look of the space, the molding can transition with it.

Of course, we always recommend wallpaper.  Wallpaper can really add a punch of style, color, texture, and/or pattern.  It can be applied inside of the moldings, to a single wall, above or below a chair rail or even just in a closet or niche.  Again, it's temporary and fairly inexpensive and can really transform your bedroom.  You can also pick a really interesting pattern if it's going in your bedroom--as long as it's something you like, it can work!

Similar to wallpaper but a little easier to apply is wall decals.  Wall decals have become increasingly popular recently, especially in kids rooms or nurseries.  They come in all sorts of shapes and can be used anywhere--ceiling, furniture, walls.  They're easy to applied and easy to remove but quickly add pattern to a dull space.

Many of you have seen these in the kitchen as a backsplash option or even on a ceiling, but 3-dimensional tiles can also be applied to a wall.  Again, like wallpaper or decals, they can be used to create a focal point or accent wall in the space or even in a smaller application to accentuate a piece of furniture or highlight an architectural detail.  There are many different ways to apply them, and all are pretty simple.

Murals have been long known as the giant pictures on walls, but you can also use your own photography as a sort of mural.  Large (actually, giant) black and white photography can be a really cool artistic feature to add to a room.  Maybe it's a photograph of a place you've visited or maybe it's just somewhere you'd like to go.  Either way, it's significant.  So blow it up and use it as art on your wall and you've instantly made your room into something uniquely different and specially for you!

Like we said at the start, bedrooms can be very creative spaces.  They don't have to hold to norms of the common areas of the home so you can let your unique self show through a little more.  We hope this post gives you a few ideas for how to make that happen!

Design Tips | Ease Your Way In To Using Pattern

Many people like the idea of incorporating pattern to liven up their home but aren't sure about where, when, and how to use it.  Pattern can bring a lot to a space when used correctly but if it's overdone or misused, it can be a very distracting design faux pas.  So today we're going to give you some ideas for how to ease your way in to using pattern in your home where it won't be overdone or distracting!

If you're only comfortable with one pattern mixed with neutrals, reuse it in the space.  If you vary color and scale, it can almost look like a variety of patterns but will still feel and look like it flows without being overwhelming.  You will also accomplish the task of making your space a little more interesting!  Easy!  Right?  One pattern, different colors and scales--you can do this!

Take mixing neutral and pattern to a whole new level by using a brighter, more vivid neutral such as a navy blue (we consider blues neutrals).  Bringing in bold patterns can drown out softer neutrals, but a bold pattern balanced with a more vivid neutral will flow without leaving one half of the room heavy looking and the other one feeling drab.  You can also mix little bits of of the pattern in other parts of the room to spread it out instead of concentrating it on one piece of furniture.

People are definitely warming up to the idea of wallpaper and if you're one of these people, don't forget that wallpaper creates an easy way of bringing in pattern too.  Even though we don't recommend using paint to create an accent wall, this can work with wallpaper still.  And, if you're feeling really bold, try layering art on your wallpaper!

For most people, even if you're scared of pattern, you can envision it on the window treatments or on a rug.  Both of these places are a great starting point for incorporating pattern!  In order for your softgoods to be current, we recommend going with something that's larger scale (in either place), but definitely go for it!  Pattern in both of those places can speak volumes even if the rest of the room is neutral.

Look for ways to incorporate pattern in small areas--your kitchen backsplash, a small ottoman, a toss pillow or throw blanket, even smaller area rugs.  Start small and go from there!  Soon pattern won't be as scary for you and you'll be gravitating toward it in more areas of your home!