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As the seasons change & the Spring cleaning is almost complete, we like to take a step back to see if there are any spots where we can add new life to. This year we have decided that we want to give some interest to our walls inexpensively, which brings us to our topic of the month, wallpaper! We know what you’re thinking – “But won’t wallpaper make it look like we went to grandma’s house” – the answer is no; wallpaper has come a long way in the last decade or so. If you really need selling on it before having a look for yourself, there are a few reasons why we think wallpaper is a good tool to utilize; it can add a personalized/unexpected touch, gives added visual interest, & brings in warmth/texture into a space. In this blog, we will cover interesting ways to use wallpaper, the different types of wallpaper, & a few installation tips. 

Let’s jump right into it, shall we?

Fun Places to Put Wallpaper

  • Powder/Laundry Rooms – these smaller spaces in the home tend to be overlooked for decorating & are often quite bland. Although it might sound crazy, it is in these rooms that we would do full wallpaper. Hear us out, because of their size doing the full room it will not be overpowering & it is an unexpected touch.
  • Feature Walls – while feature walls are not a new concept, we have seen people implementing them for a while now. Instead of just painting a wall a different colour than the rest of a room, add a bit of warmth & texture by choosing an eye-catching wallpaper. It can act as a conversation starter & brings your attention to view the room as a whole.
  • Upcycled Furniture – yes, despite the name, wallpaper is not limited to being used to only on your walls. With the trend of upcycling turning out to not just be a fad, we see more people trying new ways to add that special touch to their creations. We have seen wallpaper on backing of furniture, on the faces of drawers, & on top of furniture surfaces.
  • Backsplash – did you know that there is waterproof wallpaper now? That’s right, & we will talk more on that in the next section. You can bring life into the spaces that would have been restricted to what they could do previously. Choose from different patterns, textures, & colours to make your moisture-prone rooms stand out.

Wallpaper Materials & When to Use Them

Do you remember when we said that wallpaper has changed since the last time you saw it? We were not only talking about having better prints, also the different materials that to which are used to make the wallpaper and their installation processes. Not always fighting with the adhesive to paste onto the walls or thinking you would be better off re-drywalling than trying to peel it off down the road. Here are a few of the wallpaper materials we love the most & how to utilize them:

First up is Grasscloth which is known for its beautiful textures of nature. Grasscloth is commonly made from arrowroot, raw jute, hemp, sisal, cork, reed, & triangle grass. It is above average price wise because the grass fibers are held together with fine thread & are usually hand-woven in Asia. It is usually wider than regular wallpaper but cannot be matched at the seams. We suggest the “paste the wall” method when installing because the rows may be damaged with other methods. Grasscloth is optimal in areas such as home offices, accent walls in a living/dining room, or in bedrooms.

Next up, Vinyl. Known for its versatility, durability, & easy cleaning, Vinyl has endless decorating options for any home. It comes in various styles including pre-pasted, peel & stick, & textured. This type of wallpaper is composed of printed paper coated with layered vinyl. Which is why Vinyl is an ideal choice for high traffic areas, such as kid’s rooms, hallways, bathrooms, & kitchens.

The one you are really going to want to look for is Peel & Stick, like the name implies – you just peel off the backing & hang it where you want. We usually find these manufactured as vinyl wall coverings which makes them durable & washable. Super useful for personalizing rentals because they are easily removable with minimal damage to the wall surface.

Last but certainly not least, if you are looking to add texture to your space we suggest Flock wallpaper, also referred to as embossed. This material is to imitate crushed velvet, made from polyester, nylon or rayon combined with an adhesive. Flock wallpaper is best suited for low traffic areas due to easy bruising which can be problematic when replacing.

General Installation Tips

Now that we have covered a few fun ways to incorporate wallpaper into your home & the different materials to keep in mind when searching for your wallpaper, we wanted to leave you off with some general installation tips. These won’t always be applicable depending on which materials you choose, verify with the instructions provides by the manufacturer. If you have intricate patterns we highly recommend hiring professionals so everything lines up just right. But for those of you who are brave enough to take on the challenge, let’s make sure you have the right tools in your arsenal!

  1. Map out your room: it is vital to lay out the room before even thinking about installing so that there is a clear route of execution. Be sure to work away from the door you enter & hide the last seam. This also allows you to gauge whether you have purchased enough material.
  2. Prep your walls: just like painting you must remove plate covers, light fixtures and any other obstacles. Be sure to fill any holes (sanding once dry), wash away any imperfections, and apply primer to seal the wall.
  3. Wipe it down: wipe down your wall with a damp cloth a day before installing, allow the wall to completely dry.
  4. Begin your install: ensure you are applying the right paste for your chosen paper. Overlap by an 1/8” on inside corners to ensure the panels are straight. Gently smooth out the paper to get rid of air pockets. When needed wipe down paper with a natural sponge as you are working, it is easier to clean up paste before it dries. You can utilize a drywall knife to act as a cutting guide when you have excess at the ceiling or trim.

That’s all we have for you for now! We hope you were able to find some useful information to take away with you as you start your wallpaper journey. Be sure to check in every month to receive helpful tips for all things home & real estate!