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Are You Guilty of ‘Abuse of Wallpaper’? Here’s How to Avoid It.

Are You Guilty of ‘Abuse of Wallpaper’? Here’s How to Avoid It.


Wallpaper is a robust design instrument that may rework a room.

You begin with a white field and find yourself with what looks like a wholly totally different house, wrapped in an intricate floral design or a daring geometric sample.

But which one: Intricate or daring? Floral or geometric? With so many colours and patterns accessible, selecting one can really feel virtually not possible. And when you do, how do you keep away from botching up the set up?

Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe, of the Los Angeles-based design agency Nickey Kehoe, usually wrap rooms in shade and sample, so we requested them for recommendation. And Mr. Nickey, who occurred to be wallpapering his personal toilet, invited us alongside to see the way it’s performed.

The first step is determining the place you’re going to hold the wallpaper. Keep in thoughts: Not all rooms are good candidates for wallpapering.

Smaller, darker areas like bedrooms, dens, workplaces and loos — the place “you need to really feel such as you’re enveloped,” Ms. Kehoe mentioned — are the very best locations to hold wallpaper. Larger rooms with nice mild and delightful views are sometimes higher left alone.

Once you’ve settled on a room, your choices aren’t over. Where precisely in that room must you hold the paper?

A typical set up includes masking all 4 partitions. But that’s not the one choice.

If Mr. Nickey and Ms. Kehoe are working with a full of life sample in a bed room, as an example, wallpapering a single wall behind the mattress could also be sufficient. Sometimes a visible shock that doesn’t overwhelm the room is all you want.

Using an excessive amount of loud wallpaper all through your private home? Mr. Nickey has a time period for that. “Abuse of wallpaper,” he mentioned, “is a design mistake.”

A greater choice, he added, is to “punctuate a home with these moments of one thing actually dynamic, and let different issues fade to the background.”

In his personal toilet, Mr. Nickey restricted himself to papering the highest a part of the wall, above the tiled wainscoting.

Another choice: Wallpapering the ceiling as an alternative of the partitions.

Measure the partitions or ceiling you intend to cowl and think about how the width of the roll you’ve chosen will work within the house.

Small-scale patterns present flexibility, however if in case you have a large-scale sample, strive to verify the middle of that sample is correct the place you need it.

“It’s good if it may line up with the doorway, so that you’re trying on the function of the wallpaper in a doorway,” Mr. Nickey mentioned.

Similarly, attempt to keep away from putting the roll in such a approach that you find yourself having to make use of skinny scraps of wallpaper within the corners of the room.

Once the place you’re placing the wallpaper, calculate the variety of rolls you’ll have to cowl the width of every wall. And be sure to incorporate additional size — generally known as “overage” — for every strip, so the sample might be lined up and trimmed as wanted throughout set up.

Then add a further roll to your order.

“We at all times order one additional roll, since you by no means know when one thing goes to be broken,” Mr. Nickey mentioned. Because printing colours can fluctuate from lot to lot, he famous, you could discover it troublesome to find an ideal match later.

Wallpaper isn’t a repair for broken or uneven partitions.

If your wall has lumps and bumps, holes or a thick texture, these issues can be seen on the floor of the paper in the event you don’t appropriate them earlier than set up. Popped nailheads ought to be hammered flat, holes ought to be crammed and textural therapies ought to be lined with a easy skim coat of plaster, Ms. Kehoe mentioned.

If your wall has many minor imperfections, she added, you could need to use lining paper — clean wallpaper that’s put in earlier than the patterned paper, to assist easy issues out.

With all the selections made, it’s time to stick the wallpaper up with adhesive. Mr. Nickey and Ms. Kehoe often rent knowledgeable installer, however you may hold the wallpaper your self in the event you take the time to maintain the paper straight and the seams aligned, whereas trimming it to suit round corners, doorways and home windows.

Once the wallpaper is hung, don’t be afraid to hold ornamental equipment like photos and material. It’s pure to really feel nervous about hammering nails or drilling holes into the paper you’ve so fastidiously put in, however in order for you a completed room, there’s no different choice.

Take a deep breath, assume twice about the place you need artwork and equipment, and proceed.

“Know thyself,” Ms. Kehoe mentioned.

“And wallpaper accordingly,” Mr. Nickey added.

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