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Wallpaper – what’s the first thing that enters your mind? Could it be a new screen saver for your computer or mobile phone? Is it the bad experience that you have had trying to remove it from the walls of your home, swearing that you are never going to go through this again, and it paint only from now on?
Hopefully it you may think of it one of the first steps to brighten up a dull room, change the feeling ,style and even the apparent proportions, but most of all it gives a proper unity to any space with the advantages of adding warmth and depth required to quickly set the mood of any room.
Following on from my previous column, when we began to discuss different ways of finishing walls, concentrating on paint and how to select the colours being used, this edition I will progress to wallpaper…the pro’s and con’s and do’s and don’ts of using it.
There is an enormous choice of patterned, textured and plain papers readily available from extensive machine made varieties to expensive hand prints. One of the biggest problems that you find is the difficulty of narrowing down the choice, rather than finding a suitable paper within your allocated budget.
The kind of pattern that you choose – if any at all, depends entirely on personal taste and the proportions of the given room requiring decorating. But certain guilelines are always helpful in the task:-
- Dark papers always make a room smaller
- Vertical stripes will make a room seems taller. Don’t be frightened to use them in rooms with high ceilings but be careful with the size of the stripe, the smaller it is the busier it may seem.
- Horizontal stripes will broaden out a space. Very handy for a narrow wall or a feature wall.
- When papering a family room/ lounge, it is preferable that a fairly plain paper is used. Strong or definate patterns can be distracting and do not make a good backdrop for paintings or wall hangings. A paper that resembles a decorative paint effect is often the answer. A question that often is asked then is why we don’t just paint the walls. Trust me (I’m a designer!!) the sample of wallpaper that you see is exactly what you will get, a decorative paint effect can be an arduous mission. If you are using two different colours, when they are put on top of each other the tone will as likely as not, be the effect desired. Many, many sample pots of paint and patience are essential to accomplish this look. It also may be more cost effective to wallpaper because of the time it takes for the many coats to be added and drying times in between
- Large patterns and abstract prints can be used to good effect in halls and staircases. Often if there is no space to put occasional furniture, the walls are the only medium to create a welcoming, homely atmosphere as you enter the house.
- Open patterns do indeed look best in large open spaces.
Those are just a few pointers for you, but never think that by wallpapering the area it will disguise uneven walls and blemishes. It may take you eye away from them but there no substitute for good preparation. If required, call in the services of a plasterer to skim coat the wall. This is not as expensive as is often anticipated. Decorators can often work miracles but the impossible is still the impossible. A respectable decorator should advise the preparation required. If the wall surface isn’t in too bad condition, but not perfect, a heavy duty lining paper may suffice. Lining paper should be hung in the opposite direction to the paper being hung.
When trying to determine what your budget is, for the wallpaper, always bear in mind in mind that your decorating costs are going to be fixed. Therefore to use a more expensive wallpaper the overall cost of the room is not going to be much more…a very worthwhile consideration.
The foremost reason for wallpapering is the durability of it, providing that a good quality vinyl is used. Vinyl wallpapers are waterproof and tough especially because they are made of a polyvinyl chloride, rather than being just a paper with a plastic coating (as ordinary “washable” papers are). They can be scrubbed with a light pressure, therefore a good choice for bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and even perhaps children’s bedrooms. However the correct fungicidal adhesive must be used. Many manufacturer now insist that there own paste must be used, this is advisable as all guarantees are null and void, unless it is used.
I’m sure to finish with you would like a few tips on manufacturers to look out for, so heres Simply Interiors favourites:-
- Osborne and Little, look out for the new Andante collection, but everything is great
- Casamance for high quality vinyl’s
- Brian Yates for feature wallpapers such as stone effect also great collection of vinyl’s
- Harlequin, good quality with coordinating fabrics
- Today Interiors for vinyls and good quality surface prints.
Simply Interiors carries a full range of these manufacturers plus many others (to many to mention) which are all brought to your home along with fabrics, floor coverings, blinds and lighting. If I can be any assistance in your re decorating projects please do not hesitate in contacting me at 01698 862795.