If a friend has asked for your opinion on wallpaper, you might expect to see a sampling of pictures to decorate the screen on their computer.
But these days, the wallpaper may be of another kind – the paper kind, printed with a design and pasted to a wall with adhesive.
After dominating interior design during the 1970s and 80s, wallpaper is enjoying a comeback, proving that design trends really are recursive in nature. Wallpaper can be tricky to hang, but once properly in place, is durable and can infuse a room with color and vibrancy for years to come. It's also easy to clean and care for, requiring little more than a damp cloth to restore it to its original luster.
If you, too, are gravitating to the allure of wallpaper, keep four tips in mind before committing to this semi-permanent design choice:
1: Choose the Backing Carefully
Wallpaper fell out of favor among many homeowners because it can be difficult to remove. Indeed, an entire industry sprung up around wallpaper removal sprays, tools and gadgets. The visible side of most wallpaper is vinyl, which is why it's so easy to clean. The back side can be woven, non-woven and paper-back. The first two are easier to remove than paper-back, which often comes off in tiny, fragmented pieces, which can turn a routine removal job into an epic challenge.
2: Pick a Print with Care
Pay attention to the pattern repeat – a number that refers to the number of inches it takes for a pattern to start over again. Patterns with no repeats (like textures) will result in little waste. But larger patterns – or those with pattern repeats of 20 inches and above – will require more wallpaper and result in more waste because the pattern must be matched from strip to strip.
Then there are patterns with drop matches, which must be aligned horizontally and vertically with the wallpaper on either side. This dual alignment also results in a good deal of wallpaper waste. Rolls of wallpaper can be expensive, and watching rolls go largely unused can be frustrating. This frustration may melt away once you see the finished product on your wall and your room transformed. But it's wise to understand the potential for waste before you make a final wallpaper selection.
3: Choose Only a Cellulose-Based Adhesive
Cellulose adhesives are activated by water, both when you hang and remove wallpaper. They are superior to those made of wheat paste, which does not dissolve easily and so makes removal especially difficult.
4: It's Never too Late to Defer to a Professional Installer
It was true in the 70s and 80s and it's equally true today: preparation is critical to the success of wallpaper hanging. Every little bump or imperfection in a wall will show through wallpaper, so if you're not fully confident in your ability to patch, sand, wash and prime a wall, turn to a professional and consider it money well spent.
Contact Polar Shades
There's nothing like a newly restored wall to turn your attention to the windows that surround it. To complete the transformation, make an appointment for a free in-home consultation with a window expert from Polar Shades. Just as there have been many exciting updates to wallpaper patterns, Polar Shades continues to unveil new designs and styles to its palette of window shades – for every room in your home. Call 702-260-6110 to get started today.