Anyone, who purchases a hundred year old house, should enjoy home improvement projects. I recently posted about my lack of plumbing finesse, but when it came to paper and paint, I was a pro. I began wallpapering out of necessity and learned to love it.
Old houses have had plenty of time to settle and that process can create a number of unsightly cracks and bulges that are difficult to mask with just spackle and paint. With fourteen rooms, I knew it would be a long while before I would be able to replace all the damaged walls with new dry wall, so I turned to wallpaper as the easiest way to rejuvenate my home’s appearance. The walls still required some patchwork, of course, but even a major flaw disappeared, when I employed a highly textured covering.
I became adept at finding sales and got some very high quality coverings at reduced prices, when there weren’t enough rolls to paper an entire room. These worked well as accent walls. You don’t have to be an interior designer to figure out which wall to accent – it’s always the one that needs the most repair! Limited rolls were also recommended for small spaces like bathrooms and foyers. The only thing small was my budget. The foyer included a staircase to the second floor. It was striking, but not small. Atrium wallcoverings are the first thing guests see and I puzzled over a way to create a great initial impression. In the end, I used two complementary papers; one covering lower-level walls and another on the staircase wall. I tied the look together with paint and window coverings, removed old carpeting from the stairs and restored the steps and banister. I got a lot of comments on that foyer, but I only told a few close friends how I achieved that expensive look.
You can’t get your wallpapering degree, until you have papered an old house. In new homes, you can measure the wall height and cut all your paper accordingly. In an old house, every strip has to be measured. Some patterns can be very difficult to apply to uneven walls. The pattern may be level, but appear to angle up or down because of differences in the wall height. Although some of these tried my patience, I eventually learned how to work with it and loved the effects that I’d created.
I was sorry, when wallpaper lost its popularity for a time. I’m glad to see that it’s made a strong return. Am I going to start papering again? No, but I have some plans to put my kid to work!