A Simple Guide to Wallpaperby Ariane Boisvert
published July 05, 2012
Planning is key!
Now that it’s moving season, many of us have found ourselves with our noses buried in décor magazines. What we’ve been seeing runs the gamut from vintage baroque to elegant minimalism. One thing many of these looks have in common is wallpaper. Inspired to recreate these styles at home? Hold on a second: hanging wallpaper isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems. We decided to ask Michel Côté, renovation pro and store manager of the Home Depot in St-Bruno, Quebec, for his advice on the topic. Here’s what we learned.
Fresh and beautiful: textured wallpaper
Côté has been noticing the wallpaper craze for a few years now. “It isn’t just being used for decorative details anymore, but to cover all the walls in a room,” he explained. Of the range of patterns and colours available, textured wallpaper wins the award for fashionable new arrival.
To inject a maximum amount of personality into a room, the expert suggests choosing a white textured paper and then painting it whatever colour you like after it’s been put up. Good to know: this type of wall covering conceals a wall’s imperfections, whereas monochromatic or metallic wallpaper tends to emphasize them.
Another option is the perennially popular trompe l’oeil, which comes in a variety of new looks. Côté tells us that faux stone and wood are especially trendy this year. They add cachet and personality to a room at a fraction of the cost and effort of the real thing.
Vital step: talking to an expert
Whether you’re embellishing a wall with some accents or completely redoing a room, Côté recommends consulting a pro. “In store, the staff is rigorously trained to provide customers with personalized assistance and workshops, which are available by appointment.” And no, the how-to video you watched online will not adequately prepare you to apply wallpaper.
In order to receive the best practical advice, our specialist says you should arrive at the store armed with certain information. Photos of the room, as well as notes about the condition of the walls and any particularities of the space (built-in furniture, humidity level, amount of light, measurements) will help the expert guide you.
On the topic of hanging the paper, Côté points out two crucial steps. First of all, it’s important to prepare the wall. Clean it with a degreasing solution, preferably something with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate). Also, even if your wallpaper is self-adhesive, you will need extra glue. Long live durability!
Alternatives for beginners
Don’t think you have the necessary patience to hang wallpaper? No matter, there are many other options. To revamp a room without breaking the bank, wall decals are available in many interior decorating stores as well as online. They are the perfect choice, especially if you rent your home, since they come off easily when it’s time to move.
To freshen up a bathroom or kitchen, Côté suggests square stickers that are specifically made to adhere to tiles. With their 3-D effect, adhesive tiles transform the wall even more. And how about chalkboard paint? Once it’s dry, you can write on your wall with chalk. Think of the possibilities!