ORC Week 5: Wallpaper (trial & error)
I love, love, love my Hygge & West wallpaper! I had the pleasure of interviewing the founders of H&W for the Style Matters podcast a little while ago. I reached out to them because I have been a huge fan of their company for years. We talked about our mutual passion for all things wallpaper related and also about their new book, “Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life.”
So when it came time for my first One Room Challenge, it was a no-brainer for me to call them up and ask to partner with them. I’ve never done wallpaper before and I knew that if I was going to try it, I’d want it to be with Hygge & West!
Hi, I'm Zandra! If you're new here, welcome!You're in the middle of the One Room Challenge series. I highly recommend you check out the other participants as well... we're all on week 5 of 6 weeks so it’s almost time for the reveals!
My biggest surprise is what I ended up choosing. I’ve always loved H&W for their bold, colorful, pattern-ful designs. I’ve pinned an endless number of rooms featuring these kinds of choices on Pinterest. But when I started thinking about my own room, I realized I wanted something… WHITE! (If you know me or have seen my home as it’s evolved over the years, you would never, ever think of “white” if you were describing my style). But I wanted at least part of the room to evoke the white-washed adobe walls I’ve seen in Santa Fe. And that meant looking for a pattern that gave a lot of texture to the walls, but on a creamy, white backdrop. Naturally, Hygge & West had the perfect option. (I knew they would):
You can read more about why I choose this paper and how it fits into my overall vision for the room on my first post for the One Room Challenge.
Ok, so I’ve just mentioned that I’ve never done wallpaper before. I had the same reservations that I’m guessing most people have. I assumed:
it’s really messy and difficult to put up
it’s tricky to line up the pattern so it matches across the wall
you might get tired of it quickly
it’s a pain in the arse to take down
you really should hire a professional, adding to the cost tremendously
Overall, I have to say I’ve been wrong on all counts. (Well, I guess I don’t yet know how quickly I’ll get tired of it. But I’m used to making bold choices with paint color and they usually last 5-10 years).
First, of all, I highly recommend watching You Tube videos on how to hang wallpaper. I really liked the ones on the Hygge & West website because they are very easy to follow. And second, just like anything new you do, it gets easier with each new strip of paper that you hang. So my takeaway is to GO FOR IT!
One tip we learned from a different video was to keep one end of the paper “booked” while you start tacking up the first end at the top of the wall. Here’s what I mean. You’ll learn that after you apply the glue, you’ll fold the two ends of the paper in on itself, letting it rest for 5 minutes before unfolding and hanging. But rather than unfolding both ends at once, leave the bottom part folded up while you carry the paper over to the wall and leave it that way as you line it up at the top and start smoothing it out toward the bottom. Once you’ve got the first half tacked up and smooth, then you can undo the bottom half and continue.
A few other tips I have to offer from this project are:
Don’t be afraid to use too much glue. If you use too little, the paper won’t move around as easily on the wall when you’re trying to line up your seams.
Lay down a cheap plastic sheet (from the paint store) on top of your dining room table. Cut and paste your paper here to save your back from hurting.
Always write the word “top” at the top of each section of paper you cut. That way, you won’t accidentally hang a strip upside down.
Turn off your heat or A/C if there’s a vent blowing onto the wall where you’re papering. It’ll dry out the glue before you have a chance to finish.
Unfortunately, those last 2 tips came from hard-won experience.
We had finished the first wall on our first night of hanging. It took us about 4 hours to measure, cut, paste and hang 5 strips. We were going slowly and carefully.
The second day, we tackled the wall where there’s a door frame and two light switches. We were nervous about papering around these details but those Hygge & West videos were really helpful and we ended up doing fine. We also papered an exterior corner that day and were pretty impressed with ourselves.
On what we expected to be our final day of papering, we must have jinxed it. I think I started gloating a little too early and it came back to bite me in the butt. We only had one straight wall left—and it didn’t have any corners, switchplates, doors, or other obstacles. Buuuuuut, I was getting tired. And Pete had to take a phone call for work. So I decided I could just soldier on alone.
I put up a strip upside down.
And I didn’t even realize it until I had put up the strip after that!
So now both of those strips were coming down and wasted. I decided I’d be better off going to bed and trying again in the morning rather than pushing ahead.
So it’s the next day and now I’m refreshed and I have Pete back with me and we replace the first messed-up strip. But this time, we’ve got the heat on and the vent is right below where we were working. The paper started wrinkling and being difficult and we couldn’t figure out why. Then we realized that the glue was drying up in some places. We Googled our problem and instantly read something about not working over heating vents.
So, you guessed it… another strip wasted.
It came down and we used the last of our last roll re-doing it.
Yep, you read that right. the last of our LAST roll.
So now I’m frantically talking with Christiana from Hygge & West about lot numbers and expedited shipping. Luckily, she’s super nice and didn’t make fun of me or scold me for my idiocy. She’s simply getting me a new roll.
SO…. here we are, a week away from the final reveal and the wallpaper isn’t done. Am I nervous? Oh, hell yes. But I’ll practice my deep breathing and positive attitude and finish up some of the other details as I wait for my replacement paper. I’m having a little trouble imagining it, but one week from now, this room is going to look amazing!!! (Fingers crossed).