Wallpapered Dining Accents


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in our home our main living room and formal dining area inhabit the same open space, and while i love the open concept, I do feel we need to better visually define these two areas. luckily, we have one short wall that backs against the hallway/entryway, and on the other side is this formal dining space we speak of. the eating area is very narrow in comparison to other homes with dining rooms, so we can't house extra furniture like a buffet or shelving without having guests bump into everything getting in and out of chairs. however, since you can't see the dining space from the hallway we thought why not take this opportunity to do a feature wall on the short wall. this way as you come around into the living/dining room, you will a) be surprised by the wallpaper accent and b) feel a separation between the open living space and intimate dining space. lots of people will argue that wallpapering is a huge hassle, but in fact wallpaper has recently made a serious come. especially some of the more mod style or art deco designs with metallic accents (think great gatsby style). there are a ton of options and price points to choose from and a variety of stores,. even pre-pasted wallpaper has gotten easier to hang than it was before. so really, why not give it a try.

i've been learning more and more that interior design is all about proportions, textures and colours, and great design is about how you cleverly play with the combination of those three. wallpapering is still one of the fastest and dramatic ways to transform a space. as much as some may advise that stenciling is easier (especially if you want to remove it later), wallpaper gives you that extra bit of texture that i just don't think you can always achieve with paint. besides, i'm not sure i have a steady enough hand needed to tackle stencils.

the one piece of advice I can give is make sure when you pick a wallpaper that you try and tie a few colour elements from the paper throughout the rest of the room. that isn't to say you can't do three white walls with an accent bold navy wallpaper, but if you do, be sure to incorporate a few elements of that navy in a few small accents around the room to help visually tie it all together.

so, i think we might just give this wallpapering a go! has anyone else used wallpaper recently or are thinking of a project? I would love to see and share any before and afters! 

helpful hint - need to remove old wallpaper first? use a mix of equal parts water and Windex in a spray bottle. then spray on surface and let sit for 1 -2 minutes, then take your scraper and voila! old wallpaper comes off easier than you could imagine.


Sarah Daly said...

Do it! We created two accent walls in our house - one with paint, the other with wallpaper.

Our living-dining room is very open and we wanted to keep a clean, seamless flow from one room to the other, but like you, wanted a visual 'interest'. A short section of wall creates a minor separation from one room to the next, so within the dining room, we painted one short wall a bold, dark red. I can't remember the name of the paint, but the rest of the walls in the space are Benjamin's Moore's ever-popular Cloud White. To tie in the red across the space, we've added an area rug in the living room that is dark red and cream, and a floor lamp with a dark red shade. We love the red - it's sophisticated and chic, yet at the same time, warm and inviting. It's noticeable, but doesn't overwhelm.

Our kitchen is BIG, and very modern. We've got medium grey porcelain tiles, a mix of matte dark brown and shiny white cabinetry, white and grey quartz countertops and a glass backsplash. We chose a pale, soft grey (with a teeny tinge of lavendar) paint colour for the walls. We decided to wallpaper a short wall in the kitchen mainly to add some pattern and texture to the room. We went with a pale, cool, taupe wallpaper in a really funky pattern, and the best part, it's got texture. Not sure the correct terminology, but it's like it's flocked...velvety-feeling. It has a retro, art-deco pattern - a nod to the past that ties in really well with the modern kitchen.

I'd like to wallpaper more, but not sure the hubs would go for it. Oh, and with the kitchen wall, we hired a professional to do it. Good wallpaper is not cheap, and with a defined, repeating pattern, didn't want to attempt to hang it ourselves. Definitely money well spent.

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