Wondering About the Walls
September 8, 2011
Courtney is searching for the perfect statement to make on the walls of his master bedroom. Follow along with his interesting thought process as he weighs his options in deciding what to do in The Case of the Problematic Bedroom Walls. Perhaps you can help him find the perfect solution.
“If you ever wondered how I met Kate, it was through paint…well stenciling to be exact. For some reason, I ended up stumbling upon Kate’s site the day she debuted her bedroom stencil last year. It so happened that I had just completed a similar trellis stencil a few days earlier in my own home which I shared with her via email. One thing led to another and Kate kindly featured my living room stencil on her site and thus began our DIY blogger friendship.
Fast forward a year later and I stand in my master bedroom stumped about what to do on the walls.
Image: Courtney Lake
The bedroom is on the third floor in what would have been attic space, and has one huge issue. The walls are a mix of angles, peaks, and curves that have proven to be a real challenge for me.
The one thing I do know is that I do not want to do another stencil. Don’t get me wrong, I love the stencils I have done in the other parts of my home, but because I have done them already throughout my house, I am looking for something different.
I turned to the internet and sought inspiration and found it in the form of Phillip Jefferies wall coverings. This New Jersey based company produces some of the most beautiful natural fiber wall coverings on the market. In particular, their Rivets line caught my eye – metallic inks hand printed on a background of woven hemp – it is simply breath taking.
Images: Phillip Jefferies
What was also breath taking was the price – $89/foot with a 24 foot minimum or over $2000 for just the wallpaper alone. While inspired, I was also left deflated knowing that I could not afford such a pricey splurge. I briefly contemplated a DIY painted version of the wallpaper but quickly nixed the idea remembering that the whole point of this exercise was to avoid stenciling, so I continued my search.
Here’s what I also discovered as I searched through the wonderful and at times wacky world of wall coverings.
Nailhead Trim Normally as home owners we spend a good portion of our housebound lives avoiding placing holes in our walls, but I challenge you to think otherwise. Applying decorative nailhead trim on your walls provides you with instant glam, masculinity and texture.
However, this technique is not for the faint of heart, those who change their mind often or who are afraid of math. It is a commitment but one I think I would gladly take considering how closely the look mimics my beloved Phillip Jefferies wallpaper.
Images: House Beautiful, Lynn Monday
Paper Backed Fabric Did you know that you could make your own wallpaper? Through a process called “paper backing” you can turn upholstery grade fabrics into wallpaper. An acrylic latex coating is applied to the back of the fabric allowing it be used just like regular wallpaper.
Designer Sarah Richardson has done this on several occasions in her TV projects and it seems like a great candidate for those seeking non-traditional textiles on their walls. That was the case with designer Anne Kyyro Quinn who uses the paper backing process on felt to create beautiful tactile and sculptural wall coverings.
Images: Anne Kyyro Quinn Leather
Nothing says luxe like leather. No denying it, a room lined in sumptuous leather is like being hugged by your rich uncle’s second wife – you know some money was spent to get that look.
After talking with the people at York Street Studios, a premier retailer fine leather goods and leather wall upholstery, they assured me that while leather walls were an investment, they were something that was easily maintainable and durable, easily taking a beating and come out better for it.
I just an not so sure that the sales force at York have encountered kids running amuck with sticky hands, a dog who refuses to be house broken and a clumsy partner with a penance for spilling stuff. If leather walls can stand up to that, then I will gladly plunk down the cash.
Mirror Forget the tacky wall-to-wall mirrors of the 70s and 80s. I am thinking antiqued panels with patina and distress that fill a room with romance. A mirrored wall will visually expand a room but in turn, it will also reflect anything you may have been trying to hide on the other side of the room.
My master bedroom is overflowing with quirky architecture but not great views and I am less than enthralled to see my laundry basket repeated into infinity on a mirrored wall.
Images: Elle Décor, Skona Hem
Decoupage Decoupage – it isn’t just for crafting anymore! UK based designer, Kevin McCloud has taken decoupage to new heights, using the technique to bring dimension and even architectural elements to plain painted walls.
Before you bust out your Mod Podge, remember that decoupaging a wall is just as much of a commitment, if not more, than wallpaper. Any imperfections on the wall will be amplified by the technique and once you tire of it, unlike wallpaper, you will need to probably patch or replace the dry wall when it’s removed.
Images: Kevin McCloud
Photography Why not make a big statement to add personal meaning like Brian Patrick Flynn of the blog Décor Demon did using personal photographs. Galen Gondolfi did a similar treatment in his entrance way. By having personal photos blown up as a mural Brian & Galen were able to infuse a sense of self into the room and save dough by not having to splurge on artwork. It’s a bold design statement and also huge testaments to familial bonds since you really have to like the person(s) you are blowing up to super human size.
Images: Galen Gondolfi, Brian Patrick Flynn
Moss While I am pretty sure this is not the solution I am looking for, Oki Sato’s take on wall covering is unique. Using dried moss, Sato created a filigree-like pattern on the walls of his Tokyo apartment bridging the gap between indoors and outdoors in a city defined by its lack of natural surroundings. I could see this being used outdoors as an accent wall in a garden or as part of an urban landscape.
Image: Oki Sato So
After all the research on various wall coverings, where do I stand? Well I’m a lot more knowledgeable about the possibilities out there, and convinced with a little more digging, the perfect wall covering is waiting for me to discover it.”
What say you? Have any ideas for the walls in Courtney’s bedroom? Since he loves textured natural wall coverings, I’d love to see grasscloth wallpaper on the wall behind the bed with a similar tone paint color on the angled ceiling and surrounding walls. Lowes carries the Patton Wallcoverings line of beautiful Decorator Grasscloth in all colors and in various woven textures at affordable prices. Perhaps a complementary woven shade in the window too.
I love the idea of nailhead trim, don’t you? I’m thinking he could use pewter nails to define that angled wall. Whether he chooses a backdrop in a subtle shade of gray or a deep hue like navy blue, the use of grasscloth and/or nailhead trim would make quite a statement together as they do on this this piece of furniture. And how cool is the use of nailhead trim used in this bedroom space by Mary MacDonald?
What do you think Courtney could or should do with the walls in his master bedroom? Got any ideas for him? Do share!