Mad About . . .

Arcadia Mural Wallpaper

12th July 2017

Now I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this (cue snores) but I’m currently writing the second book. It’s out next March if I haven’t….. Anyway, one thing – by the way I’ve done 37,000 words out of 40,000 at this point (cue round of applause) – now where was I? Oh yes one thing my publisher has said is that I mustn’t forget to talk to those who are renting. It’s not all for people who can knock down walls and change the colour of paint every 10 minutes. So renters, this book is for you. Too.

I have taken that on board and it was while I was researching today’s post that I had an idea, invented a completely new concept, discovered it already existed and went back to the inventing drawing board via this post in which I shall tell you about the brilliant thing that is good for renters and those who are easily bored.

etched arcadia mural wallpaper from anthropologie

First of all I wanted you to see this. I have a secret passion for a mural. I can’t help it. I rather love them. The Mad Husband, however, rather hates them and as he has quite strong opinions on matters interior, I feel that this black and white beauty is unlikely to be adorning the Mad Walls any time soon.

It’s from Anthropologie costs £218 and fills 18.5 square metres. But that’s not the interesting part. Which is that it’s removable. And ha ha I know all wallpaper is removable. Eventually. But this stuff, which has a sticky back that is activated by water, will peel off in one strip. Easy. Ready for the next one.

removable wallpaper

removable wallpaper by Kate Zaremba via Etsy

So that’s a good idea already. Why then, I asked myself, doesn’t something like this exist in plain colours? Then all those people in magnolia rented apartments could simply paper over the boring walls in the colour of their choice and peel it off when the landlord came round.

Well sadly for me and my millionaire plans, it does already exist. Sort of. In that there’s not much choice. Yet. So this Anthro one was developed with a US company called Sure Strips and they do have a lot of choices. You may not like them all but there is choice. Might also be worth seeing if they ship outside the the US if you find one you like.

Having discovered that clever idea but not in a pattern that was going to make me rush to add to cart, I set off round the Internet so see what I could see. And I saw this from Etsy. And this ships all over the place and there are some interesting designs.

A little closer to home – the UK – and I found that Graham and Brown have a Superfresco range (called removable on the US site) which just peels off when you don’t want it any more. And here I found a plain grey one. And pale grey and plum. And one that looks like bricks. And they’re about £15 a roll. However, it’s not quite the same thing. I rang Graham and Brown and was told that while they promise this will peel off in one piece you do have to attach it by pasting the wall, which means you may have to clean the wall after you’ve taken it off. Still, that’s perhaps not insurmountable in a rental as long as you can get the stuff off in the first place. And having once removed nine layers of paper from the hall of our last house, that’s not a small promise.


Back to Etsy then and I found this one too. I shall definitely be investigating this further because I think it’s a brilliant idea that hasn’t been properly explored. What do you think? Would you buy this if it came in rolls of gorgeous plain colours? Or even gorgeous patterns? I think it could be a winner?

removable wallpaper

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  • Karen, BC 13th July 2017 at 12:55 am

    So much cheaper and easier to paint and with more choice. I don’t buy the excuse that one can’t if renting or leasing; in a worse case scenario, you’ll need to repaint when you leave (bfd) or forfeit your deposit, which may be a small price to pay for living in an aesthetic environment you love. Best case, there’s a good chance the landlord will love it or at least approve it. Live in the style you want.
    By the way, I just discovered your blog a few months ago and love it – I so miss much of the UK’s style here in Canada, if not the prices, and look forward to your prose and photography.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 13th July 2017 at 9:25 am

      I’m so glad you like it. I think landlords have been given more rights here and are much stricter so it can be harder to get permission to decorate. Also sometimes people do redecorate (with permission) and the landlord puts the price up so it can be tricky. Years ago I lived in Paris and everyone was allowed to do what they wanted – within reason – as it was regarded as their home while they were renting it. But in the UK I know it can sometimes be tricky to hang a picture never mind paint a wall.

      • Karen, BC 13th July 2017 at 10:20 pm

        Good point, although I wasn’t suggesting asking for permission – only forgiveness. ?

  • Tamarisk 12th July 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Kate, I recently discovered that does some fab removable panels. They’re US based but ship internationally for a flat rate.

  • Gina 12th July 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I had the Arcadia mural in my last house, but left it there when we sold. I would really have liked Fornasetti clouds but this mural was significantly cheaper. I loved it once it was installed. Now, if only it had been removable AND reusable… 🙂
    Here’s a pic:

  • Gwenda McDougall 12th July 2017 at 8:59 am

    So funny, I recently had the Arcadia Mural sent to Melbourne from the States (via a friend, Anthropologie don’t send Wallpaper to Oz) and I’m actually having it installed in a restaurant I’m refurbishing tomorrow morning. I also designed a cloud pattern for a floating ceiling (inspired by Fornasetti of course) and a large ‘sideways’ cow for the staff door. The restaurant is a Licensed Fromagerie called ‘Milk the Cow’ based in famous St.Kilda. If you’d like to see finished results pls let me know. Thanks for your posts. They are always worth reading.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 12th July 2017 at 9:29 am

      Sounds Amazing. I’d love to see ….

      • Gwenda McDougall 23rd July 2017 at 11:40 am

        Hi Kate, I have some images of the installed Anthropologie Arcadia if you’d like to see them? But you’d need to email me directly so I can upload the images. In the words of Martyn Lawrence Ballard….Live, Love, Decorate!!
        Regards, Gwenda

        • Kate Watson-Smyth 23rd July 2017 at 5:07 pm

          Oh I’d love to – can you send them to me on kate at thank you

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