And it’s Happy Publication day to me! Now I wrote all about the book last week so I won’t go into it all again here but do follow the link if you would like to know more. And, of course, it’s podcast day so if you would like to hear me chatting to Sophie about the thinking behind it then you can listen here. And if course if you wish to buy it…
Later on in the show we talked about all the different ways you can use wallpaper, which should really be renamed housepaper I think. Wallpaper has been back for a few years now so it’s not entirely correct to say it’s having a renaissance – or if it is it’s been the longest labour ever. However, it fits in with the current move towards a more maximalist interior that we’re all seeing so it felt right to talk about it.
Firstly, we’ve probably dispensed with the feature wall but just in case… and I write this fully in the knowledge that it will probably be the height of fashion by the time you’ve finished listening.
So the thing with a feature wall is that it can look a bit random – a bit – why this wall and not that one. It looks – at the moment and yes I know things will change – a little old fashioned and possibly like you couldn’t afford to buy more paper. And, in some cases, given the price of some designs that might be true.
In which case, you need to think a little bit more creatively about how you might use it if the budget doesn’t permit a)slathering it on all four walls or b) you have chosen a flamboyant design that might be a but much if it covered the whole room.
First up – if you only want to do one wall – for the reasons cited above – make it the fifth wall, ie the ceiling. If you do that you can either go with understated neutral walls or break out even more colour but paint rather than pattern. The only thing to be aware of is the pattern itself – some florals are designed to “grow” up or along a wall and don’t work horizontally. Geometrics, stripes and abstracts are usually all fine.
But if you are using it on the walls, there is a movement towards a more mural effect with plants and trees appearing to grow up out of the skirting board. Both Little Greene and Paint and Paper Library have done versions of this and it looks fantastic.
Now for the other ideas. Sometimes you can pick up a leftover roll on eBay that someone might have left over from a project and not know what to do with. One roll isn’t usually enough to do anything – even wallpapering my son’s door used two because of the pattern match required – so think about putting it behind the shelves in an alcove. Or papering the inside of a glass fronted cabinet, the like of which can also be picked up cheaply on eBay. Then you can paint the outside – as I showed you on Monday (see below) and suddenly you’ve created a really bespoke and pretty piece of furniture.
Why stick to the inside. Zoe Pocock, of Muck n Brass, has made a business out of papering the outside of cabinets, drawer and other bits of unloved furniture. It makes for a real statement piece in a room, a sort of 21st century decoupage.
You can also use wallpaper as texture – a plain colour that looks like grasscloth or linen can be a great way to add texture without feeling you have to add lots of pattern. Andrew Martin stocks lots of different colours. Or, and I have just thought of this if you want a feature wall or can’t afford to buy enough for the whole room then why not paper the wall but leave a gap round the edges and add a simple architrave frame that you can paint to match the wall or the woodwork. It’s the wallpaper equivalent of a rug not a carpet. That way you have made a feature of the paper, covered most of the wall and looked like you did something deliberate. This press release for a new fabric range from Soane Britain gave me the idea.
Finally, you can, of course use wallpaper in the bathroom and kitchen if you make sure you stick it down really well using strong glue and pay particular attention to the edges. And then put decorator’s varnish over the top. That last is key.
Finally, I was struck by a piece I read in Elle Decoration the other day which spoke of the pressure of constantly detoxing and suggested a Spring Retox instead. By all means have a clear out and and a clean but given that minimalism, as Jonathan Adler has famously says, is a bummer, make sure you keep all those things that make you happy and that tell the story of your home and the people who live there. I’m all for collections of book and ornaments and stuff. In fact, we have decided we might even start a new hashtag #KeepYourClutter.
Do let me know if you enjoy the episode and, more to the point the new book. It should be landing with those of you who have pre-ordered today and very soon if you want to order today.
It just remains for me to thank Topps Tiles for their continued support and sponsorship as ever.