If you go to Home Depot asking for wallcovering primer, and then explain that you need it to prime the walls so you can put up wallpaper, they’ll stare at you blankly. Then they’ll say this (in a southern accent): “Welllll, ma’am, we don’t got none of that, ‘cuz people are takin’ dooowwwwn wallpaper now, don’t ya know!”
If you go to Lowe’s and ask the same thing, they’ll say, “Of course! It’s right here.” The same thing will happen if you ask about brass.
Moral of the story: If you want what was cutting edge in light fixtures and tile ten years ago, go to Home Depot. If you want what was cutting edge five years ago, go to Lowe’s. If you want what’s cutting edge right now, go to a higher-end design showroom like Ferguson. Then you can see the awesome stuff they have and go try to find something similar for cheap at ReStore. At least, that’s what we do.
Anyway. A couple years ago I was into hunting for treasures at Goodwill (I have since found better places with a higher ratio of treasure to trash). But I kept a few souvenirs from my Goodwill hunting days, and one of them was three rolls of Waverly wallpaper from who-knows-when. Another treasure I have since sold…it was an antique fire grenade I found at Goodwill for $1 and sold for $925 to a collector online. And while I’m always on the lookout for antique fire grenades now, I don’t think the odds are very good that continuing to shop at Goodwill would give me another treasure of that scale.
Since finding the three rolls of wallpaper for $3 each (and drooling over wallpaper at Anthropologie for $200 a roll), I have been determined to use it. At first it was going to go in our bedroom, but then we clad the opposite wall with vintage doors and it would’ve been too busy to do both. The two small bathrooms we had already renovated looked good in the paint we had chosen, and nowhere else seemed like a small enough space to use the wallpaper and have enough.
Our next-door neighbors have the exact same house as we do on the inside; the only two in the neighborhood like this, as far as we know. Whenever we go to their house and get used to the neat- and cleanness of it, we about fall over from over-stimulation upon walking in our own house. We have an issue with visual clutter right when you walk in. I think it was the cubbies in my sewing area with all the little craft supplies in them (not to mention all the coats/backpacks/toys/books/beach towels/stuffed animals/games everywhere).
To our credit, the door on the right of the picture was lying there waiting to be installed as our front door, but the rest of it looks like a big, cluttered mess. I like this general vignette idea, though:
But every time I walked into our house I felt like I was being attacked by clutter. So I decided to switch all the little cubbies out for a big frame (and tape up the wallpaper to see if this would completely reclutter it or if we would like it.
I like it with the painted wall but the impulse to try wallpaper is just too great…
So here we go. We got the wall primed with wallcovering primer (which I hear is absolutely necessary for not turning your latex paint into goo under the paper) by 10pm, and then by 1am, this was the new reality:
The next morning, the Thompson kids woke up to things in their home looking totally different than when they went to bed (a frequent occurrence for them):
And it was a hit. We moved our chairs back (we now have a mix of Queen Anne-style chairs and mid-century modern in the same room without a plan yet on how we will reconcile this), and ta-da! In daylight:
And there you have it. Wallpaper in the 21st century.