How I used bold wallpaper to elevate my home decor
Running this blog for some time now I have come across beautiful wallpaper brands that produce stunning designs for all styles and budgets. But it was not until 2016 that I started using wallpaper in our home. Like many, I feared that putting up wallpaper meant I would not be able to change decor as often as I would like. Beautiful wallpapers that I absolutely ADORED came and went out of production and still I would not make the leap. But then one day, I decided that I had to be brave about it and just GET ON WITH IT.
Wallpaper adds luxury in a room. Have you noticed how most boutique hotels always include it in their design? Take a look at Kit Kemp's designs for the Firmdale Hotels chain for example. There's different wallpaper in every room, yet the result is never busy.
At home, the designs you can use could be fun, adventurous or serious, based on a repeat pattern (like in this mid-century home office) or a mural covering an entire wall (like I have done in my office). You can even give your walls a 3D effect with some papers, like this genius paper designed by INKA in Finland and aptly called Cutlery!
The Before Photos & Moodboard
The room I wanted to use wallpaper in was the dining room. This is a north-east facing room that has terrible light during the morning but lots of it in the afternoon. It is a good size room and benefits from patio doors that open up into the garden as well as a side wall to ceiling window. The best thing about the room, is the garden view. And that's where it all stopped.
The "Before" decor? all very rustic/shabby chic, because the furniture came from a previous home that we rented a few years ago. This room was desperate for something stament-y!
If this was going to be a room to have guests over for dinner, I wanted drama for sure. Little Greene's Camellia wallpaper in Smalt was the answer, especially as there seemed to be a blue theme going on in the house already.
My decision was to wallpaper in L-shape, something I do quite often with paint as well. The other two walls were going to be painted with one of the two colours featured on the wallpaper. One was Smalt (the electric blue) and the other Pale Wedgwood, which I figured would compliment our heirloom table.
The wallpapering was done by the same decorator who applied the paper in the mid century home office. In the photo below, the first coat of Pale Wedgwood is already up on the wall to the right. I later also painted the radiator.
Next up, I updated the colour of the lower half of the Welsh dresser (the top half, we got rid of). As I did not have much patience to prime and paint it with Little Greene's Smalt, I chose to go for Napoleonic Blue chalk paint by Annie Sloan. One coat and I was done.
Finally, the lights! As you saw in my mood board, I went for something really luxurious - the Michael Anastassiades Flos IC/W1 (small) lights which at 25.1cm wide and with up to 60W allowance, were perfect in a trio around the room. And even greater is the fact that these are so cleverly designed that you can use them upside down on the wall (we chose to have them with the glass ball upside as if balancing on the brass rod).
In fact, since we added them, our room has never been better lit, even if now we have two really dark walls! Go figure. And thank you to the Seasons husband for, once more, sorting out all the electrical installations!
I would obviously like to thank Little Greene and Curtains2Go who very generously gifted products for this project. While many photos of the room have already made it on other blog posts like this one and even on Amara and Riseart, I felt I needed to share the before in order for you to also appreciate the after! So enjoy, and drop me a comment below to let me know what you think!
Above: One of my grandma's armchairs sits in the corner. The throw is from woolme.com. On the table you can see plates from TK Maxx, napkins from Halsted Design, the Deco cocktail glasses from LSA International. This is a photo by Anna Batchelor for Made.com.
Below: The FLOS wall lights frame the round mirror which I bought for around £110 from an EBAY shop. The mirror is around 90cm wide which is rather large for a round mirror. The tablecloth is from Halsted. The long curtains are the Misty Blue in velvet from Curtains2go. The red oriental rug is a wedding gift.
In this photo the plates, glasses and faux green plant are from IKEA. The banana leaf cushions are from Amazon. The gold cutlery is from Argos Home. The tablecloth is the Bird Fynbos Tablecloth Kingfisher from Halsted Design (£239).
Above: This is a Louise McNaught limited edition print via RISEART.