Most contemporary home owners are reluctant to use wallpaper in their decorating schemes.
There are probably a number of reasons for this:
Wallpaper is considered old school.” Today, a younger generation of home owners has decided that there are a myriad of other options for covering walls – geometric designs with paint, wood, tile, stunning metals, etc. They like the idea of ease of installation and changing wall coverings without water, paste, peeling, etc.
Wallpaper ages, fades, and gets nicked. And, if room décor changes, the existing wallpaper has to go.
It is more difficult to sell a home with lots of wallpaper – a potential buyer may not like the pattern, colors, etc. and can be turned off by an otherwise great home.
Likewise, fabrics have become decorating tools only for furniture and accent pillows, and, occasionally for valances or swags. The days of full heavy drapes in rich fabrics are not something the current generation of home buyers relishes. Rather, they go for great blinds, shutters, shades, etc., in order to have a “sleeker” more contemporary look.
If you are someone who has shied away from wallpaper and drapes, you are missing the use of some really fabulous prints and designs that could add stunning touches to your home. No, you may not want an entire wall of a great geometric wallpaper design; and you may not want drapes, or even a valance in a cool fabric. But you can use that fabric for more than just an accent pillow! And, you can use a great wallpaper for many other décor accents!
If you like a particular fabric, wrap it around a canvas of any size and create a piece of wall art.
I have seen great pieces above a fireplace mantel; I have also seen several coordinating fabrics made into smaller framed wall art, to create a stunning combination.
Wastebaskets and the back “walls” of bookcases can be covered in either fabric or wallpaper.
Wallpaper can be used on stair risers for a really dramatic effect!
Cover the face of a clock with either fabric or wallpaper, and glue on numbers in a coordinating or contrasting color.
Cover old placemats with new fabric that matches the colors and décor of your dining or breakfast room.
Use fabric or wallpaper as a “headboard” for a bed. Place it on the wall at the head of the bed and frame it out with colored tape.
To rejuvenate an old coffee table, cover it with wallpaper and have a piece of glass cut to cover it. When you decide to change the décor or colors of a room, you simply look for new fabric or wallpaper!
Cover light switch plates to add accents
Use the same fabric as an accent pillow to make flowers, housed in a unique vase.
Wallpaper sliding closet doors in a bedroom or make a border on an otherwise boring mirror.
If you are like me, you have probably spent a lot of money on wall art over the years, primarily in the form of framed pictures, clocks, mirrors, and other pieces for every room in the house, long hallways, entryways, etc. At some point, we all change our room décor, buy new furniture, change flooring, and the wall decorations we have look old, tired, boring, or just out of sync with our new look. We then go looking for replacement pieces, and the costs mount up. Before you do that, think about your furniture and color/design themes, and consider some of the great DIY wall art that you might be able to create “on the cheap.”
The following are just a few ideas:
If you have gone contemporary, cut different sized circles out of a sturdy material (I have used cheap bead board), paint them with different colors that match your room colors, and arrange them in a cool pattern on the wall. Some circles can be all one color; others can be divided into pie wedges, etc.
Remove a “tired” picture from a nice frame, get new matting, and make a design with sequins of all different sizes (sparkly or flat), of different colors.
Purchase a canvas of any size, paint it a solid color, and create designs with colored thumb tacks.
Cut sponges into different shapes, dip in paint and press onto a blank canvas for a great contemporary look.
If you are seeking a more whimsical look, frame a scarf that is unusually striking, or cut strips of tulle and glue them across a piece of canvas, in all different directions.
One of my favorites is to take colored ribbons that coordinate with a room’s colors, make overlapping geometric designs with them on a white of contrasting colored canvas.
If you want to add some pizazz to a plain mirror, here is a great idea. Paint clothespins and glue them around the edges of the mirror, the wide open end facing the center of the mirror. This is a great idea for a kid’s room, and you can alternate the colors to coordinate with the room.
I once saw a piece in a museum that was stunning, and I was able to duplicate it for in my office, which is really sleek and contemporary. I painted a piece of canvas black. Then, I went to the local home improvement store and bought hex nuts of all sizes – some silver, some brass. Starting in the left-hand lower corner, I made a collage of nuts about 2 inches wide, curing up to the center of the canvas. At the center point, I placed the largest nut, and then had shoots of different sized nuts coming off of that center piece, a bit like a fireworks display. It is a stunning framed piece!
If you have a sitting room or a den that is “warm” in design, here is a great idea. Go to garage sales and buy really old books of different sizes – you know, the ones in which the pages have yellowed somewhat. Make a collage of them on poster board of any size, and then frame it – voila!
Here’s a great idea for a long bare wall! Have a piece of bead board cut to the dimensions you want at a local home improvement store. Then, purchase shims – enough to cover the entire board. Paint the shims in colors that match your room, and glue them onto the board. You will want uneven sides, so place them as if you were laying bricks. You will have a great 3-dimensional contemporary look. If you prefer, you can stain them in a variety of finishes, for a more rustic décor.
Changing out your wall art does not have to be expensive and does not have to include only pieces that someone else has created. Visit showrooms and galleries, and you will see items that you can easily create on your own. Take a small pad of paper and draw what you see that you do not forget. I do this all the time!
You are ready for a new chair, a new sofa, or a piece of accent furniture for your bedroom. You have an idea and a vision of exactly what this piece will look like. The task doesn’t seem daunting – you simply visit furniture retailers until you find exactly what you want, right? What if you cannot find exactly what you want? Then, you go online and research furniture retailers all over the web, hoping to find a picture of the perfect piece. You may find several possibilities, but none of them is exactly right; none of them thoroughly excites you; none of them is exactly what you have envisioned. Do you want to settle for just “okay,” or do you want your perfect idea to become your reality?
There are two considerations when you envision your ideal piece – structural design and fabric.
Structural design: Is the piece to be contemporary, traditional, formal, casual, etc.? Search through online galleries and magazines, or go to local furniture galleries. Keep searching until you find exactly the design you want – take a picture or save the image for printing out.
Armed with a picture of your design and an idea of fabric genre, it is time to visit a local custom furniture retailer. Here, you will find decorating professionals who can take your “wants” and provide numerous examples of the finished product. Generally, these will be done on the computer, and fabrics will be superimposed on your design, until you reach that “aha” moment. Now, you have found exactly what you want.
Most furniture shoppers do not consider custom-made options, because they have the mistaken notion that the furniture will be horribly pricey. This is not the case! Often, a custom-made piece will be little more than one you would find on a showroom floor, and for the small additional cost, you have exactly the piece you have envisioned. And you also have a unique piece, never to be seen elsewhere.
How to find a custom furniture retailer? It’s actually quite easy. You will find a host of local interior décor businesses in your locale. Get on their websites and search for custom-made furniture links. Call them and see how wide-ranged their custom furniture side of the business is. Be certain that they offer the custom production of the piece(s) you want. If they focus primarily on living room furniture, you will not be using them for custom dining sets. Likewise, if their focus is primarily on woods, you will not find the fabric options you may want for chairs and sofas. Look for reviews on the company – a “Google” search may reveal quite a bit.
Custom-made furniture has become a great option for people who want their furnishings to be just right. In fact, it is an exploding business, and, because of this, the costs have become quite competitive. Do your due diligence and find a custom furniture designer that will give you quality and affordability!
Contemporary lifestyles have certainly thrown out many of the traditional rules for interior decorating, and we all feel freer to experiment with combination our parents and grandparents would have loudly rejected. Still, in order to avoid some of the big mistakes that you will certainly regret, there are a few standard “rules” to consider. (more…)