HINT: If you just want to get to the good stuff, there's a big discount code at the end of this post!
Ok, let me start by fully admitting that I'm not a perfectionist.
And I'm impatient.
And I want to see what something is going to look like before I know if it's going to actually work.
These three character traits (flaws) came out big time in my latest project.
Which normally only bothers my husband. (I, myself, am quite comfortable with my lack of perfectionism).
But this time, I'm also working with a company called "Photowall" who has graciously gifted me some of their product in exchange for sharing photos of that project with all of you.
So the pressure was on.
And here's what happened.
FIRST, THE BEFORE
Now, I liked this version of the powder room. (It was version 4, by the way. That's 3 makeovers in 15 years. Pretty standard pace for me).
But I was getting a little bored with it.
And after completing my first ever wallpaper install in our den, I was hooked. The powder room seemed like the next logical place. So I began searching.
There are so many great wallpaper options on the market. And I'd been keeping a loooong list of my favorites. But still hadn't pulled the trigger.
Recently, a wallpaper company based in Sweden reached out to me to see if I was interested in a collaboration. After about 2 minutes spent browsing Photowall's website, I said "Oh HELL YES!" and got to work with my favorite part, which is choosing the pattern that will transform my life. (Or at least a room in my home).
Before I go on, let me tell you a little bit about Photowall.
PHOTOWALL MURALS VS. WALLPAER
They have wallpaper that comes in repeating patterns (this is what you generally think of when you hear the word "wallpaper"). And they also have wall murals, which are full scenes that cover a wall with no repeats. Here are examples of both:
EXAMPLE OF A REPEATING PATTERN:
(The Raspberry Garden photo and wallpaper by Photowall)
EXAMPLE OF A MURAL:
(Almond Blossom photo and mural by Photowall)
I'm a huge fan of repeating patterns and only sometimes have seen murals that I really like. Mainly because murals tend to tell a story and you don't want to hang anything on top of them. And I love hanging stuff on my walls. But Photowall's selection of murals kind of changed my mind on this. Yes, they definitely have murals that stand alone, such as this one:
(Jungle Friends photo and mural by Photowall)
But some of their murals don't feel like a single scene and I'd definitely use it as backdrop for artwork. In these cases the mural has no repeat because the scale is so huge. Like this one, for example:
(Circles Mid Century VIII photo and mural by Photowall)
Or this one:
(Bouquet photo and mural by Photowall
So, I went into this thinking that I wanted a repeating pattern but I came out with a mural. Mainly because I knew I wanted something that looked like marble, and even though this isn't a repeating pattern, it's still something that would be a beautiful backdrop for artwork and objects I'd put on my walls. Here's my choice, called "Unearth" and it's in Granite. There are three other colorways as well: Roots, Old Pink, and Onyx.
(Unearth in Granite photo and mural by Photowall)
I should also mention that you can upload your own patterns or photos to their site and they'll create custom paper for you! You can paper your entire room with your own memories or create large scale prints and posters.
APPLYING THE PAPER
Once you've chosen your paper, you receive it in the mail, printed on rolls, much the way you would any wallpaper. But if you choose a mural, your rolls will be clearly numbered so you know which order they go in when you're hanging it. You simply start with roll #1 and go left to right across your wall or entire room.
They also supply you with powdered paste that you mix with water. Full disclosure, I chose to use pre-mixed paste that I got from my local paint and paper store. I had used it with my last wallpaper project and was more comfortable using what I was familiar with. But if you're new to the whole thing, you could simply use Photowall's powder and mix your own.
HERE'S THE END RESULT
I don't usually do overt themes in my home. But right now, because of staying protected from the Coronavirus, we're not traveling. And I reallllly miss it, as I'm sure many of you do! So, this powder room represents my longing for travel.
I found the natural wicker mirror on Facebook Marketplace and I decided to buy some vintage travel posters on Etsy of two places that are on my bucket list (Thailand and India). I found the large gold leafed frame at a thrift store.
I went through my stash of treasures I've picked up over the years at various antique fairs and found an old ticket and boarding pass from 1961, cut it up and framed it using 3 frames I already had. The ticked shows a Ms. Marjorie Jordan taking a 17 day excursion from New York to Zurich, Rome and Paris. Not a bad trip, Ms. Jordan!
And these two hand carved masks were bought by my grandfather on a trip he took to Haiti. He was a world traveller and had quite a few awesome pieces in his collection.
HOW A NON-PERFECTIONIST MAKES THINGS WORK
And now for the real-life behind the scenes admission of faults that I alluded to at the beginning of this post!
When you're applying wallpaper, you're supposed to allow for about a quarter of an inch overlap in the corners. If you hang your wallpaper so that it lines up and abuts the end of the wall (the inside of the corner), you're going to have a seam showing between the two walls. So instead, you hang it so the long edge of the paper wraps into the corner and onto the adjacent wall.
This isn't necessarily hard to do. But it does require a little forethought when you're measuring.
And forethought is one of those things I don't have in spades.
Knowing this about myself, I decided I was going to outline each of the walls in a dark grey strip of paint, sort of mimicking the look of grout, as if the walls really were made of giant slabs of marble.
This way I wouldn't have to do that extra measuring. I could just abut the long edge of the paper right up against the corner seams. I also didn't have to worry too much about the tops and bottoms of each strip of paper because they too, would have the "grout" marks covering up the line where the paper meets the ceiling and floor.
(So actually, I DID use some forethought here so that I could be lazier than I would have to be if I did things the "right" way).
So that's where I sort of cheated, but I knew I was going to cheat ahead of time.
But then came the unforseen problem.
I didn't measure the paper correctly in the first place, when I was making the order. I measured the amount of wall space. But I forgot that I was working with a mural and not a repeating pattern.
I had wanted each of the walls to look like they were made of a single slab of marble. (To clarify, I was considering my walls to be in 8 panels. There are only 4 walls, but each wall is cut in half by a chair rail. I wanted each panel to look like its own slab).
Anyway, The first wall I did (the one with the travel poster of Thailand) went great. I was able to match up the striations of the marble perfectly.
But then I didn't have enough left over to do the same on the other walls!
So I had to cut and paste them together, knowing the striations wouldn't line up.
See if you can tell in this photo:
Hopefully you can't really tell!
Here's what I did. I got out my paints, mixed together white, black and grey to get a few different shades, and sort of followed the striations in the paper and added some of my own to fool the eye.
Here are two close ups. The first one really shows the mistake. But when you're in the bathroom it's much less noticeable.
Now, honestly, being a non-perfectionist, this all worked out totally fine for me.
But by husband is being tight-lipped about it.
I don't think he's comfortable.
What do you think? (Don't worry, you wont' hurt my feelings).
THE BEST WALLPAPER DEAL EVER
Ok, so here's where you come in.
Right now, Photowall is offering 25% OFF your first order!!!
And believe me, 25% OFF is an amazing offer.
Photowall is priced competitively with most other brands so I seriously want you to consider grabbing this, even if you don't plan on wallpapering right away.
If you've got a space you've been dying to paper, buy it now and use it as motivation to get it done!
(And even if you're not quite ready to buy, browsing wallpaper is one of my best suggestions for alleviating stress).
25% OFF through AUG 27