September 26th, 2012
Whether you just purchased a home or you want to update your current place, new color on the walls is a fast and inexpensive way to update the look of the whole house. But which should you choose?
A resurgence of wallpaper brings color and interest to any room. An increasing number of homeowners are looking at wallpaper as an investment, like a piece of art. Whether it’s for a half wall above the chair railing in the living room or a full wall in a guest bedroom, large floral designs in lively and bold colors can make the room feel dramatically different.
You can also look into textured coverings, like grass cloth, to provide an organic, more natural feel. Oversized damask pieces add drama and can reflect the owner’s personality as well as the tone of the room.
Prices vary depending upon the quantity and the quality. Some firms like Farrow & Ball charge more than $200 a roll for their Victorian-inspired prints, but they are stunning. Companies like Graham & Brown, Schumacher, and Thibaut offer beautiful cutting-edge designs for less than $50 a roll. Home improvement stores, like Lowes and Home Depot, not only have numerous, less expensive choices, but they also sell the tools for installation.
To calculate how much paper you will need, multiply the space’s width in feet by its height, then divide by 50. A standard roll covers about 56 square feet. Though prices are quoted in single rolls, they are usually sold in double rolls at twice the single-roll price.
If you want a professional wallpaper hanger, prices vary but count on $2 per square foot. If the paper has a pattern that must be matched and you haven’t papered before, choose a professional. If this is your first time, you may want to consider choosing a more simple wallpaper in a smaller room such as a baby’s room or a bathroom. As you learn how to paste up the paper, you’ll gain more insight as to how to match patterns.
Also, if you had wallpaper in a room, and it doesn’t peel off easily, you may need a professional to come in and steam the paper off, and sand down the walls.
Right now, muted neutrals and spice are the big hits for 2012. Benjamin Moore has a lovely slide show on what they are predicting the color trends for 2012 will be.
You can also add in interesting features with paint such as crackling. Home Depot has a fun video to watch on decorative interior painting techniques
Better Homes and Gardens website has a Color-a-Room tool, but you have to register with them to access it. On the bright side, there is a lot of really interesting and inspiring ideas there.
Paint is fun and simple. You can paint a room in a weekend, and feel like the whole place changed. You don’t have to match paint. In fact, you can paint one wall one color, and another wall a complementary color for a fun effect.
Remember to get a little more than you need especially if it’s a custom color in case you ever need touch ups.
If there is a lot of ceiling work, or you need the room done quickly, consider investing in a painter. They are skilled at masking and getting the coats of paint up quickly so you can get back to your life. On the other hand, if you can find some friends, it could be a fun weekend project. First use the tape to mask off the areas and put down drop cloths to protect the floor. Finally, you may need to sand the walls a bit depending upon what was there before, or put up a coat of primer. Then when your friends arrive, have enough brushes and rollers for everyone and get the paint up there.
One very cool technique is to paint the walls and leave the ceiling white. It can open up a room quite a bit.
What have you decided for your home? Wallpaper or Paint? Or both!