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How do I decide whether to have wallpaper or paint?
You don’t have to choose one or the other – wallpaper and paint work well together. Some rooms in your home can be painted, others can be wallpapered – it’s up to you. Designers happily use wallpaper and paint on different walls of the same room. Many wallpaper retailers also sell paint, and usually have wallcoverings that match most paint colours on the market, so you can easily co-ordinate the two finishes. Of course, only wallpaper has a choice of patterns and textures; and it’s a one-coat process – once the paper is up, that’s it. There’s no need for a second or third coat to get the colour right.
What are the advantages of wallcoverings?
Wallpaper is now firmly back on the design agenda, for its new textures, modern colours and designs, and its rediscovered practicality. Much like a cosmetic concealer, textured wallcoverings can hide less-than-perfect walls. And it can save time. Wallpapering is quicker than painting – one coat of wallpaper is all you need for instant colour. Wallpaper is easy-care – many modern papers are washable and wear well. Wallcoverings have great touch appeal, adding an extra element of texture to a room.
Is it true that if I wallpaper it will be hard to remove when I want to change the look of the room?
It used to be, but that was then – now there are papers that can be easily stripped and replaced. We make a very effective wallpaper stripper (METYLAN Special Wallpaper Remover) that will make the job simple and quick. And if you make sure that the walls are properly prepared with a sealer (size) before you put up new wallpaper, it makes redecorating next time much easier.
Can I wallpaper a room myself or is it too difficult for a ‘beginner’?
No, it isn't. Wallpapering is much easier now, with pre-pasted papers and new technologies like non-woven backings. Retailers will advise you; they have instruction leaflets and DVDs that show you how. A great place to start is our How to Wallpaper section. And if you’d rather watch – and pay – someone else to put up wallpaper, here’s a list of professional paperhangers.
Where can I see and buy wallcoverings?
At decorating groups like Guthrie Bowron, Resene, Colourplus and Levene, and many other stores, from James Wren in Invercargill, to Wynn Fraser in Whangarei. We have a wallcoverings display at the Auckland Home Ideas Centre and wallpaper features in many show homes. Call us on 0800 WALLPAPER (0800 925 572 737) if you need directions… and check out our Colour & Design virtual showroom for ideas, too.
Are there ‘test-pots’ for wallpaper?
Yes, in a way. Your retailer will provide you with a good-sized sample piece of the wallpaper you like so you can try it at home. Just tape or pin the sample on the wall and see how it looks.
How do I work out how much paper I need in a room?
Most wallpaper rolls are about half a metre wide and 10 metres long – about 5 square metres per roll. That will give you about 3 drops with a standard wall height of 2.4 metres. An average living room would take around 7 rolls, generally speaking, but of course there are things like matching and pattern repeats to be considered. As a starting point see our roll reckoner, and double-check with your retailer when you order. Tip: Pick up an extra roll It’s a good idea to have at least one extra roll of the same batch number in case you need more in the future.
Has wallpaper moved on from those scary florals that my nana had?
Absolutely yes, and to be honest, not completely! There are hundreds of new designs on the market, and some old classics that are still going strong. Wallpaper has had a bad rap in recent years – for a lot of people, it was something you'd see only in gran's lounge. Wallcoverings have come a long way. Homeowners shown contemporary wallpaper collections are often pleasantly surprised and impressed. Today’s designers often reference the past, and re-style patterns that were popular at various times. Motifs like flowers have been updated and re-scaled; retro patterns return but with a very current character. Check out some of the wallpaper style in our Colour & Design section.
What are the latest trends in wallpaper design?
Every year there are new colours and designs in every product area, responding to global and local influences, and cultural and lifestyle trends and changes. Wallcovering manufacturers regularly bring out new colours and designs too; sometimes subtle variations in colour and texture, or more dramatic patterns. The trend to patterned, printed and embroidered fabrics has seen an equal shift to dramatic, look-at-me wallpapers. Rich and rococo-inspired patterns that are slightly over-scale, often with a metallic shimmer against a matt background; updated retro geometric designs of the '60s and '70s; and reworked floral and botanical prints are key trends featuring in design magazines. It’s all part of the international swing away from minimalism into glamour, luxury and pattern. Have a look at some of the variety in our Colour & Design Showroom. We update it often, so visit it every now and again to see what’s new…
What about feature walls—are they still allowed by the ‘design police’?
Yes, it is still a very good way to make a focal point in a room. Using an interesting wallcovering can highlight an important area of a room such as around a fireplace, or create a positive first impression in an entrance hall, for example. You could paper the wall behind the bed, making a headboard wall. It can be a cost-effective and easy way to update a room, but a feature wall in every room might be too much… Even dyed-in-the-wool minimalists can comfortably use wallpaper to add decorative effects to their homes – and if you don’t want to go all the way, then make a statement with a stand-out wallpaper on a feature wall. Bolder patterns can be used as statement walls to add life to a dull room; some can even be framed as artworks.