Friday, February 10, 2012

Papering the Wall

Intact Duro box from - who else? - my friend Robin.  :D
What's your stance on wallpaper?  When asking folks this question I find that there's no middle ground - they either love it or hate it.  Their opinion may vary depending on the year, and whether or not it's in fashion at the time, but in regards to the question I rarely hear "Sometimes".

Lovely vintage textured wallpaper
I grew up in an apartment, so if my parents were so inclined to enjoy wallpaper (they weren't), it would've been a moot point.  I remember seeing wallpaper in my friends' homes, though; this being the Seventies the two designs that stick out the most for me are red flocked (in my friend Jodie's dining room and the halls of my Grammie's condo complex) or the old-timey "Gay Nineties" newspaper advertising-type (seen in MANY a powder room back in the day).  Eagles/ships/colonial styles were also the rage, thanks to the Bicentennial.  In my college house in Green Bay, where I lived from 1989-91, the kitchen was wallpapered with this hideous 70s kitchen utensil-laden design (which I would KILL for now - funny how tastes change).

In the love it/hate it camp,  I veer toward the "hate".  Why?  Well, I've renovated three homes in my life.  In two of the three, I've had to steam/scrape/peel old wallpaper.  It is an arduous task.  It's time-consuming and maddening at times.  The really old house I renovated had layer-upon-layer of the old paste kind of paper and sometimes the wall came off with the paper, so I'd have to putty up the holes.  Because of these experiences, I will never (bolded, italicized, underlined) wallpaper a room ever again.  But never say never.  :D

Vintage wallpaper that my friend Carolyn "forced" me
to take at the white elephant swap during one of our
live ATC trades.  :D
I wanted to talk about wallpaper today because it's mentioned quite often on Retro Renovation, THE go-to site for all things mid-mod.  You may recall my other mentions of Retro Renovation here and here, but today I really wanted to mention the site because of what Pam did for me - check it out!.  A LOT of my traffic coming to this blog today is a direct result of her and her wonderful readers!  Thank you, Pam!

Now, when we're talking about creating with vintage wallpaper, that's a whole different story!  I love using these wallpapers to my advantage.  My favorites are the vague swirly types that can be used as texture in collages, but I'm open to any wallpaper.  Because it contains the word "paper".   Here are a few collages I've created using various vintage wallpapers:

"Peace on Earth" ATC - the woven stuff is
vintage wallpaper. 

"Blazing Maple" ATC - the background is
vintage wallpaper.
P.S.  If you'd like some vintage wallpaper of your own, head on over to The Paper Flea Market - Trina's got a wonderful variety for sale at awesome prices!  :D


  1. I love wallpaper for the paper aspect as well, and it makes great wrapping paper too. I don't say "never" to wallpaper because in our rental home, we had horrifying LIME GREEN wood paneling in the kitchen when we stripped the old wallpaper off. Ended up papering over it with the white, textured, washable and paintable type of wallpaper. And my mom recently papered the entire ceiling in their bedroom with paper that looks like an old tin-stamped ceiling. Pretty cool. So never is a pretty big word...LOL!

  2. I love wallpaper for walls and for art. Especially the real paper kind.

  3. Hoo boy. ... This raises mixed feelings. Nostalgia for that -- yes, hideous is often the right word -- wallpaper that adorned some of my grandparents' houses and apartments. ... And mixed with that the hope that these decorating styles never return in full force. Fun post!

  4. Amy, you're right - I should "never say never", for I may eat my words someday. :D Annie, I love the real paper kind, too! It seems to be getting harder to find. Chris, I loved your wallpaper post, too! Very nice!