It kind of sounds like the opposite advice you should give around styling a small space but weirdly, busy prints just work!
I had never really been enamoured by wallpaper before, always preferring a block colour wall, maybe because paint is cheaper plus something we can do ourselves? The idea of wallpapering seems very daunting, too (although House of Hackney have a lovely ‘how-to’ tutorial here).
But Laura from @NoFeatureWalls on Instagram might have just clinched the deal on patterned paper, for me:
Laura’s home also features a lot of Morris & Co prints, which I had fallen in love with back when we used to live near his factory in Merton Abbey Mills (a place close to my heart from family visits as a kid, plus my grandad used to work at the Board Mills factory there, too). For London dwellers or visitors, the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow (where he lived) is worth a visit, too (and it’s free!).
We decided on ‘Willow Boughs’ as a print, mainly because the room would be next to our green kitchen, and we wanted some continuity – I felt the yellow tones of the paper would also add a warmth to the white tiles we were using on the walls and floor. It is worth doing your research on prints, as I didn’t realise there were different sizes and colourways available within this print itself – and with hindsight, the ‘Willow Boughs Minor’ print might have worked better in this room but we love it, regardless.
The roll we ordered was £58.99 (we purchased from here), trust me I scoured eBay and Gumtree for weeks but no rolls became available in the style we were after. But the beauty of using this wallpaper in a small room is that it is the most cost efficient room to decorate! We also bought lining paper and paste and asked a friend of a friend to lay the wallpaper, as there was no way I was going to attempt my first wallpaper with Morrs & Co £58 a roll!
Annoyingly, we needed just over one roll of paper, so had to buy two rolls but I am inspired to do something with the offcuts – love this idea from @haslingtonhall using framed offcuts!
Not convinced…? Here are some more ideas that might inspire you some more…
I also recently discovered Haines Collection, who specialise in selling offcuts and remnants for fabrics and wallpapers, saving it from going to landfill. Follow on social media to see the latest drops:
I haven’t been able to commit to a whole room of wallpaper so far, though some of these pictures are very tempting. I do have a favourite wallpaper in my wardrobe though and every time I open it I get a little jolt of happiness. It doesn’t take much (and I stuck it up with doublesided sticky tape so no faffing with paste)
A friend of mine used a remnant of wallpaper in the back of an alcove/built in shelves, in an otherwise minimalist room- looked great!
Alexandra Stedman says
Love this idea!
Tricia M says
Great patterns! What a coincidence, Alex! I worked at Merton Printers many years ago in the studio and I remember it well too. I worked on some lovely Liberty prints. Whilst I was working there I learnt to drive all around that area (Wimbledon, Clapham Common). Do you remember the “guard” goose at Merton Printers by any chance? It did a good job.
Alexandra Stedman says
How funny – what a lovely coincidence! No I don’t remember, now I’ve gone down a hole looking at historical images on the Merton council website! x
Your choice is beautiful.
Kings Fragrances says
Your statement applies to me “I had never really been enamoured by wallpaper before, always preferring a block colour wall, maybe because paint is cheaper.