A Neutral Mid Century Living Room Vignette
Just as you thought we were done tearing up our studio and reimagining it in a different way for some blog content, we have done it again. You may remember just a few months ago when we finally turned a little corner of our studio into a much needed (and now very used) design library with temporary wallpaper. We loved the product so much and thought it was such an easy and temporary way to instantly infuse a new look into your space that when Tempaper reached out about working together and sent through their new lookbook of delicious temporary wallpaper patterns, we decided to play decorator again.
Temporary wallpaper has really come a long way folks since the gross applique patterns that you used to find tucked into the corner of your local hardware store. Tempaper has hundreds of different patterns, color ways, and even custom sized murals to fit your wall and space. We had so much fun flipping through some of their new patterns and deciding on which one to use in this post.
Before we started, that side of the studio was really a catchall for whatever was coming in or being used in an upcoming shoot as you can see in this pic. We are currently in the process of a big office redesign as we outgrew the configuration that we were in before, so it gave us a good excuse to move things around and setup a fun little living room area for the shoot.
We make things happen very quickly around here as you can see from the GIF. But, in all reality the process was so easy and very quick. Brady got to work and moved everything out of the space and then started with the hanging of the wallpaper. The process is easy. You peel, stick, and the cut off the excess. Brady found it easiest to apply the paper at the top then let it hang with the backing on it and just peel it off as you are sticking it. I was going to hire a taskrabbit to do it, for fear that it would take too long but he really did do it in just a couple hours and assures me that even I could do it! If you mess up, it was easy to remove and rehang, and although this pattern did have a repeat, it was very easy to line up and move around until you got it just right.
Step 1: Start by peeling the wallpaper from its adhesive backing. We went with their Marble Pattern in the Storm colorway. This pattern is GOOD you guys. We really loved the organic free form shapes of it and the metallic really picks up the light in such a good way. It also comes in a few different color ways if grey isn’t your vibe.
Step 2: Once you line up your pattern (depending on your wallpaper) you will start at the top and smooth it out and press it against the wall just as you would a sticker. You will notice that our walls have a bit of texture to them but the wallpaper still stuck to it and it looked great overall, so the product can work on your walls even if they are slightly textured.
Step 3: Continue to peel off the backing about 12 inches at a time and press it down as you go until you get to the bottom of the wall. This is probably the trickiest part of the whole process as when you smooth it down you will want to make sure to pull it tight so that you don’t get any wrinkles or little air bubbles. Once you stick the top of the paper down it will fall smoothly down the rest of the wall so it is just a matter of pulling off the backing and slowly smoothing it down.
Step 4: Once you get to the bottom of the wall, use a straight edge or a ruler and an exacto knife to cut the excess off. We found we got the cleanest lines when we would place the ruler against the wall and move the ruler and exacto knife together all the way along the edge rather than pulling the exacto blade by itself and then resetting once you got to the end of the ruler. The paper is pretty thin so you won’t have to press too hard to cut through it.
Step 5: Once you have a clean cut you can easily pull off the excess from the bottom of your wall or baseboards.
Time to play. We started with this very beautiful wood credenza (that is going to live permanently in Brian’s office); it served as the perfect mid-century piece to play against the curved and organic lines of the marbled wallpaper and to warm up the grey palette that that wallpaper had set for us. We kept the rest of the vignette pretty neutral so that it didn’t compete too much with the busy pattern on the wall with hits of black, cream, white, and brass throughout to bring out the metallic gold that we loved so much in the wallpaper.
The big brass coffee table is so lovely what with its dark gold finish, good size, and simple shape. It is a lower coffee table so make sure it works for the height of your sofa or chair if you are interested in it, but it worked perfect for our setup. Those faceted white ceramics although they look expensive are NOT and they do come in a few different sizes. We ended up buying one of each to hoard for shoots since they are so good and graphic without being colorful.
When it comes to what to do above your credenza you have a few options: 1.) TV (which isn’t aesthetically our #1 choice but we also understand the need to watch garbage reality TV in the comfort of your living room). 2.) Art – but this paper was already busy so adding art could have been too busy unless it was super quiet and understated, or 3.) Mirror. We went with this simple round one because well, it was the perfect size for above our credenza because it again worked in the gold tones from the beautiful wallpaper.
Every credenza needs some height and light, so to echo the circular mirrors shape and also bring in a hint of black to bring out the black of the wallpaper, we brought in this simple black based lamp. The black also helps to keep the top of the credenza from feeling too wood heavy. We then gave it a few friends like this geometric wood box in a lighter tone to work with the wood of the credenza and this vintage embroidered windmill textile which is coming to The Flea real soon! Speaking of The Flea we have some BIG news next week about it so stay tuned.
On the other side of the credenza we wanted to bring in some greenery and balance out the height from the other pieces on the credenza so we clipped a few branches and threw them in this geometric vessel. When it comes to accessorizing the top of your credenza (or any surface for that matter) you can go as mild or as wild as you want depending on how collected you want it to look. But to keep things from looking too thrifty or cluttered you will either want to keep things corralled (like we did by using the book as a surface to display on), or keep to a consistent color palette.
On the other side of the vignette we brought in some more wood accents with the mid-century style chair and again a small hit of brass with the floor lamp. Throw down a basket with a few blankets in it, flip on the light and prop that lumbar pillow behind you and you’ve got yourself an inviting little place to sit and enjoy your beautiful wallpaper and morning cup of coffee if we do say so ourselves.
And, because you know we love a good GIF way too much to not show you how it all came together, we created this one for your viewing pleasure.
Wallpaper | Table Lamp | Windmill Art (The Flea) | Wooden Box | Black and White Book | House Art | Black Bowl | White Ceramic Vase | Wood Credenza | Gold Mirror | Gold Coffee Table | Wooden Tray (vintage) | Geometric Bowl Planter | Blue Mug | Chair | Woven Blanket (no longer available) | Basket | Blue Pillow (The Flea) | Plaid Throw | Brass Floor Lamp | Braided Rug
We pulled together a few of our favorites, all of which we have seen and felt in person and give a big thumbs up to. The metallics in their paper do have some sheen so they really do pick up a a lot of good light and the textured burlap paper (like #2) brings in just the right color of blue and added texture if you are wanting to change things up without committing to paint or real burlap wallpaper. I would use #6 in a kids room and #1 in that perfect powder room that you can’t commit to.
*** Photography by Tessa Neustadt, Styling and Design by Brady Tolbert. Written by Emily and Brady. Go Team!