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My House

The Master Bedroom Wallpaper


I’ve got a story for you. It’s not exactly ‘The Jinx’. The ending isn’t totally UNHAPPY, nobody dies, but it’s not my happiest story I’ve ever told.

Let’s recap to what the master bedroom looked like when we bought the house.


There was potential, certainly, but gross carpeting, dark ceiling, tinted windows, etc.

So before we moved in we skim coated the walls, painted the walls and ceiling a bright white (Benjamin Moore Ultra bright white) and put down new flooring. It was instantly a pretty room.


All white, super simple with the basics – a couple of pieces of storage a bed, some lighting and a couple nightstands. And of course the box that tells me my nightly stories. It wasn’t a design masterpiece certainly and no one commented on how pretty it was, but I loved being in there and spent so much time the first few months of Charlie’s life nursing him.

If I didn’t have a design blog I might have just left it like this. No bells and whistles – just nice pieces with pretty light reflecting off of them. My life is full of chaos and so having this room empty seemed just fine.

But expectations are high in my world to have every room be Pinterest worthy. Often I’m SOOOOO grateful for it because it forces me to do things like the built-in bookcase or the string art. But then it’s also encouraged me to make mistakes like the guest room ‘Easter Bunny Vomited on the Walls’ disaster.

It’s kinda part of the job and generally it’s good to have creative pressure, but sometimes I’m like – can’t I just put up cheap nice subway tile in my bathroom and call it a day? 

The answer is ‘no’. I know that. Back to the room …. you see where this is going.

As I started thinking about what I wanted the room to feel like I thought – bright, airy, clean but with an element of design that sets it apart from just a blank white room. So putting a texture on the walls seemed like the best idea – something super simple and soft that might even read as a solid from a distance, but just added a layer of depth and texture. I love grasscloth, but the seams can be really strong (oh the irony … keep reading). I found white metallic grasscloth which I LOVED but honestly it wouldn’t show up in photos so it kinda defeated the purpose. And since we already had enough blue in the room I didn’t want to do a blue grasscloth, so I thought – what if we designed a paper that had a weave like fabric or grasscloth without the fragility or seams of grasscloth? And then what if we chose a color (blush) that made me happy, would still be calm and keep the room feeling bright, but would add some fun and play on a big trend right now. And then if the blush were to be metallic? Forget about it …

So we started designing. We found this fabric that had a printed weave on it and sent it to our wallpaper company that helps us with custom designs.

Linen Weave Fabric

We told them to try it in gold and rose gold. The first step was solidifying the pattern/weave. They sent back some options:

Gold Wallpaper

It was way too dense and dark. Not airy and loose enough.

Gold Wallpaper

This was the second option but again the lines were too thick and compacted.

gold weave wallpaper

This was the winner. The weave looks big here, but this is not to scale – its much smaller.

Then it was time to pick the metallic so they printed a few different options and sent to us:


We liked all three in different ways, but the yellow gold on the right did go a bit yellow and a bit, well, GOLD – like Liberace gold. The rose gold was softer and prettier and just more me. I liked the first one, too, but in person it was too subtle. So we chose the middle/rose gold option. Great. All good so far.

So then there was the question of where/how much to install. And this was kinda my mistake (or was it? keep reading). Because this wallpaper was custom it was VERY expensive. That one wall you see below was $750 (for the paper, not including the installation) and to do the whole room would have been an additional $2350. So $3k for the whole room – NOT including installation which probably would have been $800 – $1k.


We were in a hurry to meet the shoot deadline and I had just spent so much money that I was nauseous. So I went against my instinct and decided to only wallpaper the headboard wall.


My thoughts on wallpapering 1 wall are this: if its crazy bold then yeah, consider a ‘feature’ wall. Or if there is an architecturally separate wall then that can be an accent wall – like a niche or some sort of jut out then that’s a perfect ‘accent wall’. But this wallpaper was too subtle to be just on one wall. It looked like I just couldn’t afford to do the whole room WHICH WAS THE TRUTH.

But the shoot went on and in the photo it looks very pretty. Its soft and subtle and feminine without being girly, and reflective without being too glam. I actually really love this wallpaper.


That was the shot in Domino magazine. Back when wallpaper life was wonderful.

But then two months later it looked like this:


Yes, those are the seams. They lifted up over a hot weekend that we were out-of-town and didn’t leave the air conditioner on or the shades closed. Whoops. They didn’t just peel up though, they peeled up layers and layers of paint. It was CRAZY THICK. Like matte board.


That’s a good shot (above) of the wallpaper close up though. So pretty besides that massive ravine every 2 feet.

Slowly over the last year the seams have gotten worse and worse to the point that it was like a sheet of cardboard coming up – below:


So I called Mark, my installer and he came out to take a look at it. Here’s the boring part. I asked him what happened and he said it was a combination of two things:

1. Your paper is only as good as your weakest layer of paint. He thinks that after they skim coated they didn’t wash the wall of all the dust before they painted the three layers of primer and paint. So there was a weakness there and the paper just peeled it up.

2. This paper is really, really strong. Which of course is a good thing in general – its hard to peel up with your fingers (normally). But it also will peel up week layers of paint if you have them. This is unavoidable because you don’t really know what kind of paper you are going to get. It’s not like you can call the company and say ‘do you carry weak or strong paper?’. They’ll all say ‘strong’. But some papers are easy to remove and some aren’t. This one isn’t – it sticks really tight and becomes one with the wall. In this case that is a really big bummer.

Then there became the ‘WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS????’ or ‘HOW DO I MOVE FORWARD IN LIFE??’ conversation. And here they are:

1. Peel it off, repair the wall by RE-skim coating it, then repaint it and then wallpaper it or all of them – or not. The thing is that skim coating is a massive monster of a task. It involves plastering and sanding and plastering and sanding. We would have to move out of the room and it would cost probably $1200, plus its crazy messy. PLUS WE ALREADY DID THAT AND SPENT THAT MONEY BEFORE WE MOVED IN!!!!!

2. Use contact cement to glue the seams down/together. This would cost $300 and could be done in one day. This is not ideal either because it is going to really suck to remove someday (but it would suck right now, too) and the seams would not completely disappear – just get better.

Neither of those options are wonderful. I suppose the first one is the more permanent solution and if I were more mature maybe that’s what I’d do, but an easy $300 bandaid just seemed easier than us moving out of that room for a couple of days.

And a real bummer is that now that I really want to wallpaper the whole room and am ready to pull the trigger on the paper expense we can’t for fear that the rest of the walls will pop the seams, too.

Our solution: To paste down the seams with contact cement. Mark basically just painted them underneath with this really non-toxic organic glue (opposite) and then taped the seams in place with paper tape. It worked pretty well.


The question I ask myself is ‘what would I have done differently’ and my answer is I have no idea. This was not my fault, or my painters fault (he claims they washed all walls and I believe them) nor the papers fault nor Mark’s fault. Can I blame the heat? Sure, but Mark said that a good wallpaper with good installation should handle a 90 degree room.

Do I wish I had just left the pretty white walls? Eh. Kinda, but not really. I love this paper I just wish it could be on all four walls.

So here we are now that its fixed:

rose gold wallpaper

It’s better. So much better. I still wish it were on all four walls, but not having those seams halfway ripped up is, you know, way less offensive on a daily basis.

The full reveal of the bedroom on Monday (sorry). But for now, I want you to ponder this situation and ask yourself: What would you have done?

1. Not have done wallpaper at all?

2. Wallpapered the whole room in the first place for $3k + $1k labor = $4k?

3. Once seam opened would you have ripped off the split-seamed paper and re-skim and paint?

4. Or do what I did: Glued the seams back down and moved on with your life ….? And then write a blog post about it publicly shaming yourself?

It’s not an easy decision and you know it … But I am curious … What would you have done?

*Before photos by me, Domino photo by Brittany Ambridge, white wall photo by Tessa Neustadt and after photo by Jessica Isaac. 

Fin Mark


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Kim B.

My suggestion is leave it as is. For now.

Until after happy baby #2 arrives. And many congratulations on #2!

Did I make the best decisions when I was pregnant? Hmm — deciding I couldn’t stand our kitchen at six months so ripped the whole thing out (including floors and moving a couple walls). You could say it worked. Now that I’m thinking about it I would do it again.

But I did make some impulsive decisions while pregnant. Sometimes it’s best to live with it awhile and take your time.


I would choose #4.
And when the children and the cat will have scratched it,
change it … or keep it as a masterpiece !

PS : Congratulations !

I would have done the same exact thing you did… glue that stuff back down and move on!! Good call!


Ooof, that’s a hard one. I think I would have gone the annoying and expensive route (in my dream world where money grows on trees) and removed the paper and had the wall re-skimmed and painted. I love your style, but I don’t love this paper. The clean, crisp white bedroom is more my style. I think you could add texture and interest with more plants and some soothing art in the space. That said, if I were currently in my first trimester of pregnancy, I would very likely have just glued it down and then taken a nap.

I would have done 3. But it looks great!

Oh Emily – you must have cried when you came home to that bizarre mess! I can only say I would have done exactly what you did. You did what you could afford and waited to do the rest, and now you’re making the best of a few bad options. But I would be gun-shy about wallpaper in this room when you do finally decide to make a change.

The paper is truly spectacularly gorgeous and add such a lovely warmth to the room! So thanks for sharing even this one-in-a-million & super-sads result. Life ain’t perfect, but ya keep on truckin!

Sonja von Franck

This is why I never do anything but look at beautiful work like yours! I generally think I’m a pretty fair and compassionate person, and I know you believe your installers did everything they were supposed to do, but in the end, I would totally be expecting them to cover new wallpaper and installation. You paid them to do a job and for whatever reason, they didn’t get the job done. Is that harsh? Yes. But you really didn’t get what you paid for. If you had done it yourself and this happened you’d have no one else to blame, but in this situation, I think they needed to take responsibility. Rip it off, buy new paper and start again. You chose not to do that because you didn’t want to be inconvenienced, and I think the end result is fabulous, but I definitely wouldn’t risk installing any more of that wallpaper. I think that’s just risky and adding to the inconvenience you’re trying to avoid. And in the long run, it’s a lesson that just goes to show how lucky AND GOOD you are when you roll the dice in a custom idea and it turns out perfectly.

Ugh what a painful process… I would’ve done the same thing as you! I’m usually all about the band-aid approach, especially when nobody really knows it’s a band-aid approach. You had to salvage that beautiful wallpaper!


After removing wallpaper that was not installed correctly, I will never wallpaper. You’ll never keep it forever, and the work to put it on and take it down is the worst. You have the pleasure of hiring people but I kind of look at wallpaper like a tattoo (which i would also not do). There is not a shirt in the world I’d want to wear every day so why would I wallpaper?

I like looking at it on your walls though! I would have freaked out if I came home and saw those seams. Yikes! You did the right thing by doing the cheaper fix. And I certainly wouldn’t have papered every wall after that outcome.


First, thank you for sharing the wins and loses in decorating! It’s very reassuring to know it really does happen to everyone!!

I would have done the same. Make it look good for now and enjoy it as long as you can. But the time you need to deal with it again, you might be ready for a change anyway!


First off it’s a beautiful paper. Second this situation sucks. Third thank goodness you didn’t pay for the whole room to peal off! That would really suck. Honestly you’ve got better things to do than lose sleep having your bedroom (where you rest everyday) turned into a dusty construction site. Just wait it out. And if the seams peel again you can redesign. An option might be to hide the seams…like a simple white molding at the sides, crown, and all seams.


This isn’t one of your original options but. . .could you hang new drywall atop the existing walls? Then you could prime/paint the “new” walls (maybe even do that part yourself to save money?) and then have all the walls wallpapered. Certainly not a low cost option but it would give you what you want with a little more certainty.


i guess you could. but man, that sounds like a headache. Sometimes I just can’t. So this was just the easiest option … 🙂


Honestly, reading about the skim coating and the cost of it makes me wonder why would anybody do that. Maybe I am too used to gutting houses, but I would have started by tearing all the walls out and just redrywalling it. I actually think the cost would be very similar and you would have new walls without all that mystery paint. But going overtop is also a good option you save the money of the demo job, but you would loose an inch of your square footage. If you absolutely “hell bent” on doing the rest of the walls, I would highly recommend you do it.

Now that I have picked my jaw up off my desk…. (I actually *felt* your devastation to walking in on that). I would have done just what you did. It wouldn’t make any sense to wallpaper the rest of the room and take that risk so you may as well enjoy the one wall for now and get to the messy bit once you are ready to move on anyway.


To be honest…I would just wallpaper the whole room, expect the seams to pull up and then pay the extra $300 per wall when they do. But that’s just me and no one ever called me responsible/grown up….so maybe not take my advice? I honestly don’t think there is a right answer. If you had all the money in the world…sure…take it off, skim coat it (again), paint it (again), and then wallpaper it (again. OR just do what you feel most comfortable with. Either way! Good luck and congratulations!


OOh interesting. I like your risk taking. If I had all the money in the world and we could stay in a fancy hotel then yes, i would do your second option. 🙂


I love how you show us your design processes mistakes and all. It certainly makes this amateur feel better when things I think will work don’t for some reason then it’s back to the drawing board…

With the wallpaper I have recently entirely wallpapered 2 large rooms at enormous expense so I would definitely answer No. 2. Both were textured styles one very similar to yours so it was the only way to go. I’m prepared to live on bread and water indefinitely to pay for my extravagances but unfortunately the rest of the family is not so things can get a bit tight. Fortunately I haven’t had any major issues like you. Such a shame!


Urgh… bum -out. I’m a Project Manager and I think it was the paint not drying but potentially the plaster for skim coat not being dry either, how long did you leave it before painting? In my experience if you don’t let plaster dry for at least a week it can even rip tiles off…clients obviously love waiting for things to dry too which is a perk… not.


It was dry for months. MONTHS. I know. But we moved in in November and wallpapered in March. Should be enough time to dry, eh?

Rebecca D.

Girl, I’m not loaded so $4,000 to paper a room is a lot of money to me, so I would have done just what you did. I feel your pain. l this is a real bummer, but you’ve made the best of it.


I wonder the possibility of painting the rest of the room the same color. I would even get some rose-gold paint and try mixing it for a little sheen. Ralph lauren? Ther is a pearlized paint that I think you can customize the color…just a thot. I would mess with it if it were me. I’ve had a couple of disaterous “saves” in my career too. Great job. Great post. Happy baby!

Oh man that sucks so bad. I was getting a sinking feeling-stomache ache just reading it! I’m so sorry.
Personally (since you asked) I wouldn’t have wallpapered. But that’s me. We bought a 1960’s fixer. (It had clearly gotten a facelift throughout in the early 80’s.) So I have been peeling off wallpaper for a solid year now. Sometimes one layer, sometimes two. (I just have the overly tall entryway to overcome and then I will have banished it. That’s gonna be a beast.) As much as I enjoy seeing pictures online of pretty wallpaper, I will be staying VERY far away from the stuff for a LONG time. If for some reason I can forget the pain and suffering it’s brought I might be able to think on wallpaper. But the whole experience of peeling and peeling and peeling has been a bit scarring, so I don’t actually see that happening.


HA. Its a risk, for sure.

Oh wow – thanks for sharing! At least it was your place, and not a client’s. That would have been a double nightmare. It’s a lovely wallpaper, but TBH as the kids say, I would have left it white.


🙂 I just had to ask Sara and Brady what TBH means. 🙂

Jilly D

TBH… Just googled TBH:)


I would do number four because a) I’m super cheap, b) I’m pretty lazy, and c) I publicly shame myself on my blog all the time so I’m really comfortable with it. You have a lot on your plate. You work hard and a lot, and you’re molding a tiny person, and you’re currently growing a human from scratch. That’s enough. You don’t need to make yourself feel bad, or pander to us. We’ll read even if your bedroom is a normal working mom bedroom because we like your blog, and it will make us feel better about being normal working moms, and worse because your bedroom is still prettier than ours. You’re doing great! Go take a nap!


Ok. taking a nap now. xx


I’m kind of shocked your installer didn’t step up and shoulder the responsibility. It’s really his fault. If the wall weren’t properly prepped, he should have known. If the paper was a type that could buckle and peel like this, he should have come up with an alternative installation technique…or WARNED YOU. I have project managed many, many design plans and installations (mostly model homes) and had this happened, the installer would have immediately been on the hook. It’s not really fair to you that the manufacturer and installer have left you to solve this problem!


Ummm, no. It clearly is not his fault. If the wall paper pilled by itself than yes, but it lifted the paint up, so obviously it’s not the paper or the glue, the weakness is below. It might even be below Emily’s painter’s job, like 10 years below. Which is why re-drywalling or drywalling over is the only sure way to guaranty the result.

I wouldn’t have had the guts to wallpaper my room to start with (unless you were my designer!). BUT even then I probably wouldn’t have paid to do the whole room. That’s a lot of money! So much like you had I wallpapered one side and the seams came up, I would have just paid the $300 to fix it. You get to keep the beautiful wallpaper! Besides, you said you’d move again someday soon so just leave that room for the next person to deal with. 😉

What a hard decision. I am not a huge fan of wallpaper so I would probably just skip that all together and figure out a way to add texture with paint but the decision you made once the unsticking happened was smart. Why risk doing all the walls if this can happen again.
Love the look!


I let out an audible “nooooo” when I saw the seams, I can’t imagine how you reacted! (it was almost like what you see in old abandoned homes, but just the most well preserved, decorated and dusted abandoned home. my mind was have a hard time reconciling it all). The paper is absolutely stunning but I would also go with option 4 just because you’ve got a lot of extra sh*t going on already and is there a possibility that the seam thing could happen again? but then on all 4 walls? Can’t wait to see the rest of the bedroom!


It looks fabulous even with the fix. I can’t even tell a difference from the pictures. I love the realness of your posts and how you always discuss the cost. I am inspired by your style and have began decorating my own apartment, but on a tight budget. Target is my best friend and your ideas are clean & simple! Especially adding plants/greens/foliage to a room, my new fav thing! Thanks!




That’s a tough one. I wouldn’t have used wallpaper since I’m not a risk taker or a designer or have a blog. I think if you were trying to achieve a certain look or feel then I would have to vote to ripped of the split-seamed paper, re-skim, and paint. Then wallpaper the whole room, but probably retest one wall first.

Sorry Emily, but I can tell where the seams are after the fixed. And that would bug me. We redid our downstairs and there are things that I wish I can change, but that would be expensive and impractical since we won’t see the return when we sell. The truth is it only bugs me. So, I would glued the seams back down and moved on.

i would have done what you did, or bite the bullet and done the whole room in the first place. the wallpaper is so pretty! but is your male counterpart into it? i feel like its so hard to create a space that jives with men and women without looking overtly feminine or masculine.

the wallpaper is beautiful though, but if i showed that to my boyfriend i think the first things out of his mouth would be ‘it’s pink’ and it would end there.

i definitely would do the $300 bandaid, and it looks great – i can’t tell there are seams at all!

also thanks for sharing! i had no idea of the perils of not hiring a wallsitter when you go out of town! 😉


HA. a wallsitter. Yes, that’s it. Or maybe just not being so cheap and leave the air on to 85 degrees 🙂


It really is pretty wallpaper.

Thank you for keeping it real. It’s nice to know that disasters don’t just happen to amateurs.


Sorry Emily. That sucks, and you’re a really nice person to open yourself up like this.

I have strong, strong feelings on wallpaper, after having gone through the horrible task of peeling off so much of it when we first moved into our house. I never plan on using it again in my house, ever. I am a bit baffled by the way that it’s been making a comeback lately? So I guess I would have been #1.

Also, where is this pressure coming from to design every room? Is it from us? If so, we must stop that. It is perfectly acceptable for you to hold parts of your life away from the expectations of the world. I know you know this, but please consider this a reminder.

Thank you again, as always, for honestly walking us through your process.


Oooh, good call, Cindy. Especially your bedroom, not everything has to be public space!


HA. the pressure is from having a design career that is in the public. Not you guys, just my life in general. It would be like being a musician and everybody heard every song you ever wrote. You just want to play pretty music. We are adding a basement bathroom soon and it is going to be CHEAP because we are doing all three bathrooms and I just can’t. I’m talking fiberglass shower kinda cheap. Some days I think about blogging about it, but basically my goal is to have it simple and cost as little as possible, as if no one will ever see it. So maybe i’ll blog about it, we’ll see …


I actually think that sounds like a great blog post, because even if it’s “cheap,” I bet it will still look good. I know it’s not as exciting from a design standpoint, but who doesn’t want to see a tasteful and super affordable bathroom renovation?! And if anyone can pull it off, it’s you.

On another note, that wallpaper is everything and I would have done exactly what you did… the first time and the second time.

I have been wondering if you guys would add a bathroom down there. I figured there was enough space to make it a proper separate rental/nanny/mom/airbnb suite, and it will do wonders for re-sale value. (Maybe Brian can “sponsor” the post about this.)

I feel like one of the things you do so well is show how to make things affordable & accessible AND pretty, so sharing even your willingness to go the “fiberglass shower kinda cheap” would be right in line with that.

Also, I’m curious about how you choose to deal with that basement space. Just call me nosey.


Just going off pictures is hard because things can look so different in real life, but I prefer your headboard and all the wood against the bright white wall. I think the wallpaper is really pretty. I just don’t like it with everything else you have in the room. I don’t know if this will make sense but, to me that wallpaper looks “precious” and might work well in a little powder room or something like that. I think doing your entire master bedroom would end up being “precious overload”. I also agree with you about accent walls. So if it were me I’d save up to get the one wall returned to back to white. Not a fun process but in the end I think you would probably be happier with it.


Precious overload. yeah, i could see that.


you had warned us about your bedroom bring the disaster, but I never imagined it being something like this. So so horrible! I have to say I would have done the same thing, with a plan to enjoy it for a couple years and change it out at some point.


I’ve had this same dilemma in decorating my new house. Gorgeous wall paper that’s too expensive. What I have done is…..found a cheaper paper and paper all 4 walls. Sorry, I know that paper you picked is dreamy but sometimes you have to let go of things outside your price range. Maybe you could have found another more appropriate wall in the house for an accent, or a smaller room for that paper. I love how your headboard wall looks, and I wouldn’t have volunteered my advice….but you asked!


Yeah i probably just should have used a light color grasscloth on all four walls in the first place. good call.


Yes, that would have been my Plan A. But if I had chosen the custom wallpaper and thereby unwittingly set in motion the unfortunate seam-peeling chain of events, I would have proceeded exactly as you did and glued those suckers down. For what it’s worth.

Just keep in mind this is coming from a 40-year-old who doesn’t have a headboard and sewed her curtains from bedsheets.

I’m glad you chose the wallpaper – it definitely warms up the room A LOT. While I love white walls in a bedroom, these are something different and that’s always a plus as well.

I’d also have done exactly what you did by taping + glue down the seams.

Can’t wait to see the full room on Monday!

Josh – The Kentucky Gent


I can only imagine the argument that would have ensued between my husband and I when I would have voted for option 4 – same as you – and he would have wanted option 3 – to re-skim. He loves to make projects extra involved and complicated, whereas I am more “we’ve already DONE this – fix it, move on to the next challenge”!


Exactly. I just get so sick of spending money on boring shit – like skim coating or plumbing, or irrigation system, or air conditioning upgrade, ugh. So if I can only spend $300 sometimes I just will.


Maybe when I tell him that I have resorted to publicly outing his over-complicating projects on the Internet, I can get him to attach the %#*! legs to the wood slab bench that matches our awesome dining room table. I mean, it has only been two years ……!


When scrolling and the seam picture came into view, my jaw dropped and didn’t come back up until the end of the post. I can’t even… I mean… There would have been tears followed by maniacal laughter. Because, of course.

I would have done the same to fix that situation. However, I loved that room the way it was. It’s such a beautiful room and the light is so incredible. Retreating to a room that isn’t visually stimulating at the end of the day is very restful.

Also, please hug that campaign dresser for me, and tell it I love it very much.

Alison G

I would not have wallpapered at all.


I would have left it white and put that money towards the bathrooms!!! I can’t even imagine coming home to that. Just as a side note I don’t feel like you need to do crazy stuff like wallpaper and mountain backsplashes your taste is amazing, even when it’s pulled back. I would much prefer to see what you can do with a white room to make it awesome rather than super expensive custom wallpaper.


Thanks, S. 🙂


Oh Emily, that picture with seams detaching is awful. I would have done the same as you though and you handled it well. That’s gorgeous wallpaper and would look beautiful on all four walls but I appreciate your openness about the realities of the cost. The room looks great and I can’t wait for the entire reveal!

Melissa B

I would have spent so much time convincing my husband to allow wallpaper (we’ve taken old terrible wallpaper out of homes ourselves – not a fun task so he’s soured on it) that and cost would have prohibited wallpapering the entire room. I could probably convince him of a feature wall so initially we would have done the same otherwise I would have framed large sections of the pretty wallpaper and hung it like art to create a feature wall.

Once it lifted and it was choice to pull off and rework we would definitely opt for repair and let be for a while. $300 is so much more budget friendly and I’d be too scared to wallpaper any more walls without re-skimming/priming/painting the entire room. Sometimes life’s not perfect and that’s okay.


Framing fancy wallpaper like art is a great idea Melissa! That sounds like an excellent option five to me.

Mary Stewart

In my lifetime wallpaper has come and gone soo often it makes my head spin.
I’m anti wallpaper except in very small spaces.I may have felt different if it wasn’t
Such a hassle to get off the bedrooms of my present home.days turned in a weeks.
Good luck with whatever you choose.


My favorite bit is the save-the-date pic of you and brian.




So, slightly off topic…can you comment on light-colored bedding with 2 cats? I’m about to get married, and along with that comes moving in with 2 giant black cats. I LOVE white bedding as much as the next girl, but I’m worried that it’s going to be coated in dark cat hair. Do you find that’s a problem?


Nope, not really a problem at all. They don’t sleep in there that much, though. Never at night. But we don’t seem to have that problem.


Just out of curiosity, what would you have done if this was a client’s room? Who holds the liability there? Who has to pay to fix it? I assume you have all manner of contracts that cover that kind of occurrence, and I’m sure it rarely gets tested, but if this exact thing had happened to a client what would have been done?


I have no idea, honestly, precisely because it was nobodies fault. I’m sure that my installer would have REwallpapered for free, but if the client wanted to tear it off, reskim and repaint then I think everybody is bummed, but i have no idea what you’d do. So rarely is anything not anybodies fault, ya know? I’m just so glad it wasn’t a client.


Oh, what a nightmare to come home to that! I’m so sorry. I had just been thinking about doing a small amount of wallpaper (had ordered swatches, etc.), but now this makes me afraid to do it..


first, Thank you. Thank you for showing things that didn’t work out as planned. So when my i do things that don’t work out as planned I can know I’m not alone, and maybe I will beat myself up less. Or, maybe I can just show this post to my husband when he complains that I should have just burned the $200 that I spent on billy bookcase built-ins gone wrong and I can say “see, sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to. I am not alone.”
Second, could you install trim pieces over each seam, and kind of give it a board and batten look? That might not be the look you are going for, but it might keep the seems from ripping up again, and it really is beautiful paper. I’m not a designer, so I won’t be offended if you think my suggestion is horrible.

I totally would have done what you did. THAT SUCKSSSS though. Thank you for the realness! I painted my entire apartment peachy pink and hated it and then repainted it grey the next day because I couldn’t handle it. I felt like SUCH AN IDIOT. But it makes me feel better that a professional designer had mishaps (even though it wasn’t exactly your fault!).


Ha. I’ve done that a few times too – always with a bright color which is why I will never paint another wall in my house a bright color. You’d think I’d be able to handle it, but I can’t!

I’d pick door number 4! Honestly.


Hindsight is 20/20. You’ve done the right thing.
Congrats on your growing family!


From the get go, I would have paid to have the wall stenciled with a custom stencil in this pattern instead of wallpaper.

It’s much more affordable and can be easily painted right over if you change your mind down the road.


Interesting …

Emily Klug

Yes! I love the look of wallpaper but not the cost or the thought of having to remove it someday. But I’m a fairly talented painter so I plan to just mimic wallpaper by painting and stenciling. Like that awesome Scalamandre zebra paper. I’ll be reproducing that in my daughters closet. I’m going to make a stencil of the zebras bodies then probably just freehand the stripes and arrows. But I digress….yes definitely more than 1 way to skin a cat!


I have a nearly 90 year old home and am only the third owner. The previous owner installed grass cloth in the hallway and library in the 40s. I let my boys pull it down and with it came layers of paint as Emily described in her horror story. We lived in the house for nearly a year before we tackled the huge job of new plaster and paint (we were busy frying way bigger fish). In the meantime, I had numerous people marvel at the walls and say things like “You know restaurants in LA and NYC actually PAY people to get this look.” Yes, it was an old-world, crumbling, speckled, hodgepodge of green, gray, cream, brown, and whatever colors had been painted on the walls in the previous decades. So I’m kind of anti-wallpaper but the one Emily designed is really pretty here. The next owner may curse you though.

Sarah Harrison

What you did. And I did. Our entryway is wallpapered and started peeling up. So we glued it down, then stapled it to make sure it held. I removed the staples and it worked. I worried about it for a few days, looked at every day to see if you could tell. And then I got over it. I feel sorry for the next owners who hate my choices and try to remove the paper.

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