Wallpaper can completely transform a room.
I recently visited a friend who had purchased an older home that had been renovated and painted throughout. It looked clean and crisp, but it lacked something. My friend got to work and "went to town" with wallpaper.
What a transformation. It reinforces my ideas on using pattern, texture and color. The rooms all took on a look or theme, the pattern gave the room depth and provided movement for the eye. New curtains were also added and highlighted the wallpaper.
She was stuck with one problem though, her existing sofa just didn't work in her new look living room. It was mustard yellow with rust and blue motifs. The fantastic wallpaper was colored red rust with a large silver vine type design. The curtains were silver, and there was a silver mirror over the fireplace. The wallpaper was used as a feature wall and when walking into the room it looked fantastic, but the room did not look right to her eye. (This is why she asked my advice, because she though it was the curtains, and said it was an expensive mistake, she would have to get new ones.)
I turned and looked around the room and instantly I felt uncomfortable, the room did not work as she had suggested, but the problem was not the curtains, it was the lack of balance in the room. She had placed all the color in one place. There was no sign of the red of the wallpaper anywhere else, it was left out floating in the room. So if you have done one of my ecourses, you can now guess my advice. I told her to place some red and silver around the room, especially on the sofa. Perhaps some cushions and a throw, with a red chair in the corner, a painting with red in it on the opposite wall, some silver candles on the coffee table. Spreading the color around subtly will then balance it and make the room feel more harmonious. It will make the sofa appear to disappear, and an area rug on the floor will ground the scheme and then the transformation is complete!
I think one of the hardest things when you tackle home decoration yourself is that when you finish you often feel disappointed with the outcome, then you don't know how to fix it. I see this time and time again, and like my friend, most of the time it is simple to fix, but that's because I have experience in this field and she has experience at other things. So she did the right thing, before tearing down the curtains which was her first instinct, she took advice from a professional. Now she knows, that she go it 95% right, a few little extra accessories and the job is finished! So don't be afraid to ask for advice if you don't have experience, paying for a designer or decorator for an hour of their time, will be a lot cheaper than living with a design that is not quite right, or trying to make drastic changes that cost you money.
Even if you are a designer or decorator, there are often times when you can't quite find the right answer, don't be afraid to ask a colleague for advice, the answer can often be right under your nose!
Oh, and sorry, I know this would have looked better if I had a photo, I forgot to take my camera!
For more information on types of wallpaper
For information on feature walls with wallpaper
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