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OMG! LOL! The Wallpaper is Upside Down

You would be surprised how often wallpaper is hung upside down. This can happen on chairs, with drapes, anywhere there is a printed pattern. If you don’t know the artist’s intention, some patterns are hard to discern what’s up and what’s down.

A story … a client installed a beautiful custom wallpaper in her dining room. When the drapes arrived, what was up on the wall, was down on the drapes. The upholster had made the drapes with the pattern upside down, opposite to the pattern on the walls. Or, did the paperhanger install the paper upside down? What a dilemma!

The only way to decide up from down, right from wrong, was to go back to the artist. Turns out the paperhanger was right because he asked the designer to verify the proper direction of the pattern before the install.

Lesson learned – always verify the pattern before installation. Take a look at the two pictures below of a beautiful wallpaper from Farrow & Ball. How would you install the pattern? Down or up? The answer is in the comments below.

11 comments… add one
  • Patrick Shields March 23, 2012, 1:13 pm

    The artist on this particular pattern, Lotus, designed it to be hung like the red picture. http://us.farrow-ball.com/lotus/wallpaper/fcp-category/list?resetFilters=true

    • Colm March 25, 2012, 9:32 am

      Some papers work up side down. I was hanging the Lotus Farrow & Ball one in a restaurant, and all her wall art was shaped for the paper being hung up side down. So we discussed it and hung it up side down. Looked really good.
      I always assess papers that can be hung either way. Its important what the client is going to put in the room after wards. The shading changes when reversed, So my advice is work with samples versus furniture prior to making that decision. Colm Decorating

  • Robert Cook March 24, 2012, 2:00 pm

    I leave it up to the homeowner most times. Especially on a pattern that is open to interpretation. After all, it is the homeowner that has to live with the pattern no matter what the artists intention is.

  • Alix Sullivan March 24, 2012, 6:53 pm

    But in this case the wallpaper in the picture is upside down — I’ve never heard of drapes hanging UP from the floor!

    And if I had to live with it, it would drive me nuts!

  • Denise Rush April 9, 2012, 11:00 am

    We used this Lotus pattern in our Lake Forest Showhouse project. We decided to hang it upside down so that the lotus leaf would complement our inspiration, which was the plumage of the peacock.

    • daileyn April 9, 2012, 12:03 pm

      Good call! That’s why paperhangers need to work closely with their designers.

      • Patrick Shields April 9, 2012, 12:05 pm

        Thanks, Denise!

  • Nikita May 2, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Sometimes there are wallpaper designs with visual effects. Take a look at this wallpaper: http://www.wallex.com/ee/en/wallpapers/lavmi/josephine/cocoa-122202 You may say there is only one way of hanging it, but actually it doesn’t matter. You can hang it any way, because the design won’t change. Only after several seconds of watching at the design you will identify what is the difference.

    Any way it doesn’t matter how you hang wallpapers. The most important if you like final result or not. Creative solutions are usually more interesting 🙂

  • Scott Hanson February 16, 2013, 6:07 pm

    There is a 19th century paper in the Sarah Orne Jewett House in South Berwick, Maine (owned by Historic New England and operated as a musuem house) that is hung upside down. It is in the dining room, which is shown in one of the photos here: http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/sarah-orne-jewett-house/photographic-tour

    It is one of my favorite things about the house.

    • Patrick Shields February 16, 2013, 8:48 pm

      Thanks for sharing this. I’ll take a close look at the web site.

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