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Last week I worked on an interesting project using architectural designed wallpaper. My client wanted the beds in her downtown DC condo to have headboards but space was a consideration. The solution was to use wallpaper as trompe l’oeil. With architectural wallpaper you can imitate crown moldings, chair rail moldings, headboards, room paneling, false doors, borders, etc. For example, you may want to add architectural elements to make a room look/feel more classical.

If you have questions about using wallpaper or you want to know more about ordering your wallpaper, email or call me.

MMIAAT1039Custom murals are very popular these days. As I mentioned in my previous post, Computer Generated vs Hand Painted Wallpaper, technology changes in printing methods has blown open the options available to us for custom murals and wallpaper.  This is a wonderful thing for homeowners. But with every upside, there is a potential downside.

What Could Go Wrong?

Here’s what happens … you are thrilled with your choice of custom mural, you measure the wall for height and width as per instructions from the manufacturer, you send in your order. Your mural arrives as promised and you are excited to see it installed, only to be devastated when you realize what you ordered doesn’t fit the wall. What happened?

Your Eyes Deceive You

The primary cause for a mural not fitting properly — most walls are not plumb. Most walls are not straight, especially ceiling lines, baseboard lines and corners.  This is due to settling of the house, poor carpentry, older home, etc. You must assume that your wall(s) is not straight up and down with gravity, not with the floor, which itself may not be level . For example, you measured the height of your wall as 99 inches. But you did not measure right, center and left. The right side of the wall is 99 inches, the center is 100 inches and the left is 102 inches. So what should you do? Couple of options:

  • If you already have your mural, you could add a molding around the mural.  A less expensive option would be to paint a frame around the mural.
  • If you are in the ordering process, average the height and width and add 2-4 inches all the way around. You will need to trim the edges but you can be confident that the mural will fit your wall.

If you have questions about ordering a mural for a special accent wall in your home or you want to know more about ordering your wallpaper, email or call me.



Computer Generated Wallpaper

Wallpaper manufacturers like Zoffany now have the ability to bring you fabulous classical designs via computer generated printing methods. They can replicate great designs like 18th century Chinoiserie scenics or a classical Swedish 18th century design like the photo above. By using modern printing techniques and rich opaque pigments Zoffany can display authentic textures of natural wood and rough. These papers are far more affordable thanks to technology advances over the past ten years. I install papers like this several times a month.

Hand-painted Wallpapers

de Gorunay and others still produce hand-painted, custom scenics. An artist creates the design for your specific space, using the colors you select and further customization you would like. Then the design is hand-painted (most likely in Asia) and then shipped to you to be installed. I install hand-painted papers several times a year.


Computer-Generated vs. Hand Painted?

What’s the difference between the two wallpapers? Besides the cost and the customization, the designs and the art technique are the same. Installation-wise there is a difference. The computer-generated wallpaper is regular wallpaper. Hand painted paper is far more delicate and more difficult to install.  Think of it as getting a Picasso poster vs. a Picasso painting.