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About a year ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long already!) we purchased and moved into our first house. It was built in 1928 in the San Bernardino Mountains, but was remodeled in blue, blue, blue, and pink in 1994. It’s the kind of Nineties cottage blue that leaves you expecting to see geese and dried flowers everywhere. Needless to say, it’s not my favorite color blue…and that’s coming from someone who loves almost every color of blue imaginable!
In addition to blue carpet and walls in the living room, we also have peeling Nineties wallpaper in several rooms. The house’s redeeming quality is the real vintage, Wild West wallpaper in the small guest room. That is going to stay! And the previous owners were nice enough to leave a couple extra rolls of it, just in case we ever need to do any patch or cover-up work.
Since our house was built in 1920s, I suspect that underneath the wallpaper (the good stuff and the ugly stuff) we might have old paint. Since we have an almost-three-year-old running around the house, removing the wallpaper and exposing old paint isn’t an option for us.
Prior to purchasing a home, I spent countless hours admiring the wallpaper in homes at estate sales. I love the groovy feel that vintage papered walls can give to an old home.
Did you watch The Sopranos? Remember the kitchen in Junior Soprano’s house? That’s IT! I know, funky floral wallpaper is totally not a design meant for the minimalist-minded folk. I am incredibly lucky that my husband also prefers paisleys and vintage florals!
Since most of the wall space in our home is covered with windows – great for natural light, bad for decorating – I am going to have to rely on curtains and wallpaper to accomplish my decorating vision. Lucky for me, there are tons of online sources for vintage and vintage-inspired wallpapers.
Here are some of my favorite discoveries:
One of the rooms in my house that I need wallpaper for is our kitchen. Because our kitchen is totally functional at the moment, the kitchen is almost last on our list of renovations. That gives me a long time to dream about wallpaper…and to change my mind about the perfect wallpaper pattern a million more times. Luckily, Hannah’s Treasures has tons of funky kitchen prints for me to consider over the next couple years!
Hannah’s Treasures also has a shop on Etsy where you can find vintage wallpapers sold by the yard – a perfect source if you are looking for smaller quantities of psychedelic paisleys or romantic florals for a DIY project such as handmade greeting cards.
Wallpaper From the 70s is a trailblazing German company that offers vintage-inspired wallpaper. Often when a company says “vintage-inspired,” the design ends up being some sort of disappointing, cheesy replica of true grooviness. The patterns you will find in this shop, however, ARE TRULY groovy!
Often I will fall in love with a vintage wallpaper pattern only to find that there are too few rolls available for my project. Since Wallpaper From the 70s prints their own wallpaper as it is ordered, you will never have that problem here. And, to top it all off, their rolls are way less expensive than the real vintage stuff. Score!
Wallpaper From the 70s also has instructions on how to install the wallpaper. From the necessary prep work to papering perfectly around light sockets, it’s all here. Being a wallpaper newbie, I have a feeling I am going to live inside these instructions for a while!
For those of you who are a little wary of using wallpaper, Royal Stencil Designs on Etsy offer stencils as an alternative. With stencils, there is no commitment to a layer of paper on your walls and no gluey mess. If the thought of wrangling wet paper into position doesn’t sound like fun, this might be your solution! And, when you are ready for something new, it’s as easy as painting right over your design with a new color.
So, what do YOU think about using vintage wallpaper to brighten up your home? What is your favorite source for wallpaper?