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TWEAKS+inspiration : Not Your Mother's Wallpaper

If you're like me, you've spent hours at a neighborhood paint store, looking through books of wallpapers. It was always a mother/daughter adventure. Choosing a few "maybes," then hauling the heavy books home, propping them up against a wall to see which looked right.

My mom was a great wallpaperer. She loved to tell the story about, as newlyweds, my parents were hanging wallpaper when my inexperienced dad climbed the ladder with a sheet heavy with glue. The whole thing fell away and he was left with a small piece under each thumb.

Back then, wallpaper was sold without a glue backing. Glue was applied with a big brush as a sheet laid on a long table, or in our case, a 4x8 sheet of plywood. It was messy and time consuming but oh, so rewarding. So now, with new technology, we have wallpaper printed on demand in 3 ways: non-pasted (brush on glue), prepasted (just brush with water) or self stick (like a giant sticker that can be removed). And the sky's the limit on fun patterns to choose. This is not your mother's wallpaper.

Here's a closeup (top photo) and a museum exhibit photo of interior designer extraordinaire Sheila Bridge's famous "Harlem Toile de Jouy" wallpaper, created in 2006. Toile is a common pattern of wallpaper, but Harlem as a subject matter opened eyes and is still making people smile. Available in wallpaper and fabric, it's been exhibited in many museums. A roll is 27" wide x 5 yards long with a 30" repeat. It's $300 per roll with a 4 roll minimum. As mentioned, it's considered art! Let's take a look at other incredible papers.

Gorgeous! This paper calls for tall ceilings.

From a distance, a pretty pattern but once you get close . . . oh, my!

Wouldn't this be fun in a teenager's bedroom? Peel-and-stick, $96 a roll (2' x 12").

Called "Velvet Texture," this one is sold from £25.00 per meter through Murals Wallpaper.

Swede Stig Lindberg's original wallpaper design from the 1960's has been reintroduced in new colorways, $118 per roll.

"Outside Lines" is a peel-and-stick printed on demand in Nashville.

A bold graphic is a perfect print for a child's playroom.

"Buried Treasure" is a fun powder room paper.

Even Amazon sells print on demand wallpaper. Don't you love this botanical?

"Oceania" wallpaper is $220 per single role. So much to look at!

And finally, my favorite - Azure Mural Wallpaper - who knew you could be transported to the Greek isles for $220 a roll? Wallpaper is far more expensive than it was when I was helping my mom paper every room in our house. But obviously, this isn't my Mother's wallpaper. Do you have a wallpaper experience? Please do tell! Just add in the comments below. We'd love to hear!

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