• Sarah

Boring wall fix, part 1

Before we moved to our condo, I knew I wanted to do something with the wall behind the bed in our tiny master bedroom, and had assumed it would be a wallpaper mural.

I settled on one from Anewall, and, while gorgeous, proved beyond my skill as a wallpaperer. (I actually bought two wallpaper murals from this “no returns accepted” company, which reinforces my new mantra, “do not buy a bunch of stuff before you move in”!) Back in the Pleistocene, when I was wallpapering every vertical surface with Laura Ashley type ditsy florals, pre-pasted wallpaper had a substantial feel to it, you’d run it through the water bath, slap it up, and kind of smoosh it this way or that with hands spread flat until it lined up with your plumb line. This new iteration of wallpaper has a different feel to it, it doesn’t slide around on a slick gluey base, nor does it let you move around entire panels with two hands…so, while beautiful, is something best left to professionals, I believe, or those who’ve done a lot of recent wallpapering.

So, what to do? This lovely picture popped up on my Instagram, and I knew immediately that I had found my solution from Royal Design Studio. I really liked the deep colour of the wall with the light stencil colour over it, so decided to replicate the feel of that combination. (See more here at The Accidental Bohemian).

The first step was to figure out what colour to paint the wall. The easiest way to do this is to take a good look at your room, and the colours you’ve used already, and try to pick something that goes well in the space. For me, I had these elements:

The area rug in front of our bed:

The curtains:

And the pillows on the bed:

The dominant colours were mauve, warm grey, ochre, navy, with a lot of white and natural linen as the background. I wanted the room to have a restful feeling, so didn’t want to use a warmer colour, like an ochre or anything with rose/mauve/red in it, so decided on some shade of blue, green, plummy grey, or charcoal. Even if you feel comfortable choosing colours, I always err on the side of far too many paint swatches, and then go through them and eliminate those that don’t work. Also, when you’re in the paint section fluorescent lights really alter the ways colours look, so it’s good to grab a good selection.

So this is how it starts, lots of swatches! You'll find as you look at each one that some will be more green, some will be more blue, some more grey (or whatever colourway you've chosen), so sort them into those piles...below I've got two blue piles, a grey/charcoal pile, a greenish pile, and a grey/purple-ish pile:

As you look at each pile, pick your favourites, eliminating those that, as you look at them next to other colours, are too bright, too green, too whatever...

Here I've whittled it down to the final four. The lightest one is a nice colour, but too light for this project (I've saved it in my paint chip file, though):

The last choices. The dark blue is too dark, and the lighter purple/grey looks quite lilac, and I don't want an obvious purple.

The winner! Behr "Arabian Veil PPU17-19"

It has purple hues, but enough deep, warm grey that it doesn't come across as an actual purple.

In the next post, I'll cover how to paint the single colour on the wall, and how to stencil over it, but for now, the finished product!


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