24 June 2011

Eureka! and "The Tyranny of Choice"

If you've had a look around this blog or visited any of the posts dedicated to the dining room, you will know that I have been searching for just the perfect wallpaper since, well, eons ago (really just a few months, but it feels like forever).  At the heart of my dilemma are some decorating factoids that are sticking in my proverbial craw:
  1. Economics - Having recently paid a not-insubstantial amount of money to someone to paint all the walls in my dining room, neither I nor hubby are totally super-keen to pay AGAIN to wallpaper over the freshly painted walls.  Seems like a bit of a double-dip, if you know what I mean .... $.
  2. Economics - Wallpaper is expensive, particularly the stuff that I like.  Now realistically, I'm not talking about papering a 15x13 room in the really good stuff (which I l-o-v-e but which, let's be honest, would break our bank right now) but still ... it's pricey all the same.  Add to that my upcoming sabbatical (more details on that later!) and that we're soon down to one income, and maybe now isn't the time to splash out (again) on a strictly decorative detail ... $$.
  3. ECONOMICS - Installation.  Yes, that's right: INSTALLATION.  Exactly.  After much deliberation I've come to the conclusion that no amount of elbow grease or googling on my part will assist me in learning the fundamentals of putting up wallpaper in time to get this paper up correctly.  And while I'm definitely a firm believer in "practice makes perfect," I DO NOT believe in sacrificing hundreds of dollars of product so I can try my hand at something: skill-building experiments are for cheap-and-cheerful projects only.  Which leaves me with just one viable option: pay a professional.  Sigh.  $$$.
No matter how long, how much or how hard I chew over these three issues, I keep turning up the same result: wallpaper is just not in the cards right now.  Grrr.  Budgets are for suckers!  :)

Anyhoo, yesterday on the train ride home (which, by the way, is a great opportunity to tune out the daily noises and just ride the rails of your own thought processes) I was turning over the same old decorating challenge when suddenly it struck me (in exactly this order):

Wallpaper is not the only answer.

Paint is my friend.


Yup, that's right.  I'm going to get stencil-happy all OVER those walls!!

Don't freak out yet.  The stencil pattern and application that I'm referring to are not in any way reminiscent of the 1980's paint treatments as seen here:


Classic, right?(!)  But not what I'm all about right now.

What I'm thinking is something definitely larger, for starters, and much more contemporary (I would say "modern" except that I'm a bit of a sucker for classic design, so up-to-date is really what I mean).  An internet search last night turned up a couple of great sites, from which there are a multitude of lovely patterns to choose from.  When selecting from options like these ...

Images via here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

... how can you go wrong?  And if you ask my opinion (which we will assume you did) I've convinced myself that for simple-repeat patterns, stencilling is the far better option to wallpaper given that any changes of heart and/or fashion can much more easily be accommodated with a can of paint than with paper.  Furthermore, and best of all, it's easy on the pocketbook: one can of paint, a stencil - which ranges, as far as I've seen, from $40 to $150 - and some spray adhesive is an incredibly economic option for a similar look and style to its paper counterpart.  Obviously it's not exactly the same, but I'm more than willing to make the substitute.

I've already decided that tone-on-tone is the look for me, and I will either use a white-base pearlescent paint, or stir some varathane into our leftover cans of the wall color .... I haven't come down on one side or the other of this particular fence yet. (Score another point for stencilling over paper: if I chose the 
white paper with the shiny white pattern for our white walls, Daryn white might well have killed me).  The BIG question that remains, and it's a doozy, is how to coordinate a stencil pattern with this rug, this furniture and this artwork, AND with curtains that haven't been selected or purchased yet?? (though a trip to Designer Fabric Outlet on Saturday might rectify that particular situation)


Here are the patterns I'm considering:

#1 - Acanthus Damask
#2 - Feathered Damask (but remember, mine would be tone-on-tone)
#3 - Linked In
#4 - Endless Moorish Circle
All images via here

So what do you think?  Which one would you like to see in my dining room?  Feel free to submit your vote in the Comments section :)


Before we part ways for the weekend (me to class and you to all things fun- and good-weather-related, I hope), I should mention that Milton is playing host to the
30th Annual Strawberry Fair on Saturday, hosted by the Milton District Hospital Auxiliary.  It's a fantastic family event featuring a pancake breakfast (sponsored by the Optimist Club), a BBQ lunch (sponsored by M&M Meats) and a whole lot of eating in between sponsored by a slew of local businesses.  It's the hospital's largest fundraising event of the year, and an excellent way to spend a Saturday.  If you're in or around Milton (or decide you want to be), the Fair is located at the Milton Fairgrounds and runs 8am - 4pm on the 25th.  Have a great time!