This is the second post in my “Catching Up” series, where I post things I have completed over the past year or so while I was ignoring my blog.
As I noted in There’s No Such Thing as a Free Carpet, Part 1, I received an oriental rug and used it as the impetus to redecorate my guest bedroom. I had redone the floor to be a great backdrop for the rug, but something had to be done about the blue stripe wallpaper. It might have been a great choice for a child’s bedroom, but not for my farmhouse guest room. the blue was also not a color match with the rug.
I could have painted over the blue stripes, but I had my heart set on some William Morris wallpaper. I knew the blue-green that is prevalent in many of his designs would work well with the carpet. The only problem? Here in the U.S., it’s impossible to get the wallpaper without working through a certified interior designer. You cannot buy it directly from websites in the U.K. and have it shipped to the U.S. I have no idea why this is a thing, but it SUCKS. I was on a timetable, so I had to shelve the pretty W.M. wallpaper for another project.
Off to the local wallpaper store I went, hoping to find something similar. Oy, there are a lot of ugly wallpapers out there. The 80’s called, they want their shiny wallpaper back. The one book I saw that did catch my eye was a book of analgypta wallpaper. Anaglypta is a heavy, embossed wallpaper. I had original 100 year old anaglypta in the old house, and I loved it. I thought about it for a bit, and decided to go for a lovely fleur-de-lis pattern made from original paper-style anaglypta (there is vinyl anaglypta now as well). It was subtle and I thought would go well with my farmhouse idea.
Anaglypta isn’t exactly easy to work with. You must use heavy duty wallpaper paste, and you must coat/book the back of the wallpaper completely and let it rest as instructed so that it softens enough to put on the wall successfully. Once on the wall, you CANNOT trim it until it’s absolutely dry, or it will tear. It’s a bit tricky to get around window molding and corners. But, it seemed to go quite nicely. I used a bit more than 1 double roll for this project. I’m pretty sure I’ll use the rest of it somewhere. 🙂
When working with paper anaglypta, it says “paintable”. The reality is you really REALLY should paint it, even if you just paint it white. It’s like having embossed craft paper on your walls. If you don’t paint it, it will suck up every bad odor, and get coated in dust and dirt, and just not last long.
Thus the color palette was the next concern. Once the rug was down and in the room’s light, I could really examine the colors. Now, if you’ve ever had a hand-knotted oriental rug, you know they’re not one dye lot throughout the whole carpet. Sometimes the difference is subtle, sometimes not so much. So, you have to sort of look for a middle-ground that matches the shade. I got huge piles of paint chips from the local paint stores, and picked a few colors directly from the rug and a few coordinating colors.
I chose a coordinating color to paint the anaglypa. The red in the carpet was too dark/bold, so I went for the dark pink coordinating color that I call “brick pink”. It looks awesome. It’s not so red as to say it’s a red/white/and blue patriotic room, and not so pink as to say “PINK!”, and it still gives that country vibe.
Last painting need in the room was the ceiling. Which wasn’t bad per se, I just like to not do pure white ceilings. But you have to be really careful because a ceiling color will change the character of light in the room more than any other surface. I did a white that was slightly blue/green/gray. The first color try was actually too dark, and completely dulled down the room. Which meant I needed to RE-PAINT the ceiling. Ow. Painting a ceiling once is bad enough, having to re-do it right away is worse! I added 3 parts white to 1 part of the gray I had used to come up with a new shade, and had a gallon of it made up. I used a tester size of the colonial blue color from the rug palette to paint the plastic medallion around the fan. I also replaced the basic white fan model with something more updated. Unfortunately it came with a cream colored alabaster shade, and I needed pure white. I had to purchase a full light kit in order to get the shade I wanted.
Continued next with the bedding, furnishings, and final touches!