Paint & Wallpaper Photo Credit: Bookstrucker

Everything You Need to Know for Your Wallpaper Feature Wall

Calgary interior designer Aly Velji answers our wallpaper queries—like can I do this myself?!

Someday, when the pre-sale gods smile on me and my condo is complete, I’ll be moving into a blank canvas of rooms and wide, intimidating white walls. Two key areas seem the most high-pressure: above the sofa in the living room and above the bed in my master. Art, mirrors, photography, shelves—these are all big choices that will set the aesthetic rhythm for the rest of the space.

I’ve long coveted the idea of a wallpaper feature wall—no framing, no measuring and eye-catching, smack-you-in-the-face, floor-to-ceiling art! And I’ve fallen for one in particular, this dark floral wallpaper from Vancouver’s Anewall that was featured in an Aly Velji-designed ballet studio in Calgary. So to flawlessly (and without costly fudge-ups) get the look, I got in touch with the Calgary designer himself.

Anewall’s dark floral wallpaper in the Barre Belle change room. (Photo: Bookstrucker.)
Here’s the dark floral wallpaper as it’s seen at Anewall.

How to Have it All (And This Wallpaper Feature Wall):

Q: What type of wallpaper did you order (pre-pasted, traditional or self-adhesive) and why did you pick that one?

A: The wallpaper was a pre-pasted paper. The selection was based on the design, not necessarily how it was installed. Our wallpaper installers are pretty good at installing any sort of wallpaper that we give them. However, we are mainly ordering pre-pasted or the traditional style of wall coverings. 

Removing Wallpaper: We called up Anewall and asked what happens when you take the wallpaper off

Self-adhesive vinyl can be removed from the walls without any damage to the walls, depending on the paint. If you carefully and slowly remove the panels no paint will come off, the odd time a few small specks may come off. The pre-pasted wallpaper and traditional wallpaper options are permanent wallpaper materials. They require professional or DIY removal, but usually walls will need to be sanded and re-painted after removal. 

Q: Did you use a wallpaper hanging professional, or did you do it yourself? And do you know what a wallpaper hanger costs?

A: We definitely always hire a professional to hang our papers. Most wallpaper installers will charge by the roll or double roll and it can range in price from $80 to $150/roll. 

Q: Can (or should) people try to hang wallpaper themselves?

A: I would never recommend hanging your own paper. There are so many subtle details and calculations that you have to take into account—and if you’re spending a bit on the paper itself, there is no room for error. 

Q: If someone was going to put this wallpaper up as a feature wall in their apartment, would you recommend going permanent or self-adhesive vinyl? If it’s vinyl does that mean it would be shiny (like those Halloween stickers you get from Martha Stewart)? 

A: Haha! Vinyl wallpapers are usually installed in commercial settings and they have come a long way. Vinyl wall coverings are more durable and can stand a lot of wear and tear, so if you are putting it in a high-traffic area, vinyl is always a good choice. 

Q: What do you do if the size sold isn’t wide enough to fit your wall?

A: Most companies will make the wallpaper to fit your wall size. There is usually an upcharge for this as they have to alter the image to make it fit a certain wall size, but it’s worth it. If you’re on a budget, I have used papers that only come in certain sizes and installed it on the centre of the feature wall space, leaving a border of wall around the wall covering. It actually looks quite stunning and acts like a piece of artwork. 

Q: What are 4 wallpaper picks you are loving right now for the home?

1. Graffito Wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler

2. Ginkgo Embroidery by Schumacher

3.  Camo Chameleon by Rollout

4. Zach and Fox Strata Study

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