To Wallpaper or Not To Wallpaper?

I've become absolutely obsessed with wallpaper lately. I've seen some fine examples of wallpaper in a few of the homes I've been in while shooting House Tours. Now I've convinced myself that I have to incorporate wallpaper into my own home. The only problem is — I don't know if I'm ready to make that kind of commitment to wall covering.

I grew up in old houses with bumpy walls that were just begging for the merciful masking qualities of wallpaper. Living in those old houses also taught me that once wallpaper is applied, it’s not easily removed. My teenage bedroom was in a turn of the century house with walls that had so many layers of wallpaper on them that they almost started to encroach on the room’s square footage!

Our current home was a gut rehab so we have pristine drywall that is smooth and unmarred. I’m in love with beautiful wallpaper patterns but I’m reticent to apply it to the walls of our condo out of fear that the walls will never be the same. So lately I’m looking at other alternatives to wallpaper.

There’s always the option of using starched fabric as wallpaper. This method would allow me the flexibility of using any number of patterned fabrics. Plus, when I'm ready to redecorate, the fabric is easily removed from the wall. I imagine a bit of starch would stay behind on the wall but that should only be a matter of washing the wall thoroughly.

Sherwin Williams offers a removable wallpaper that was covered here at ApartmentTherapy a couple years ago. I have to say, I'm still not convinced that this wallpaper would actually strip off of the wall very easily so I'm still hesitant to use it. In theory, however, EasyChange sounds like the perfect wallpaper for someone who likes to redecorate often.

There’s also the option of painting a stenciled pattern on the walls to give the appearance of wallpaper. This method may be a bit time consuming but it's sure to not mar the walls. Once I'm tired of the pattern I can simply paint over it. Sure, it may take a coat of primer if I use a really dark or bold pattern, but it surely wouldn't take nearly as much to undo a painted pattern than it would to remove wallpaper.

I'm leading toward the stencil option if for no other reason that I know I can do it. I mean, I'm pretty handy with a paintbrush but I've never hung wallpaper. What do you think? Should I get over my fear of wallpaper and just go for it? Does anyone have experience with Sherwin Williams' EasyChange wallpaper?

Image: Jason Loper

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