Design

Hung up on wallpapering — Expert talks about the wallpaper’s renaissance

Carolyn Jane Borer, owner of Roll Her Sleeves Painting, has seen her share of trends in the 10 years since she started her business. Wallpaper entered the scene four years ago when she worked on the set of the Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street. Now, with the renaissance of wallpaper, it’s a skill that’s increasingly in demand.

Are floral wallpapers popular right now?

Florals are definitely in. For all of us enduring six months of winter each year, bright florals can help keep us positive.
What are your thoughts on putting wallpaper on just one wall?

Well, it’s definitely cheaper! But, seriously, wallpaper on one wall can also make a nice statement. What about wallpaper for small spaces?

I like wallpaper in small spaces. For example, if you put wallpaper throughout a whole powder room, it can look really great. It takes a lot of time to do because of everything you have to cut around, but the end result is worth it.

Do you always recommend hiring a pro to hang wallpaper?

Let’s just say I think it takes a very handy and optimistic person to attempt to hang wallpaper.

Any tips for the DIYer?
I would recommend a pre-pasted paper. It’s easier to install, and you don’t need an extra set of hands to help cut and match up the pattern.

Does wall art hinder or help when it comes to resale?

You fall in love with the bones of a house, not the current paint colours or wallpapers. A few accent wallpaper walls aren’t a deterrent for selling.

Carolyn Jane Borer, owner of Roll Her Sleeves Painting. Photo: Marc Fowler
Carolyn Jane Borer, owner of Roll Her Sleeves Painting. Photo: Marc Fowler

We’ve seen a lot of vinyl murals lately. Would you recommend these for a quick summery facelift?

I have installed vinyl wall murals, but I generally don’t recommend them. The quality varies a lot.

Is it easy to remove a vinyl mural if you get bored?

It is fairly easy to pull off, but it’s very sticky so it can tear old paint and drywall, leaving you with a big repair job.

How about wallpaper?

Assuming the wall was properly primed, modern wallpapers come off incredibly easily. We always recommend using a steamer.

What can people do with leftover wallpaper?

I often work with Sacha and Melissa Leclair of Leclair Decor. Sometimes they will take leftover wallpaper pieces and have them framed to hang on the wall. It’s a very cute way to use the leftovers, and it looks great!

Do you ever tell clients they’re making a mistake?

I do. If the client has bought a wallpaper that I know isn’t of good quality, I’ll tell them. I know that the seams might pop, so I want them to know that up front. Honesty is always the best way to go.