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When choosing your wallpaper, find ones that have complementary colour schemes and that match your decor. (Barry Fraser for the Globe and Mail)
When choosing your wallpaper, find ones that have complementary colour schemes and that match your decor. (Barry Fraser for the Globe and Mail)

A remedy for bare walls Add to ...

After renovating our house from top to bottom, my husband and I have been attempting to decorate on a dime. We’ve gotten creative with family pictures in the hallway, my husband’s photography in the living room, prints from Etsy in the nursery and office and a collection of retro plates hung up in the dining room. What’s left is our bedroom.

Luckily a large window on one wall leaves only enough room for a favourite photo my husband took during a trip to Paris on the left and on the right a cheap print I picked up there when I was a student. There is just one last area screaming for inspiration. And then I found it.

Recently I came across a stockpile of vintage wallpaper at an antique store for $10, it included a large toile print that would tie in perfectly with my French-inspired boudoir. Wallpaper – reinvented – was just what my boring blank wall needed.


  • 3 rolls or scraps of wallpaper in different prints
  • 3 picture frames (two 8x10 inches; one 18x24 inches)
  • fine-tip pen
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • 3 picture hangers
  • hammer

Get started by choosing wallpaper in complementary colours that will match your decor. Next, you’ll need three picture frames that co-ordinate with your paper and your room. Paring an oversized embellished frame with two standard 8x10s anchors the trio and gives the grouping another layer of interest. When making your selections, keep in mind the scale of your wallpaper prints and which one you’d like to feature in the larger frame.

Remove the backs of the frames and clean each piece of glass to remove dust and finger prints. Depending on how the pattern repeats, you can accentuate the print by focusing on a particular area, so place the glass from the largest frame on the corresponding paper and move it around to help you decide what you’d like to frame. Trace around the glass with your pen and cut it out.

After cutting out all three pieces of wallpaper, lay the frames down on the floor to mock-up how they’ll be arranged on the wall. Once you have your grouping, decide exactly where you’d like to hang them and begin with the largest frame.

Hold it up to the wall to determine how high you’d like it to hang and use your pencil to make a light mark behind it on the wall. If the frame requires two hangers, measure the distance between them, then from the ceiling down to find the points where the hangers will attach to the wall. After the largest frame is hung, measure and hang the smaller frames, taking into account their distance from each other and the bigger frame. (I left five centimetres of space around mine.) Now stand back and admire. Wondering what do with all the leftover wallpaper? I think it’ll make very classy gift wrap.

Karen Robock lives, writes and crafts in Toronto.

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