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HOW TO DECORATE

Wallpaper

#4: Decorating Dilemmas

Regardless of whether you know your way around a roll of wallpaper or are familiar only with a scroll through Pinterest, you will likely still have questions about the decorating process. Fortunately for you, we have the answers...

In this series, we reveal everything you always wanted to know about wallpaper (but were afraid to ask) - then you can just follow along with our handy video and step-by-step guide to achieve a perfect finish by yourself, no decorator required.  Get ready to coat your walls in wonder...

@SKYLERRSMITH @GBROTMAN @THOMAS.GENSEMER
INTERIOR: STUDIO PARKINGTON. PHOTOGRAPHY: KARL ROGERS.

Can I hang House of Hackney wallpaper in kitchens and bathrooms?

Yes, our wallpaper is very hardwearing – however we do advise that it is kept as dry as possible. We recommend sealing the wallpaper using a clear decorator’s varnish (our favourite is the one by Polyvine in ‘Dead Flat’), applied over the top of the wallpaper using a short-flock roller. While enhancing the wallpaper’s longevity, this will also help to protect against splashes and stains.

Should I go with a feature wall or cover all four walls?

Our prints are organic in nature, so tend to look their most beautiful when swathed across the whole room. Covering all four walls has a cohesive feel, avoiding any blunt edges where the print ends abruptly or preventing one wall from looking too ‘heavy’, thus making the room feel smaller. But if you love a feature wall, we think it works best either on a chimneybreast or a plain wall with no windows, and the remaining three walls painted in the same colour as the background of the print.

Any top decorating tips?

Don’t be afraid of using wallpaper in unconventional ways. We really love wallpapering the ceiling, for example – the effect is dramatic and utterly mesmerising. You could also try hanging your favourite artwork on top of your chosen wallpaper. An exquisite print can feel like art all by itself, but combined with a painting or photographs (particularly when housed in a plain graphic frame, which creates a clean line between the picture and the wallpaper) it really anchors a room and creates visual interest. It’s a brave decorating move, but taking slight risks are worth it in terms of pushing boundaries and achieving an enchanting overall mood.

How can I make use of leftover wallpaper?

A few of our favourite ideas include using wallpaper to line drawers or the insides wardrobes and glass-fronted kitchen cupboards. You could even use it to cloak your notebooks or wrap presents for your loved ones.

How do I remove wallpaper?

It could be that you live in rented accommodation, so one day may need to take the wallpaper down when you leave (and perhaps even take it with you). Or it could be that you just need to remove any old paper before hanging up your new House of Hackney print. In either case, here’s what to do: start by taking a spiked roller (we use the Silverline Tools 682361 Wallpaper Perforator Extension Roller 150 x 590 mm) to perforate the wall covering. Then, spray the walls with a special liquid wallpaper stripper (we recommend Zinsser ZINDIF1L Wallpaper Stripper, White), which will help to break down the glue. Apply a few coats, then after approx. 30 minutes the wallpaper should easily peel off with the help of a scraper.

Alternatively, you could either buy, borrow or hire a steam stripper to loosen the paper, ready for it to be removed. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take great care not to scold yourself on the steam. If you have any doubts, steam removal may be a job best left to the professionals – our Customer Services team would be happy to recommend one.

 

Can I return House of Hackney wallpaper?

We are unable to accept returns on wallpaper as it is printed especially for you. In accordance with our Eco Manifesto, by printing our wallpaper to order we are able to minimise wastage and the impact on the environment.

Therefore, we recommend buying samples first to help you make the right decision about which print and colourway to choose. You can also use our wallpaper calculator to ensure you order the right number of rolls – alternatively, our Customer Services team are always on hand to advise.

What if the walls are old or slightly curved?

We recommend a technique called “wallpaper stitching” to ensure a perfect finish.

Simply follow our step-by-step guide as usual, ensuring the room is cool and well-aired to prevent the wallpaper from shrinking.

Next, reach for some low-tack painter’s masking tape (we recommend FrogTape Yellow for delicate surfaces – just avoid using masking tape as this could damage the protective finish of your wallpaper).

Apply approx. 15cm of the tape across the seams (every 30 – 40cm) to keep them held together. Wait 24 hours for the adhesive paste applied behind your wallpaper to air-dry, then use a hairdryer or a sponge/soft cloth with a little hot water to gently go over the tape – this makes its glue dissolve, so the tape can then peel off more easily. 

By keeping the seams tightly together, this technique prevents them from opening up when the paper dries. As well as old walls with uneven, bumpy surfaces, “wallpaper stitching” works well on dark wallpaper and the designs in our ‘Climbing Walls’ collection – preventing any white edges of the wallpaper from showing between the solid block-colour backdrops.

How do I wallpaper the corners of a room?

For internal corners, start by pasting the wall into the corner and a little way around. Match up the left edge of the wallpaper and brush it into the corner and around it. It may be that the corner is not perfectly vertical – you’ll only need to go around the corner with the paper by approx. 2-3cm or until the wall is vertical again.

As per our step-by-step guide, the first sheet of wallpaper should have been hung 40cm out from the corner, so do the same here (or match up to that line) and overlap the paper. It’s perfectly fine for the paper in the corner to overlap and, though it could be left to dry, for a professional finish you should take a very sharp or fresh blade, along with a steel straight-edge, to cut the papers where they overlap. Remove the excess off the top paper, then peel the top paper back and remove the excess of the bottom paper.

Next, push the top paper down: it should match and meet perfectly with the bottom paper and join like two seams of wallpaper. (This is why it’s a good idea to overlap in a corner, so any potential mismatches don’t show!)

As for external corners? When you hang the paper to the wall, wrap it around the corner. Again, the wall may not be “true”, so some overlapping may be required – in which case, follow our instructions above to ensure that the overlap in not in sight, but around the corner instead.

 

How do I tackle plug sockets and fittings?

Start by unscrewing and removing the outer casing of the socket or switch. Apply the sheet of wallpaper as normal and let it hang over the socket area. Next, use a knife to slice a cross-shaped opening, diagonally from corner to corner across the socket area, then cut away the excess. Smooth the paper down with a brush or sponge before reattaching the front cover of the socket.

Which rooms are House of Hackney wallpapers designed for?

Our wallpaper is designed for each and every room in the home: we see it as an opportunity to completely transform any space, imbuing it with beauty and personality. Even if you just wallpaper a small box room or an under-stairs cupboard, you’ll find yourself immersed in a magical world of print and colour.

 

How do I know which print will work in a certain room?

Two of the biggest misconceptions are that you should paint your walls white to make your home feel more spacious, and that wallpaper everywhere will only make rooms feel smaller – if anything, it opens them up and creates depth by drawing you in. So, don’t worry about the size of a room and instead focus on the mood you wish to convey: while bold, psychedelic designs work well in the living room, prints that are a little more serene – think nature-inspired motifs in tranquil colour palettes – are best for the bedroom and bathroom.

INSPIRATION

A Corner of Paradise

Be inspired with ideas for how to make our House your own.

Shop Inspiration

INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN
INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook. A snug away from the main action where you can curl up in a comfy chair and hit pause, if only for a moment. In a room where absolutely everything and anything goes, this is truly where the magic happens.

INSPIRATION

A Corner of Paradise

Be inspired with ideas for how to make our House your own.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

@PEARLLOWE

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras, hand-painted porcelain candle pots and treasured keepsakes you’ll have picked up on your travels.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras.

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras.

Is living in a white-painted box driving you up the wall?

Made from wood pulp sourced from FSC-certified trees, complete with added textile fabrics for strength and stability, our wallpaper is PVC-free and produced using the eco-friendliest methods available.

 

“We will never stop fighting for this planet, for ourselves, our future and for the future of our children and grandchildren.”

- Greta Thunberg, Environmental Activist

INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN

If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

When it comes to furniture (which can also be a scene stealer in its own right), your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here: will a cosy two-seater sofa be enough, or will you also need a chaise longue and a few ‘bottomans’ for your visitors to park their, um, bottoms on? If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, recovering them in a new fabric – be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

When it comes to furniture (which can also be a scene stealer in its own right), your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here: will a cosy two-seater sofa be enough, or will you also need a chaise longue and a few ‘bottomans’ for your visitors to park their, um, bottoms on? If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, recovering them in a new fabric – be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

FAMILIAR FRIENDS: THE CAT & DOG BOOKENDS
INTO THE WILD: THE FLOWERS OF AVALON