Wallcoverings Dos and Don’ts

As interior designer Michael Berman launches his wallpaper collection with Fromental, he offers us his top tips for adding wallcoverings to your home.


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Michael Berman

Michael Berman is a nationally known interior designer whose work can be seen from New York to Los Angeles. This fall he, along with the company Fromental will debut his wallpaper collection as a homage to cinematic films, art, and objects that are synonymous with Art Deco. To celebrate, he is sharing his wisdom for any of us thinking about adding wallcoverings to our homes. Here are his dos and don’ts.

Do use wallcovering with large scale prints. This is instant success and is sure to create a statement and design drama. Large scale florals and geometrics can take a small powder room or hallway to the next level and create the illusion of a larger space. 

 

Do experiment with negative space and pattern. Papers that have open spacing between repeats allows for interesting installations with hanging art and mirrors. The negative space actually draws your eye in and calls more attention to the areas where pattern/motifs appear. 

 

Do get innovative with wallcovering. Use texture and metallics on the ceiling to create the illusion of higher ceilings and in wall paneling insets for a gallery effect. The use of large prints for wainscoting around the lower section of a room and grass cloth or silk above the wainscot wraps the space up like a jewel box; I love this technique for dining rooms especially. 

 

Do make sure all wallpaper installations include proper preparation; I highly recommend the walls be primed or 'sized' as a base coat then add blank stock (thick plain paper) as an underpayment prior to installing the finished goods. This ensures a flawless installation where seams come together and covers many imperfections on the wall that might peer through the end product. 

 

Don't be afraid to custom color a wallpaper. If you love a print and it's unavailable in your favorite palette, ask the manufacturer what the minimum material requirement is for custom coloration. The answer is often surprisingly reasonable and many wallcovering resources welcome custom orders. 

 

Don't use inappropriate materials for areas that need more durability. In other words, don't use a silk-based wallcovering in wet rooms where water and steam can stain and damage the goods and don't use a paper product in heavy trafficked areas such as kitchens and bars: Use a coated paper or vinyl base for its washability and strength. 

 

Don't even think of identically matching wallpaper to fabrics or artwork in a space. Have courage and mix and match. Use texture with bold pattern and be ready to see your creative awesomeness come to life!

 

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