Wallcovering Ideas: Beyond Painted Drywall

Wallcovering Ideas: Beyond Painted Drywall

“I never realized how much plain painted drywall I had in my house before I visited (insert client name here)’s house!”

This is one of the most common things I’ve noticed that friends or clients remark on when they visit houses we have designed in the Main Line area. And NO, this is not an ad for some wallpaper company in this post – this actually happens to us on the regular. 

When we hear that, we know that person is kind of like a bear coming out of hibernation, where they finally see daylight. These clients are in need of wallcovering ideas that go beyond just paint.

It’s not that we don’t use paint – we love paint! It’s the way we make a design decision about how and where paint is used and the idea that, on a lot of the houses, new construction projects and estates we work on, a gigantic blank painted wall is just not going to give the return on investment that we need it to when crafting a custom, luxurious interior.

This person realizes they have just accepted plain paint as status quo or that they somehow could never afford or envision doing anything but paint.

The second thing they say is they realize how little color they have in their own houses and want to bring more color into their house too.

I’ll say it again: it’s not that we don’t use paint to inject tons of color and personality (have you seen the trend of lacquered walls and millwork? It’s been around for decades – thank you, Billy Baldwin!)

But when clients trust us to put up a wallcovering or use architectural elements to define walls, what happens is three things:

It can bring the scale of a room down to liveable proportions.

Newtown Square Pa Interior Design

It can add texture to a wall, bringing dimension and warmth.

Dining Room Newtown Square Pa Meadowbank

It can bring a layer that takes a design concept into another stratosphere.

As in, if it wasn’t there, and then you added it, it would completely transform a room to another level – a real “wow” moment.

Meadowbank Newtown Square Pa Staircase

Of course, there are the usual fears and objections from some clients.

It’s expensive! We had paper in our old house when we bought it and it was a nightmare to remove! I HATE wallpaper!

We understand the fears, but I can dispel most of them:

Wallcovering can cost as much as a top-notch paint installation, especially where woodwork is concerned. Woodwork is always labor-intensive to paint and involves lots of good prep work.

Second, it doesn’t have to be a bold, in-your-face-pattern. A soft, textured wallcovering can give just enough dimension and subtle richness to a large wall, bringing warmth and a more “finished” look to a luxury home than just flat paint.

Chaddsford Pa Study Meadowbank Designs

Third, today’s adhesives and paper manufacturing techniques have improved so much that that removal is as easy as ever (not to mention there are tons of removable wallcovering options on the market today – so great for using in your newly-graduated kid’s apartment!) There are some great options from Wallshoppe.

As for the fact that you “hate” wallcoverings, we are going to challenge you in how your walls are affecting your environment.

If you have huge, empty walls, should we add wainscotting or moldings to break it up? A fantastic gallery wall?

Meadowbank Designs Pa Wallcovering Ideas Gallery Wall

Should we do a beautiful, custom mural?

Meadowbank Designs Custom Mural Wall Pa

Maybe even a Venetian plaster treatment for gorgeous luster and dimensionality.

Meadowbank Designs Pa Venetian Plaster Treatment Wallcovering

Regardless, we are going to push you just a little bit to get past your fear and embrace a space that feeds your soul and brings you joy every day.

You have worked hard for your home – you deserve to live well in it. Contact us to get started!

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