Wallpaper is not the same as before

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Wallpaper never really left the scene, but new materials and patterns gave many a new interest in the classic wallcovering.

Anyone with a good vintage will remember the kaleidoscopic green-orange-brown wallpapers of the 1970s with an equal mix of horror, humor and dismay. Those colors… those patterns… why would anyone do that?

“We’ve come a long way since the 1970s. We’ve improved the products a lot. There are a lot of really interesting things now,” began Justin Theriault of JT Wallcoverings.

Perhaps the only thing worse than what it looked like, Theriault agreed, was the effort of enforcing it, although removing it resulted in a whole new vocabulary of swearing, and perhaps to deltoid burning calisthenics workouts.

Wallpaper is much easier to remove now, he claimed.

“We’ve come a long way.”

The adhesive backing of wallpaper has been reformulated many times over the decades. Today’s wheat and clay based adhesives ensure that once the substrate is re-wetted, it is essentially re-activated. Where before you had to scrape off uneven pieces one piece at a time, now you can remove an entire sheet without too much difficulty.

All this gave the wallpaper a new appeal in the minds of the owners. Theriault explained that there are 80-hour weeks doing nothing but wallpaper projects. In business since 2008, he also used to do painting projects, but discovered there was enough demand for the wallpaper that he hasn’t picked up a brush in years.

Along with hardware advancements, models have also changed over time. You can find many different artistic styles and new color choices, although many products may still bear echoes of their ancestors from half a century ago.

“I’ve noticed that over the last few years they’ve come out with some really cool stuff: really fancy, really expensive papers.”

So expensive? Let’s say Swarovski crystal wallpaper costs $5,000 just for the materials to wallpaper a bathroom. The sky is the limit when it comes to price, he continued, adding that even Buckingham Palace has wallpaper.

Most people don’t have such regal tastes – or budgets. Your basic wallpaper costs between $20 and $30 per roll.

Whatever your taste and budget, it’s important to think carefully about the purpose and location of the paper. There has been a resurgence in the number of people working from home and the concomitant redesign of how this room looks during teleconferencing sessions. The right wallpaper can make you look modern, thoughtful and serious; the wrong paper can do the exact opposite, if you’re not careful.

This is one of the main reasons Thériault recommends hiring a professional to do the job. There’s a lot to be said for being a handyman, but if your boss sees poor quality diagonal wallpaper behind you in your next online meeting, it might not be such a good thing. .

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