Wallpaper: Like a Tattoo for Your Walls

Root Simple reader Morninglory asked for a closeup of our new wallpaper so here you go.

It’s William Morris’ popular pattern known as “Fruit,” first produced in 1864 and still available in a variety of color combinations. There’s also a version with birds (put a bird on it!), but Kelly thought the bird-less version would look less repetitious.

We also installed Morris’ “Daisy” wallpaper in our breakfast nook. “Daisy” is the first wallpaper that Morris manufactured and it’s inspired by the illustrations in a book in his parent’s library that he thumbed through as a kid, Gerard’s Herbal.

Morris discovered a talent for patterns by way of failing miserably as a painter. While he couldn’t paint a human figure or animal well, he had a talent for patterns that grew out of a lifelong obsession with illuminated manuscripts.

While working on the house last summer we discovered a fragment of the fuddy-duddy wallpaper that covered the walls in the 1920s. Partly inspired by this, Kelly ordered some samples of the Morris papers and when they arrived in the mail I thought they were so striking that we had to install them in spite of my fear of wallpaper and the great expense of the paper itself.

I very briefly considered installing the paper myself but then read some how-to directions that made my head hurt while, simultaneously, discovering Eric of Garden Fork’s video, “I’m Hanging Wallpaper, What Could Go Wrong?” It turns out a lot went wrong and when I wrote Eric he told me to hire someone. Hanging your own wallpaper is like doing your own root canal.

Finding a qualified wallpaper hanger proved difficult until a friend, April, gave me the contact info for Jan of Busy Bee Wallpaper. Jan did a phenomenal job and, unlike the rest of the folks I attempted to contact, set a date and stuck to it. I enjoyed watching her deftly cut around fussy window molding and uneven and out of square walls. She made it look easy which it ain’t.

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  1. Wow! Thanks for the close ups! I really like this wallpaper and have to agree that it is best to have it done professionally. I tried to do it myself many years ago and swore never again. I like the kitchen one also.
    I am impressed at all the work you have done to your place over the years. I think it is good to be grounded and stay in one place long enough to get to know your neighbors and the feel of your home. It take awhile to learn which way the breeze comes in the windows, how the sun changes the light from season to season and what likes to grow where. Putting down roots adds stability to not only our lives but to the community we live in. People have been drifters for too long. Roots are good. Just my soapbox opinion.
    I enjoy seeing how your place has evolved. Thank you.

  2. Typically I dog on wallpaper–too many painful memories of helping my mom remove and/or apply new wallpaper coupled with a really hideous print I endured at a rental for seven years–but I have to say: That is some of the coolest wall paper I’ve ever seen. I really like it. And I love its retro backstory. Eric of Garden Fork slays me.

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