Table decorations

Wallpaper of the month? That’ll be this beauty from Fine Decor. There’s a wonderful Victoriana vibe to this paper. It has a deliciously classic feel, brought bang up to date by a striking use of colour and texture.

The candelabra motif is created in metallic gel which gives the wallpaper real boldness. The colours have been chosen for maximum feature wall effect- the teal, red and silver practically begging for matching cushions and curtains.

But what we really love about this wallpaper, especially at this time of year, is what it signifies. Family gathered round the table. Warm nights in front of the fire. Candlelight, sparkle and glamour. It is that rarest of things – a wallpaper that looks as if it could have been designed with Christmas in mind, but which doesn’t actually feature anything overtly Christmassy.

That means it will complement the Christmas decorations when they’re up, and will still look striking (and appropriate) once they’re down again.


Power Cut

It’s the fiddly bits that put people off wallpapering – but there’s really no need to be put off by a room’s fixtures and fittings. Light switches and sockets make paper hanging just a touch trickier, but follow these tips and you’ll still achieve a great finish.

Safety alert! Before you tamper with any electrical switches or sockets, turn the power off.

  • Slacken the screws of the switch or socket so a gap appears between the faceplate and the wall
  • Hang the wallpaper, allowing it to loosely cover the switch or socket
  • Press the wallpaper onto the switch edges so you can see an impression through the paper. Don’t worry about getting wallpaper paste on the switch – it’ll wipe off
  • In the centre of the switch or socket, carefully snip a small hole in the wallpaper, then make 4 diagonal cuts from the hole towards the socket edges.
  • Trim the triangular edges back with your shears or scissors leaving a small overlap (about 5mm).
  • Brush the wallpaper into place, tucking the overlapping paper behind the switch or socket
  • Screw the faceplate back into place. Don’t over-tighten the screws. You want the faceplate to be wholly secure without digging too deeply into the wallpaper, causing it to pucker around the edges of the switch.

Wipe off any paste with a moist cloth and you’ll have a neat, professional finish.


Wallpapering? Keep calm…

Aarghh! You’re at a crucial point when you realise your wallpapering brush is sat halfway across the room on your pasting table. You’re trying to paper round a wall socket and getting a bit flustered. Your wallpaper paste is lumpier than last night’s gravy.

It’s time you looked at this design for a bit of advice.

Keep calm and carry on. Fine advice for life; fine advice for wallpapering. When everything looks like it’s about to get away from you step back (not literally if you’re up some steps), breathe and think it through.

The mistakes you can’t rectify are the ones you steam through blindly, red mist descending. And there’s nothing worse than finishing a job knowing that you could have done it better. Wallpaper paste gone lumpy? Don’t thunder on regardless. Take a few minutes to mix some more and start again.

That socket proving fiddly? Don’t just hack at it to get the thing done – take a moment. Think the problem through. Carry on only when you have a clear idea of what to do next (and for advice on wallpapering around sockets check out another of this month’s posts).

Not only will you achieve a better finish, you’ll be far less stressed. Happy wallpapering.


I’ll know it when I see it

“If I could just see it on my wall…” It’s amazing how often we hear that. It’s hardly surprising. Take a look at the room around you now. Then try to imagine it with a dramatically different look. Something bold. Not easy is it? It’s a result of a combination of factors. You’ve lived with the room like that for ages. Imagining it in an entirely different way is like imagining your partner with a Mohican.

Then there’s the fact that it’s already decorated, which makes trying to visualise something else the equivalent of trying to remember a tune whilst another song’s playing in the background.

And then there’s plain old imagination. Sometimes seeing something new isn’t easy. And while you may ‘know it when you see it’ changing your mind when the wallpaper’s on the wall isn’t likely to go down too well.

That’s why we’ve taken matters into our own hands and started to show a selection of wallpapers in their natural environment – as part of a room. Yes, we know it’s not your room (unless, by some freakish coincidence, it is) but seeing that wallpaper with that table/sofa/chair might just give the imagination a little nudge.

Which might be all you need to select your next wallpaper with confidence.


Watch those wallpaper drying times

We’re experiencing a strange sensation – something we’ve not felt for some time. That’s because, as these words are typed, the sun is out.

The miserable UK summer hasn’t only taken its toll on sun worshippers and tourists. If you’ve been trying to wallpaper recently, you may have noticed things haven’t been moving quite as quickly as you’d hoped.

Drying times for wallpapers have always varied. The type of paper, paste and condition of the wall influence how long you have to wait before you can apply a border or paint the paper. Usually, though, overnight should be sufficient.

Drying signs

But this summer is really rather special. Cool, damp (if not sodden) conditions are hardly the best for drying your wallpaper. So, rather than assuming your paper’s dry, ensure it is.

  • Blown vinyls (the sort of wallpapers you paint) usually betray signs of dampness in the non-embossed (or non-raised) areas. A white paper, for example, will appear off-white until fully dry
  • Your wallpaper may feel damp to the touch
  • Slight air bubbles that form in vinyl wallpapers will normally shrink back as the paper dries. If they’re still there it’s a sign your paper may still be damp

There’s no magic solution to drying your wallpaper. Open the windows, get as much ventilation into the room as possible, and wait. In poor drying conditions (and again, depending on paper) you may have to wait two days or even longer.

Don’t heat things up

No matter how much the weather slows things down, avoid the temptation to speed things up by switching on the heating. Wallpaper paste needs to dry out in its own time. Try to rush things and you’ll find your carefully managed joints suddenly become all too visible. Gently does it.

And if it’s warm and breezy where you are right now, you’d best get started before the rain returns…

POSTED BY charlotte

Tear the wallpaper, not a muscle

There’s something about spring that spurs us all into action. The garden suddenly gets the attention it’s been lacking for six months. The bike or running shoes get another airing. We rediscover the delights of Lycra.

And it’s the same indoors. That sudden urge to freshen up your décor leads to a succession of spring bank holidays spent wallpapering and painting. Read the rest of this entry »


Painted wallpaper

Not so very long ago it was very, very fashionable to ditch the wallpaper altogether and simply paint your walls instead. That’s not especially fashionable any more. And there’s a reason for that. Actually, there are a few:

Read the rest of this entry »


Cleaning candle soot from your wallpaper

As a nation we burn more candles at Christmas than at any other time during the year. The warming glow of a candle can add that extra atmospheric touch to your festive decoration. But once those decorations are down you may find yourself with an unwelcome reminder of Christmas past: unsightly black soot marks on your wallpaper and paintwork. Never fear – Wallpaper Central is here to help you out, and you’ll be delighted to know it shouldn’t involve major redecoration. Read the rest of this entry »


The decorations are down

Taking the Christmas decorations down (by January 6th if you’re a traditionalist) can be a sobering experience. Not only are you packing away the memories of another Christmas, you’re also rediscovering a room that may suddenly seem rather bare.

Of course, it’s no barer than when you put the decorations up but Christmas is a time for indulging in more ‘clutter’ than usual so when you remove it all again the space that was filled by trees and tinsel is suddenly empty.

Here’s Wallpaper Central’s handy guide to coping with the New Year blues:

  1. Before you put up the Christmas decorations remove some of the regular décor.

Christmas decorations will inevitably make your room seem busier than normal. So remove some of the pictures, ornaments, dried flowers, throws, cushions etc that don’t quite fit your Christmas aesthetic.

You won’t notice them while they’re gone as the decorations will more than make up for their loss, but bringing them back into the room in January will make things feel much less sparse.

  1. Cleaning will make you feel better (honest)

Lovely as they are, decorations gather dust. When you take the decorations down that dust is transferred to your wallpaper, your furniture and your carpets, giving everything a grubby veneer.

Take the time to have a really good clean. Vaccuum wallpapers (especially around light fittings and in corners where cobwebs cling), curtains, and upholstery using a fabric attachment. Wipe down hearths, dust shelves and sweep wooden floors.

You’ll find colours become brighter and wood becomes deeper and richer, helping to lift the January gloom.

  1. Touch up

They were probably there before Christmas, but you’ll notice them more once the decorations are down: dark patches, stains, bits of missing paint or wallpaper.

Touching up can brighten things immeasurably, but be sure about what you’re covering. Many stains (like soot, nicotine or water damage) will seep through a new coat of paint so ensure you remedy the problem before wasting time and money covering something that refuses to be covered.

  1. Add aroma

Banishing the post-Christmas blues is all about replacing some of what’s been removed. Adding a new, revitalising aroma can make all the difference – so try fresh flowers, pot pourri or even a plug in.


Deck the Halls (Carefully)

First things first. We like Christmas. We really do. We’re not averse to wearing an occasional Santa hat. We’re always up for a good party. We’ll even risk the odd sprout.

But for a team committed to making your home look spectacular, Christmas presents us with a few…challenges.

The problem isn’t the decorations, but it is the stuff we use to stick, tack and pin our decorations in place. For many paints and wallpapers sticky tape, tack and drawing pins can leave you with a January mess.

So, if you’d rather not redecorate the moment the decorations come down, here’s our handy guide to keeping your wallpaper safe beneath the festive decoration.

1) Drawing pins – Plonk a pin hole in the centre of your wallpaper and it will stay noticeable for as long as the paper’s on the wall.

Instead, try to keep the pin holes in discreet, unnoticeable positions:

i)             On the top edge of picture rails or the underside of dado rails

ii)            Behind furniture

iii)           On top, or around the sides of, door architraves (the wood that surrounds a doorway).

2) Sticky tape – Sticky tape on a wallpapered wall really is a no-no. When you peel it off it’s likely to leave a sticky residue (at best) or take a chunk of paper with it (at worst). On painted or wooden surfaces the dangers are less dramatic, but you could still find yourself with a sticky residue. Clean it off with very sparing use of nail varnish remover or WD-40. Test on a hidden surface first to ensure the cleaner won’t damage your paintwork.

3) Sticky tack – whether it’s clear, white or blue sticky tack can, depending on brand, leave a sticky residue or an oily stain. It’s better to avoid using it on wallpapers but if you have to use it limit the time the tack will be in contact

If you do make a mess then check into Wallpaper Central in January and get a refresh!