Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Grab Your Sunglasses: Lars's & Anders' Bright, Happy, Blinding Wallpaper is Installed!

Since I last posted, I have successfully salvaged a disastrous wallpaper installation.  My installers were not to blame -- they are amazing and their installation was impeccable.  The disaster part was all me.

One of my two little tyrants clients sons, 8-year-old Anders, was unhappy with my wallpaper selection for his bathroom vanity walls from the very beginning and he voiced his objections in no uncertain terms before I even ordered the wallpaper.  He preferred this iconic Zebra wallpaper from ScalamandrĂ© instead:

Zebras wallpaper from Scalamandre
The red works, and I love this paper, too -- so much so that I have a Scalamandre umbrella with this Zebra pattern on it (great conversation starter).  Yet Anders has a serious tropical frog theme going on in his bedroom, incorporating the Froggy Quilt of Many Colors that I made for him when he turned three, as well as an oil painting above his bed that my mother painted for him.  He is as infatuated with frogs now as he ever was, and he insisted that all the frogs must stay.  I briefly entertained the idea of trying to incorporate some zebras, or even black-and-white graphics, into his bedroom to try to make the Zebras paper work, but I just couldn't see how it could possibly come together without making too many changes -- and spending too much additional money -- in Anders' bedroom.  Even then, zebras and rainforest frogs?  Zebras live in Africa.  The poison dart frogs and red-eyed tree frogs live all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in the rainforests of South America. 

Instead, I selected a contemporary, geometric handprinted paper from Printer's Guild Productions for Anders' vanity in bright primary colors that coordinated perfectly with what we'd already done in his bedroom, and I promised him that if he hated it six months after it was up, I'd take it down and put up the zebras.  I was banking on him forgetting all about the deal by then and no longer even noticing the wallpaper.  And I knew it was going to look great.

Ten-year-old Lars, on the other hand, had lobbied long and hard to have BRIGHT orange walls in his bedroom.  I compromised by selecting a bright orange wallcovering for his vanity area, as well as their tub/shower area, reasoning that it would function more like an accent color since we'd only glimpse a bit of it at a time from his bedroom.  The paper has a subtle texture to it that could either read like lizard skin or like the surface of a basketball, and although it seemed a bit overwhelming when it first went up, it gets broken up a lot in the tub/shower area by the fixtures, towels, and shower curtain (I'll probaby design a custom shower curtain with blues and greens when I get around to designing their window treatments).  I'm planning to hang some of Lars's own oil paintings in his bathroom vanity area, and that will lessen the severity of the orange as well.

So, after the first day of wallpapering, Lars came home from school and found this:

He danced around the house euphorically, loudly giddy with glee over getting the exact obnoxious shade of orange that he had wished for.

Anders came home from school that day and found something like this (the mirror wasn't back up that first day; I took this picture a day later):

Unfortunately, Anders forgot all about the try-it-for-six-months deal.  He said, "Where are my zebras?!"  Then he burst into tears, ran from the room, and sobbed into a pillow in the corner of the living room while I tried to console him.  At this point, a nagging little voice is whining away inside my head about how it's Anders' room, and why do I need to control everything, and who cares if the wallpaper "goes" with the bedroom anyway as long as he's happy!  Especially since the paper that I chose turned out to be extremely delicate and the installers need to come back tomorrow morning to put a protective top coat on it or else every time the cleaning service wipes splattered toothpaste off the wall, the bright colors will come off as well.

The next day, while the boys were at school and the installers were finishing up the tub/shower area, I had an epiphany.  I remembered that I had a few rolls of the rainforest frog wallpaper border leftover from Anders' bedroom in our old house, and by some miracle I was able to locate them in the Armoire Full of Everything in my master bedroom.  And there was enough to go around Anders' bedroom!  It was definitely an afterthought, but the colors help tie in the vanity paper even more, and it's FROGS, for crying out loud -- I knew Anders would love it.

On the second day of wallpaper installation, Anders came home and found this:

Jubilation!  He loves me again! 

Next time, I'll show you the carpentry work that Bernie has been up to in the kitchen.

1 comment:

Janice the Manice said...

You can tell Anders that his Aunt Jani REALLY digs the wallpaper in his bathroom and wishes his Uncle Brendan did not enforce a strict "no wallpaper policy" in their house. This is just too fun!