I have decided to switch gear, and look at some wallpaper choices for the extension to give myself a mental break from all the dreary aspects of the extension, so thought I'd do a post about it.

This is primarily because, after the horror that was designing the Kitchen, I thought it might be a good idea to order the new sofas for the Living room. We currently have one 13 year old sofa, which is not looking the flashest after being enthusiastically jumped on by 3 children for the past 7 years. I thought this would be a tick the box type purchase, but no, Mr AV appears to have developed strong feelings on this item. Rather like Goldilocks, and about as articulate. Wish me luck....

Fortunately, he shows little interest in wallpaper choices (other than "no flowers"), so here are some of my picks for the new rooms.

For the Children's playroom, we are using the Cole & Son's Woods wallpaper. I think it will give a great "Where the Wild Things Are" type feel. I want this room to be a bit fun, but to also not jar visually as there is a viewing angle from the main living area into the playroom if the sliding door is left open.


Long time blog readers might remember that I wrote a post about Secret Doors. We have, as with a few other things, evolved the design a little. The stairs down to the cellar and Mr AV's underground Home Office/ Man Cave will now be surrounded by floor to ceiling steel windows to match the others in the living/dining/kitchen. This will let in light to the lower ground level, and visually open up the space a little as we were concerned that the stair enclosure was boxed in the kitchen area with the revised kitchen design and the dividing unit between the dining and kitchen (have I lost you yet?). But I haven't given up on my dream of a wall of fake books - we'll line the back wall of the stairs with a stylised book wallpaper, which I think will look quite fun on what would otherwise be a fairly boring blank wall. I'm liking this Andrew Martin Library wallpaper, which I'll do in a subtle grey tones that will blend in with the rest of the colours in the room.


The Laundry is where I'd like to have some fun, and I'm still looking around. I love this hot pink Manual Canovas Pali wallpaper


Or this beautiful Pierre Frey "Le Grand Corail" but in the pink colour way



Or how about Nina Campbell's "Lobardia" butterflies



As it's unlikely that Mr AV will ever enter the laundry, I can probably sneak something in that is a bit girly.

For little S's bedroom, aged 3, he has requested that his room be orange. I have no objection to the colour, except that I will not paint the walls orange. I have a feeling that by the age of 12 he might be over it. So I'm planning on using Anna Spiro's Higgledy Piggledy Stripe in orange, and mixing in a lot of blue/red fabrics with it.


The powder room will sadly not be wallpapered in De Gournay. Somehow I don't think I can stretch to around $20,000 for wallpaper, as much as I love it. So instead, I'm looking at this Celery Kemble grasscloth from Schumacher with an overprint of her Hothouse Flowers pattern. It's significantly cheaper....


It's always fun to look at the possibilities, although I get frustrated when visiting the showrooms in Adelaide, as many of the wallpaper books are not here to look at. It seems the distributors in Melbourne and Sydney will send them over when they're requested... although how they think anyone is going to know to request something that they don't know exists is a bit beyond me....


34 comments:

  1. Oh I've had two of those wallpapers! I too like to have fun in smaller rooms and then stick to something a bit calmer in our everyday rooms. I've been pouring through fabrics, a fab Canovas is in the lead just now, I love old MC.

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    1. You have me intrigued... I'd guess the Nina Campbell and the Manuel Canovis you've had? I too like a neutral everyday room. I once had a yellow living room (back in the 90's) and after 3 years of staring at yellow walls I was a bit over it. I do think the laundry is somewhere I can have a bit of fun xx

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  2. Love your wallpaper choices Heidi, especially the Schumacher grass cloth. Do you think you will be able to sneak the hothouse "flowers" past Mr AV? The Woods wallpaper will look fantastic in the children's play area. Was surprised to hear it can cost $20,000 to wallpaper a powder room! Adelaide's weather is seriously depressing me - but accordingly to the forecast it is going to be 23 next Wednesday ... if only! Enjoy the rest of the week ... bring on spring I say! Jo xx

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    1. Fortunately Mr AV loves grasscloth, so I suspect he'll not notice the flowers quite as much. De Gournay wallpaper is so beautiful, but each panel is individually painted, and are different from one another, so per drop of wallpaper it is very expensive (unlike normal wallpaper which you should get 2 or 3 drops out of per roll). Plus as it's hand painted it's expensive to start with!
      This weather.... I am So SICK of doing the school run in the rain. Or to open the bedroom curtains every morning to see grey skies and rain. It's like living in Melbourne this winter!! Fingers crossed for 23, how surreal when it's currently 11! xx

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  3. I love that Manuel Canovas pink and orange print and it cheers me up whenever I see it and then I want wallpaper everywhere! Love all your choices - the last one is very soothing indeed. The book wallpaper is also a great choice - must have been hard to choose as there are now more choice than ever...The Pierre Frey one is such a strong evocative print - it feels so other century and I feel like I could get work done with that one! How lovely that the little one likes orange and how nice of you to oblige! You cracked me up with Goldilocks and Mr AV - I have the same problem and I tell him he reminds me of that guy in Little Britain as well - No, I want that one...xx

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    1. I was thinking I need something cheery and bold in the Laundry. It's hard to balance my love of colour/ pattern/ wallpaper with the need for cohesive interiors with a largely open plan house. There are a lot of book wallpapers, but some are more stylised than others.
      Honestly Mr AV and the sofas was a discussion that did not go well... then he became frustrated with me questioning him about what *exactly* was the problem with each one to try to narrow down to a style. In the end I showed him some B&B Italia sofas, he picked out one he liked, then I told him the price (fairly horrifying in Australia), and he then conceded that the sofas I was looking at were reasonably priced, well designed and we could probably look again at one of my original choices.... arrrrgh! Good luck with S. !! xx

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  4. I adore the Pierre Frey one.
    Sounds like you need a trip to London to visit the Design Centre..!
    I'm excited to see everything come together Heidi, you have great taste.
    x

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    1. I do love all things Pierre Frey... I'd love a trip to the Design Centre! I used to work on Lots Road, so was in and out of it all the time, and I suspect it's now even bigger.. that was 14 years ago, when it had opened not long before. I'm excited for all the more decorative stuff to start happening in the house- I'm a bit over mud/ bricks and windows at the moment! xx

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  5. Gorgeous! I love wallpaper and conveniently my husband wallpapered his bedroom when he was thirteen so he is an expert at putting it up......trouble getting wallpaper books in Adelaide? You should try getting a wallpaperer in Hobart! Most have even less experience than my husband (who I might add is decidedly unhandy and is all for calling in professionals to do the work....except in this case where there is no professional! He's going to be busy this weekend. Sorry to hear you are doing away with the trick book cases.....I have finally worked out where I can put mine (one day)! Rx

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    1. I was a bit sad about the bookcase, but I think the wallpaper is going to look pretty spectacular behind the glass walls. I hadn't thought about that little problem - no one to hang wallpaper in Hobart? I suspect that there must be people who fly them in from Melbourne if they've got a few rooms to do. Lucky your husband is handy... wallpaper can be tricky, guess you'll be asked to assist from time to time? I do find it a little frustrating sometimes trawling the showrooms in Adelaide.. I know how much they are missing, but often the agents here don't even know what they don't have. One yesterday said to me "tell me what we're missing as we've only had these brands for a couple of months, so I'm unsure" and I said.."um, pretty much the whole range" - they had two wallpaper books for a brand that has probably 15 different ones, and with some of the brands no wallpaper at all (and they were surprised when I said that those brands had wallpaper in their range!!). Frustrating. xx

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  6. Lovely wallpaper choices - I especially like the Library and the Hothouse Flower designs.

    My son was obsessed with the colour orange at 3 years of age too! He only wore orange and played with orange Lego and ate copious amounts of oranges. At 6 years he turned to blue and devoured blueberries (we went blueberry picking during summer and froze kilos of them to last the year). Now aged 9, he's favouring green (but he won't eat beans or broccoli).

    We painted his new room white and once the floors are done, I'm putting down a colourful plush striped rug that he chose with all of his favourite colours (past and present).

    Looking forward to seeing your wallpaper choices.

    x

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    1. It's so funny the colours they are drawn to when little - my oldest loved red, and for around 3 years only would wear red shoes. The 3 year old's orange obsession lead me to buy him some orange trousers on his insistence recently, he absolutely loves them... fortunately they were cheap (wonder why?) as they'd been heavily reduced! Your plan for the bedroom sounds fab, although how annoying he loves green but won't eat it! xx

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  7. Love the butterflies and think they would make the laundry look light and natural - a bit like a garden with a stack of dirty footy socks strewn about. Also love the rationale about choosing girly for the laundry. I honestly think The Farmer still hasn't located our laundry after two years. At least that is the feeling I get given the amount of dirty washing left all over the bathroom floor.....

    Love the grass cloth too. Can't wait to see it all finished.

    T
    xx

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    1. Oh yes, we can't forget the dirty socks and mud around the laundry as accessories - that'll bring it down a notch or two!! I'm not allowed a lot of girly stuff in our house - E's bedroom is about it, so the laundry is the prime candidate for fun wallpaper. The Farmer sounds exactly like my husband..... xx

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  8. Gorgeous wallpapers Heidi. How fun! I am now seriously besotted with that Pierre Frey one. Am running around the house looking unsuccessfully for somewhere it can live. Also have had an obsession with De Gournay wallpapers for some years. I even got prices from the rep for a drop of the hand-embroidered version, which I thought I might frame in three panels as art?! May still do that.....

    Excellent strategy with Mr AV. I use that one on my husband all the time. Poor soul has NO idea how much things cost, and I was finding it frustrating that after months of research I would present him with a good quality option at a reasonable price, only for him to complain that it is too expensive. Now, however, I show him the one I really want (read, too expensive) and then everything looks good from then on. Luckily for me, he has a complete aversion to shopping and was more than happy to let me make all decisions on everything on our renovation (within a budget). Don't think I didn't count my blessings. Luckily, he loved everything I picked in the end.

    I am also continually amazed and frustrated with the lack of choice/availability (AND lack of knowledge of the 'professionals') in Australia. I really wanted nickel or oil brushed bronze, or proper brass (NOT gold plate) fittings. The amount of blank looks I got in 'specialist' stores astounded me. Surely if it is your profession, you would know what the options are, even if you can't/don't offer them all. Seems gold plate and chrome are pretty much it, unless you have a large budget.

    And don't get me started on lighting! Thankfully, the guy in the lighting shop I used WAS actually very knowledgable and helped me track down some suitable alternatives in Australia after I showed him my inspiration pics (always from overseas). I am seriously thinking of starting a shop called Stuff You Can't Get In Australia. I'd be on a winner I think.

    Melbourne seems to have stolen Adelaide's winter. It's been unusually sunny and warmish here. I am one of those rare winter people though, so I have been missing the gloom and drizzle. NOT good when renovating though. Hope you get a good run of weather soon.

    Cheers Tammy

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    1. HIlarious about the Stuff You Can't Get in Australia shop - you would definitely be onto a winner with that one!! Lighting is a particularly difficult thing to source in Australia. It is pretty much all available locally, but it's hard to find...and yes, a lot of professionals across the board don't have great product knowledge here. Adelaide is far worse than Melbourne though for that - everything I've specified in the house (brass taps included!) is available locally, but never on display - they put out what they think everyone wants, which means... that is what everyone orders!! You can get bare brass taps from the English Tapware Company (perrin and rowe, special order which just means a long lead time) or locally made Astra Walker will do it too, and have a big range (and are very good quality fittings, can't recommend them more highly). I'm thinking of framing the De Gournay too... but the books have disappeared from Adelaide back to Melbourne, which is highly frustrating!! xx

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    2. Dear Heidi
      Our DIL is often studying wallpaper. But she orders direct from OS, they send her quite large samples and it's much cheaper than buying here (she studies all the prices here and OS). In fact she has the first design above (with all the bare tree trunks) as the background wallpaper in the entrance hall stairwell of their house. It's a feature at the back of the stairs and looks great extending over two storeys - she even put it up herself. She has a modernish glitzy chandelier (also ordered from overseas) with a long drops which hang in front - it looks really good. She's still trying to decide from other patterns for the open plan lounge/dining room. We both have a weakness for chandeliers and she has already had a wonderful Egyptian crystal chandelier (very romantic style) installed to hang over the dining room table in front of a large mirror. Because these are so decorative she's trying to decide on a more minimalist neutral wallpaper. That grass cloth might be perfect, though perhaps not minimalist enough. Still, must suggest it to her.

      Wallpaper is a nice thing to gaze at on a miserable wet day. Also nice to make travel plans! Pamela xx

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    3. It's so frustrating to hear that your DIL has to go overseas... I feel a blog post coming on about the decorator mark ups in Australia. I was talking to one of the trade showroom owners in Adelaide today when I collected samples about the whole thing, and she gets so annoyed about losing business because of the stupid mark ups some decorators put on things.
      Sounds like I'm in synch with her if she has the Woods wallpaper too - it's so gorgeous in person, and would look absolutely fab up a 2 storey staircase. Grasscloth might be good, but I've also seen a silk backed onto paper that looks beautiful too. Very excited re travel plans! xx

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    4. nice to see a plug (no pun intended) for astra walker...brilliant quality...i try to talk lots of clients into using using their stuff too.. it suits modern and more heritage work...x

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    5. They have such a good range, and the quality is excellent - we have their taps in our bathrooms and I'm so happy with them xx

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  9. Yes love Astrawalker - good range of styles and well priced too - we ended up getting most of our stuff from them. I did splurge at Perrin and Rowe for the bath tap, and also got a Niccolazzi nickel tap for the kitchen, but couldn't afford Perrin and Rowe everywhere.

    I found I could source the major plumbing items I wanted in nickel (taps, shower etc) but then couldn't get the bits and pieces to match (toilet fixtures, drain covers,shower brackets, heated towel rail etc etc) without getting them specially dipped (expensive and then there was the headache of 'matching' the colour of the nickel finish - agh!) These finishes come as standard option overseas but I just gave up and just went chrome everywhere except the kitchen. In hindsight, it really wouldn't have mattered if I mixed the metals anyway, as that is the 'look' these days. But I was in that weird fixated unreasonable head space that renovating seems to induce at times.

    Agree with you about shops displaying what they think everyone wants, and then of course, that's what everyone orders. I had this exact argument with a guy in an upmarket specialist hardware shop who made that statement about not providing nickel or oil rubbed options as they wouldn't be popular enough to be sustainable. How do they know that unless they provide the option to start with?? He didn't have an answer.

    Lots of people don't have the time, knowledge or expertise (or obsession!) to search out other options, so the myth that alternative finishes, styles and options won't be popular just keeps self-perpetuating. Oh well, first world problem, I suppose. Annoying at the time, though.

    Good luck getting that De Gournay book back....drool....

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    1. Oh, I see what you mean, and yes, harder to get all the accessories in the so-called special finishes. It may well have been worth shipping them from overseas... but a headache. Know what you mean about obsessing over small detail that doesn't matter in the long run!!
      Perrin and Rowe are a bit pricey - unfortunately we don't have a lot of competition with taps due to our plumbing regulations, which like a lot of things (kids car seats) means that it's expensive to get things approved for sale in Australia and a small market means that there's not a lot of return on that investment for a manufacturer. It's funny though, everyone seems to complain about the same lack of variety in the same things - lighting, taps/accessories, tiles, cupboard handles. xx

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  10. Am reading all the comments- who knew your readers were such experts in wall paper?! I just checked out the De Gournay site. So exquisite! Although, scarily expensive. I like all your choices. Re the laundry room- go crazy. If you tire of it, you can always change it!
    Thanks for your comments on my blog today. I ended up having oversharing remorse and removed the post! So encouraging to know it gets easier :)

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    1. There's a whole world of wallpaper out there, but yes, so many wallpaper knowlegable people reading the blog! Think I will go a bit crazy in the laundry... quite literally!!
      It does get easier - you're at the worst stage from a sanity point of view! You'll see a huge change in another year. Unless you have another bebe, which will prolong the whole thing, like us xxx

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  11. Wow! I am a total ignoramus about wallpaper!
    I love the pink wallpaper, and the books are fab.
    I can't believe that it could cost $20k to wallpaper a room! Bloody hell! It makes our windows sound like the biggest bargain ever.....
    I can't contribute, but am enjoying reading and learning!

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    1. You're so funny Ruth! You'd be surprised at how expensive some fabrics can be as well.....! xx

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  12. Loving the book wall paper. I am really excited to see how that part of the house turns out (kitchen/dining/cellar) If and when I get a laundry or powder room. I too will be holding no restraint on everything in there. I love wall paper. Best of luck with your choices.

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    1. Thanks Laura - I can see it all (very slowly) taking shape, and I think it's going to look fab. Wallpaper is the fun (end) part of a job really xx

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  13. Now this really is the fun part and I can see why you decided to go in search of wallpaper. Building work, as you say, can be dreary and also slow and this is looking ahead to the finshed rooms - exciting. I've seen the library wallpaper featured in magazines and that should be fun. Looking at the gourgeous bright pink deign for your laundry has made me think that I may just be ready for an adventurous change in ours. It's quite a big room and I could get away with something bold. Our wallpaper and paint store does have all the books and that can actually be overwhelming at times not to mention time-consuming!

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    1. Whatever you do - never go into Chelsea Harbour. It's absolutely overwhelming with the choice out there! Lucky you to have such a big laundry, mine is really quite small, but it feels luxuriously big considering in the past we've always had the laundry in-the-cupboard scenario xx

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  14. Oh wallpaper v. exciting...in the 60's the fashionable Sydney walls were covered with grasscloth.paper..took me a while to find the correct name ..only for you Heidi ..I think it's really a fabulous look.

    For the last week I've been handing out how to vote papers for a candidate in the federal election at pre poll. The other day I admired a gorgeous coat worn by a woman working for the sitting member (who will definitely hold the seat) anyway the coat was made by the Dutch label Pauw and the stylish woman wearing it was orginally from Adelaide ..I immediately thought of you and of course told her all about Adelaide Villa

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    1. Grasscloth was very popular in the 60's - they use it in the Madmen sets a lot. I love it - gives so much texture, but it does tend to divide the masses.
      All the most stylish people are from Adelaide didn't you know (and a few unstylish ones we won't mention...!)??! You are kind smr! xx

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  15. Love all the wallpaper, I just used the remnants of the Hanworth wallpaper to do a wall in my bedroom and it is just beautiful in the wide silver and white stripes. Makes the room so much nicer. I could not wait to leave my parents wall papered house, and to think here I am in love with it all over again! Swings and roundabouts for sure. Look forward to your decisions being realised and shared on your blog x HH

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    1. Wallpaper was definitely on the out list for a very long time, but there's so many great choices out there now. Your feature wall sounds absolutely lovely. xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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