Before we completely throw ourselves into the One Room Challenge, I had to complete another major project. Our Stairs!! The space isn’t massive, by any stretch of the means, but I knew that a little bit of love and creativity could completely transform it. As we do not have a foyer, this is the first thing you see when you walk through our front door. Here is a flashback to move in day.
Again, fine. The photograph cannot capture how loose the wall railing was. The balcony railing was beyond loose as well… it was also about a foot higher than needed! Newel Posts and Banisters are sold extra long so you can cut them down/usually due to the slope of the stairs. These were never cut down and were about 50″ tall at the top of the newel posts! So the scale really felt off.
The other issue we remedied almost immediately was adding a runner to the stairs. This was out of necessity as well as aesthetics. My daughter and our puppy kept falling down. lol. No major spills, but multiple times daily, we would here boom, boom, boom and an instant “I’m okay!”. Fortunately I had picked up some abstracted leopard carpet at our local ReStore a few years ago. I just knew I would use it eventually! Sure enough, this was the perfect spot.
My plan for this space was to create a sense of drama… I wanted to draw the eye up the stairs. I thought that this would be an amazing location for a wallpaper moment. However, it had to coordinate with the leopard runner, so that eliminated numerous patterns. Then I had the thought to utilize a continuous mural. Something classic and large in scale to compliment the smaller print of the spots. I landed on JungleLand by Rebel Walls in Vintage.
The color way was perfect, especially in person. I made sure to order samples… it has just a touch of sepia tones. It was a perfect match to the carpet runner, and went well with our living room decor as well.
One of the great things about Rebel Walls is that you plug in your room/wall dimensions and the design is made specifically to that scale. So there is no guessing as to how many rolls you are going to need. Even as a designer, those calculations still stress me out! And being able to plug in those calculations allowed me to modify the overall look a bit in our install. While I love animal prints, I loved the foliage more. So I installed a chair rail in the hallway for a few reasons. The main reason is moulding, I am obsessed. Second, I visually wanted to break up the visual of the pattern on the stairs and the mural on the wall. As they are so close in coloration, they could have potentially blended a bit too much. And lastly, it allowed me to remove the bottom portion of the mural that showcased a few antelope and jungle cats allowing the massive trees to really shine.
After installing the chair rail, I started on the mural! Each shipment is conveniently packed with all of the panels clearly labeled so they can go up in order, as well as a box of wallpaper paste! You simply mix the powder with water and you are ready to install.
The other tools that I recommend for a successful wallpaper install is an X-Acto with sharp blades, a small paint roller and brush, a level, a damp sponge or towel & plenty of project towels or paper towels.
To start, draw a level line on the wall to ensure you start your pattern straight! Once you are off, the rest of the design will be off!
I then roll the wall, in a wallpaper sized section, with a generous layer of the wallpaper paste. I find it easier to paste the wall vs the paper. I always end up getting wrapped in glue when I have attempted the latter.
I recommend that you install each panel with at least on inch of the paper folding onto the ceiling. This will allow for the pattern to continue evenly if you have any ceiling height changes. We all like to think that walls are equal or square, but most of our installs result in at least a 1/4″-1″ change in ceiling height from one end of the room to the other. Fortunately since I pasted the wall instead of the paper, I was not left with any extra paste on the ceiling once I cut that extra paper down using an X-Acto blade.
Hanging wallpaper can be challenging, but in the end it is always rewarding to step back and see the instant wow factor.
You can also refer to Rebel Wall’s website for any install questions. They have excellent resources to help you answer any question!
Again, here was the Before…
And here is the After!
What a difference. The Mural instantly draws up the eye. It did exactly what I had hoped it would do. I also love that the moulding continues the vibe I had created in the living room. Adding the round marble table and a pair of ottomans helps to turn this space into more of an entry than the awkward corner it was before.
And I am here to tell you that you can still install a mural if you have to work around doors. Don’t feel you have to have a full undisturbed wall. This narrow hall upstairs has five doorways/closets. I worked my way around the space, and the mural simply frames each one giving each more presence and significance.
So are you ready to add a mural to your home too?!
Be sure to check back tomorrow to see all of the details about our new stair railings! We installed them ourselves as well.
**The Mural was provided by Rebel Walls. All photos and opinions are 100% my own.**