#AtoZChallenge | Wallpapering a kitchen accent wall with some local love

I love a pop of color. It really brightens up a space. From dated and drab to bright and fun in just a few days. There is nothing like the big reveal full of overwhelmed tears as the homeowner tries to process their new space while cameras take it all in. In case you can’t tell, I watch a lot of HGTV. It’s one of the few reality type shows that I enjoy. I can easily stream 10 episodes in one sitting. And, I have.

It’s a little more complicated in real life when you have to do all the work yourself. While there is great satisfaction in completing a project with sweat equity, I must admit in the throes of the actual work I’m often hoping a Property Brother will show up and lend me a hand. Still, while there is no “big” reveal, the gradual transformation of a room still brings me great joy.

Back to that pop of color. I’ve long admired local textile designer Erin Flett and her gorgeous line of bright, graphic bags and home textiles. They are all so cheery and bright. I’ve given some of her bags as gifts and bought a few for myself. They always make me happy.

With COVID-19 driving us inside, we started amping up our own projects both small and large. In looking for ways to brighten up our kitchen , I saw that Erin Flett also offers custom wallpaper. I couldn’t resist adding one of her bright designs to my space and immediately ordered a roll of her Hilary Wallpaper with a tomato colored, horizontal dot pattern. I already have some red accents in my kitchen so knew it would fit in well.

Since the wallpaper is custom printed, it did take over four months to arrive so plan accordingly if you want to order some for your own project. It also requires a little more care. The selvage edge is untrimmed, so you need to cut all four sides as you put it up. The clay covered paper was fairly sturdy but I did rip it at one point something that is much harder to do with vinyl papers.

Okay, now that I’m done with the caveats, I must say I am thrilled with how this project turned out and so glad I put up this wallpaper.

Below is my own little design reality project complete with before and during shots along with my own big reveal.


This wallpapering project jumped onto our list after we redesigned a plate rack in our kitchen. It is tucked away in the corner of our kitchen cabinets and was always hard to access so we transformed it into more practical shelves. While I liked the end result, it felt a little bland. It also blended into an open area above our kitchen cabinets where we keep serving dishes. That space was fine but it needed that pop of color to feel finished.


After clearing out all the dishes, it was time to start the project. I made many mistakes that a professional wall paperer would be horrified by but somehow it worked for me.

The first mistake was that I measured all of my openings and cut my wallpaper to exact size making a notation of the top edge so I would not put it up upside down. Since it has a pattern match, I made sure to match my pattern as I cut each section that would go across the top. However, I should have left a little more room on the top and bottom to trim once I put it on the wall as there could be gaps if the measurements are off since you have to match the pattern there is little wiggle room. Fortunately, I was only a smidge short on the final few pieces and was able to cover it up by painting the small sliver of yellow that was visible to match the ceiling. Since there is white in the design, it blended perfectly.

The second mistake was trying to cut it with an x-acto knife. It kept tearing or I would veer off and my lines were not straight. In the end I used a square ruler and marked my lines with a pencil. While I don’t wallpaper often, I do have some supplies on hand including wallpaper scissors which are extra long and designed for working with wallpaper. I used those to cut along my pencil lines and then just erased any lines that remained on the paper. Once I went to this method, I started cranking along and was able to quickly cut out all my pieces.

I slathered wallpaper paste on the back of the first piece, folded over the edges so the paper was paste side to paste side and let it sit for a minute.  I’m not sure if this step is needed, but it’s one of the few things I remember from the wallpapering lesson a friend gave us many years ago. I started at the bottom left section of the plate rack and positioned each piece accordingly. I smoothed the paper down with a rubber roller making sure to remove any bubbles or gaps and then trimmed my edges with the straight razor. Since I had cut them to size, it was minimal trimming but there were a few spots here and there.

This part actually went fairly quickly. As mentioned earlier, I had one small rip but it’s not visible and I was able to match it back together so I continued on rather than replace that sheet. I used my seem roller to reinforce the seams. I is a small space so there were not too many seams.

The Big Reveal

I love, love, love how it came out. It is the exact amount of color that I was looking for to brighten up this little corner of my kitchen. I debated adding a layer of polyurethane to the top to protect the paper since I’m not sure how washable it will be but I’ve decided to wait. I think the sheen might impact the final look and I have enough left on the roll if I have to redo it someday in the future.

This project actually only took me about three hours to complete and most of it was spent in measuring and cutting the paper. I would definitely tackle a project like this again in the future. I don’t even need a Property Brother to help me.

Have you ever wallpapered a room? Did it transform the space?

I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2021. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Craft Projects for my Home. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

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31 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | Wallpapering a kitchen accent wall with some local love

  1. Deborah Weber says:

    Delightful! I’ve done my fair share of wallpapering, but I think I’d be more up to tackling a smaller project like this than a room these days. And I had no idea there was such a thing as wallpaper scissors. How cool! I’ve always used a toothed wheel gadget to cut.


  2. Arti Jain says:

    Love the after pictures Karen.
    Love this phrase of yours: sweat equity.
    And Love watching home-makeover shows as much as gardening shows. That’s how I chill sometimes.


  3. galeriaredelius says:

    Great result! I like the contrast between the grey tiles and the red dots, they are different from each other but they also seem to belong together, as they both have a pattern.
    I always find it difficult to imagine what something will look like after a change. Seeing this gives me an idea! I can imagine how satisfying it is to be in the kitchen now, you can enjoy the result of your work every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeanne Bryan Insalaco says:

    I give you such credit to have tackled that. We have wallpapered many times, but it’s always been my husband, against his will, to put it up. I’m good at picking it out but he tackled the job. I do like the pop of color in your kitchen it gave. Bravo job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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