Not to be deterred, I started to do some research on using real fabric rather than wallpaper. I found several websites dedicated to apartment living that suggested using fabric stiffener to apply the fabric to the walls. When you were done renting the apartment you can take a warm wet sponge, wet down the fabric, and safely remove it from the drywall. Wash the fabric and reuse! This sounded like the solution!
I found a soft mocha colored linen fabric at JoAnn Fabrics which worked really well with the color scheme in the kitchen as well as the new hardwood floors. Now, the task of applying it to the walls.
Nate was still not a huge fan of the idea, and was working on his own project in the Den (see that project here) so I attempted the project on my own. First, I diluted the fabric stiffener with water so that the fabric remained pliable and soft. I secured the fabric with push pins and applied the fabric stiffener with a paint roller. One hour later and one wall was complete. Well, not really. It looked like complete crap! There were bubbles everywhere, the fabric was slanted and it really didn't look like I had pictured it. To make matters worse, our friends stopped by to see the house for the first time and made several comments about how terrible the fabric idea was. I set out to prove them wrong!
After enough crying and yelling from me, Nate got the point that he should probably help. This is definitely a project for two people! We decided to run the fabric horizontally so that we did not have vertical seams like you would with wallpaper. We were able to do this because of the wainscoting below. The width of the fabric was larger than the height of the wall above the wainscoting.
We employed the push pin method again, and Nate did the rolling. I followed behind using my hands to push out any air bubbles. The fabric ends up quite wet from the fabric stiffener which helps it adhere to the wall better while it is "stiffening". We did one wall at a time and allowed it to completely dry. Once dry (about a day), we used a long straight edge and an exacto knife to trim off the excess fabric from the top, bottom, and two sides. The fabric cuts amazingly well when it is stiff. Once the edges were cut, we moved on to the adjacent wall and repeated all of the steps until the four walls were complete.
We ended up LOVING the final look and despite the pain in the butt it was to install, it was worth it. It is a subtle detail but when you run your hand across the wall the texture feels incredible. We can't imagine using a fabric with a pattern because it would be almost impossible to get things straight using this method. By using the linen we didn't have that problem to consider. If we ever stop loving the look of it, we can soak down the fabric and remove it from the wall all while leaving the drywall intact. It was the perfect solution for us.
Drum roll please!
|FINISHED DINING ROOM!|
|I LOVE MY DRAPES!|
Nate took some reclaimed wood and made the trough on the table to hold the moss balls, again adding texture and color to the room. We really love the results! We have had three separate people sit at the table and tell us they feel like they are in a magazine. So much for "You Want to do What?"!