For how long now have I been talking about my love of grasscloth wallpaper on my blog? I know it’s been at least three years, because I talked about using it when I first starting sharing ideas for the house, and we’ve been here three years now.
I’ve wanted it for so long, and talked myself out of it for several reasons, but mostly because of the price. Grasscloth can get expensive. But I decided to go for it, and in developing my new decorating plan, I actually considered several rooms for it. I loved the idea of putting it in the music room. I even considered the hallway. I love grasscloth in a bathroom, too.
But I didn’t really want my beautiful grasscloth relegated to the hallway, and the music room and bathroom trim is already installed and completely finished. And when it comes to grasscloth, it’s so difficult to work with that it makes the process much easier if you can install it before any trim is installed.
And that made the breakfast room the perfect room for it. I foresee myself spending quite a bit of time in that room, so I’ll enjoy it more in there. Plus, while I think grasscloth is pretty much perfect for any room, it seems even more so for a dining area.
And I love how it looks with white wainscoting. So that’s the plan.
I had originally intended to find a neutral color, but after searching through all of the grasscloth wallpaper books at Sherwin Williams, I couldn’t find any neutral grasscloths that I really liked. They all seemed either too bland, or too orange, too light, too dark, too white, and on, and on.
And then I came across the most gorgeous muted blue grasscloth. I checked out the book, and then hoped and prayed on the way home that it would coordinate with the Gentleman’s Gray paint color (a dark blue) that I had chosen for my kitchen cabinets. And it did! Here’s a peek of it sitting in front of the portion of the door painted in the Gentleman’s Gray color.
Here’s a close up view of it. It does have a neutral color running through it, but from a distance, the blue is dominant. It’s a very muted blue, though, and the paper has just a hint of a shimmer to it. It’s really quite beautiful, in my humble opinion. 🙂
As I mentioned, I found it at Sherwin Williams, which is my go-to place for wallpaper. It’s in this book called Decorator Grasscloth II.
And it’s paper 488-420 on page 20 of that book.
So if you’ve never ordered wallpaper before, I thought I’d show you how I measure for wallpaper. Grasscloth wallpaper has no pattern repeat that has to be matched up from piece to piece, so it’s much easier to figure how much I need with it as opposed to a floral pattern or something like that.
Just an FYI, to find the price of wallpaper, you just look for the price code on the back of the paper you like. This is a price code C. Then you flip to the price chart either in the front or back of the book, and see how much the paper is. I don’t know why they even bother giving prices for single rolls, because 99.999% of the time, wallpaper is sold in double rolls.
So for my price code C grasscloth, the price is $81.20 for a double roll. (The Sherwin Williams price in red to the right of the chart.)
And then somewhere close to that chart you’ll find the measurements of a double roll. This grasscloth double roll measures 36″ wide by 8 yards (24 feet). If you’re using a wallpaper with a pattern on it, the measurements might be listed on the back of that particular wallpaper sample.
So to determine how much I need, I generally draw out the room on paper, including the doors and windows, along with measurements for wall space above doors and windows that will need to be papered. But for the purposes of this post, I’ll just use photographs of my walls
First, I determined my starting point for installation. I decided to start in the right corner of this wall because that lip at the top of the front wall would make wrapping wallpaper around the corner impossible. So I’ll start in the right corner and work my way counterclockwise around the room.
I mark my line for the chair rail, and then measure the wall and determine how many widths of wallpaper will be needed. This wall is 163 inches wide, so it will require just over 4.5 widths of the 36-inch-wide wallpaper. You can see that I’ll waste quite a chunk of wallpaper in the door area, but that can’t be avoided since the door is only 32 inches wide, and the wallpaper is 36 inches wide. So no matter how I positioned the wallpaper on this wall, I would still need full lengths around the door.
Then continuing around to the next wall, that will start with the half piece that wraps around from the first wall, and then will require 3.8 additional widths.
Moving to the next wall, I continued marking out my 36-inch widths. You can see that on this wall, three of the widths will be very short since they are completely above the opening.
And then on the final wall, it starts with a piece that will wrap from the previous wall, then a full piece, two short pieces (nothing needed under the window because of the chair rail), and finally one full piece. Nothing is needed between the windows because those areas will be completely covered with window trim.
After all of that measuring and marking, I then go back and count how may FULL lengths of wallpaper will be needed. For this room, since I’ll be using a chair rail and wainscoting on the bottom of the wall, a full length is only 63 inches long.
So according to my diagrammed pictures, I’ll need 13 full lengths of wallpaper at 63 inches long. That’s 819 inches.
In addition, I’ll also need 5 pieces that are 11 inches long to go over openings and windows. That’s an additional 55 inches.
In total, I’ll need 875 inches of wallpaper for this room. That’s 24.28 yards, and each double roll comes with 8 yards. So in order to cover my walls, plus have a bit extra for mess ups (I always like to allow for a minimum of two full extra lengths for mess ups), I’ll need four double rolls of wallpaper.
Make sense? 🙂
Okay, now just for fun, let’s pretend that I’m using a patterned wallpaper, and I need to figure how many rolls I need. That process is similar but different. Let’s say for this example that I’m using a paper with a 24-inch vertical pattern repeat.
I’d still diagram my walls just as I did above. I’d still figure out how many widths of wallpaper I need to go around the room. But how do you figure for matching pattern repeats? It’s simple.
Again, because of the wainscoting, the full wallpaper length required for my walls is 63 inches. But if my wallpaper has a vertical pattern repeat of 24 inches, then I actually have to figure how many repeats will be needed for each width of wallpaper in order to match the pattern on the next piece.
The reason you have to figure repeats rather than just figure the inches (or yards) is because the repeats have to match from piece to piece. For example, let’s say you’re using this gorgeous big puffy heart wallpaper. You install your first piece like this…
If you just cut the wallpaper at the chair rail, and then start the next piece of wallpaper where you cut it (which is exactly what you can do with grasscloth and other textural wallpapers with no vertical pattern repeats), you’d end up with a mess where none of your patterns meet on the seams.
So in order for your patterns to meet, you have to figure repeats per length rather than inches per length.
In order to do that, you take the length you need (63 inches) and divide by the vertical repeat (24 inches) to come up with the number of repeats you have to allow for each length of wallpaper. In this case, it would be 2.625 repeats, which you would round up to three. So for each full length of wallpaper, I would have to figure three repeats, or 72 inches of wallpaper.
For my room, with 13 full lengths needed, that would require 936 inches. The additional five short lengths would each require a one vertical repeat allowance, for an additional 120 inches.
So my room, using a patterned wallpaper that’s 36 inches wide with a 24-inch vertical repeat, would require 1,056 inches of wallpaper, or 29.33 yards. And again, I’d allow for an additional two full lengths just in case I cut something wrong, tear the wallpaper, or mess it up in some other way.
Anyway, I hope that helps. Figuring fabric repeats when making draperies where you need to match fabric is done the same way. I wrote about that here.