Remember how I was all psyched about using a leopard print rug in my Mahalo Lounge? Well, it turns out that Denise had a roll of 20 yards of leopard print fabric — it’s a micro-suede — that she had picked up a few years ago at a nearby fabric outlet. She paid just $3 a yard. Last time she was here to paint, she brought it along for me to ponder. Could I turn it into a rug? Nahhhh…. Let’s use it as wallpaper! Yowza: It looks fantastic — it feels like flocked wallpaper! — and it is going up like a DREAM — so easily, with a staple gun, kapow kaboom!
I am still in “sneak peek” mode as my Lounge comes together. So here’s just a snippet of how the wall covering looks, next to the faux bois-painted woodwork and the barkcloth pinch pleats and behind my Green Lady print by Vladimir Tretchikoff. Oh. Yes! I have my own Green Lady now!
Denise and I bartered for her fabric. I gave her a frame and a bunch of broken vintage jewelry to make more jewelry art. She gave me the $60 fabric. Yes, just $60 to cover all the walls above my dados! I think that’s a fabulous deal! And proof yet again: If you are patient and true, The Retro Decorating Gods will send you what you need when you need it. Even if it’s wall covering when you were thinking rug!
As I mentioned above, this is a microfiber print. I think it might also be called micro-suede. It is light-medium weight and has a very smooth velvety finish. It lays very flat very easily. It’s like a stiff thin velvet — I repeat, like awesome flocked wallpaper! — and amazingly easy to work with. The direction of the print is totally forgiving. So, I don’t have to be plumb- or edge-matchy careful when affixing it. I literally just fold the fabric at the top, staple at the center, then start smoothing and stapling in all the directions to ensure a smooth, flat fit on the wall. When I need to match it to another piece, I just fold and staple. The staples recede visually into the fabric.
I can’t find it, but on one of my stories about my draperies, a reader commented that I would need to use a lot of black in the room to really pick up the field color, black. Her (I think it was a her) comment stuck in mind, and this was another reason I gravitated toward the leopard print fabric on the wall. I also think a darker print on the wall works better with the dark woodwork than my ivory-colored grasscloth. And, cocktail lounges and tiki bars are supposed to be dark and mysterious. Note, though, that I can take the fabric down at any time and the grasscloth is still there. The staples should not hurt the grasscloth.
The combo of the dark-painted woodwork and the wall coverings for sure diminish the LRV of the room dramatically. Dear Husband like LIGHT, so, so far he is exhibiting patience rather than excitement with this particular decorating turn of events. In return, I have committed to him to add lighting that will effectively brighten the room when that’s the goal. Of course, lighting for cocktail effect — including drama — is going to be super important, too. In fact, the lighting part of the project is going to be the most nerve-wracking part of this entire project, I think.
- Read all the stories about my project to convert my living room and dining room into my Mahalo Lounge project here.