The 18 patterns of vintage wallpaper — cut into 277 squares — are no question the highlight of My Big Fat Retro Office Remodel. In this story, I’ll talk about how I acquired, edited, then arranged the wallpaper to create a harmonious — albeit — crazy design. I also want to underscore the message that: This is an affordable — and relatively easy — way to get vintage wallpaper into your house — you only need one or two rolls of each design and you can often find onesie twosie rolls at a dirt cheap price.
How to make the office remodel “epic”? How about: 18 different patterns of vintage wallpaper covering the four walls. Ta da! After two months of work, the majority of the office is done — in particular, all the architectural stuff that was part of the gut remodel. All this week I’ll be talking about the various details in My Big Fat Retro Office Remodel Special Report. But the highlight, no duh, is the vintage wallpaper: Yes, 18 different patterns spanning the 1940s to the 1970s… applied in 12″ x 12″ squares railroad-style, choo choo choo boom chicka boom. I counted 277 squares in all. Getting them cut and onto the walls took about 50 painstaking (Advil for me) hours. My friend Denise — who is a decorative painter and also Astro’s rescue mom — was a godsend and came up for a couple of days to help me get it done. That’s us, above, playing Love American Style Gothic with the wallpaper and daring everyone in America to embrace: Pattern and Color and Being Crazy. Portraits by another good friend, Erica Berger, who played right along and egged us on and made us look beautiful. Read on for more about the inspiration — which included two readers, and, umm, my hoarding gene — behind the room, as well as more about Special Report week.
My office is ready for demo. We emptied the four bookcases… moved them into DH’s office… I stashed everything in boxes, which are now staged all over the house…. I moved the other pieces of furniture and all my computer gear into the family room. It is a madhouse throughout the rest of this house, but this room — it’s ready for its transformation from a makeshift office into a Pam Cave.