Fudging the Pattern Match

Digital ImageHere is a classic trellis pattern in a master bathroom, nicely centered on this window. We were very tight on wallpaper. The homeowner is an interior designer, and he ordered his paper before having me come and measure. I calculated for 14 single rolls; he ordered only 12 rolls. There was no way to get more paper, so I futzed and figured and spliced and played, and made it work.

I papered this window wall and the adjoining door wall. The homeowner really wanted the wallpaper around his bathtub, too. There was enough paper to do the side walls, but not the back wall. But he really wanted that wall done, so we agreed that I could mis-match some other areas, in order to have enough wallpaper to cover that back wall of the tub alcove.

That meant there wasn’t enough wallpaper to do the window wall the way I normally do. So I hung the top and sides of the window area, and left the “ceiling” of the window area unpapered, until I finished the rest of the room and could see how much wallpaper was left, and what the pattern match was.

Long story short, there was not one scrap of paper large enough to fill the space, that was also the correct pattern match. So I fudged it. I found a piece that was similar to the pattern match, and trimmed it to abut the top front edge of the window alcove. It doesn’t match exactly, but it looks pretty darned good. I filled in the places that didn’t match with colored pencil and scraps of wallpaper.

In addition, the window alcove was not square. (Nothing in this entire two-room bathroom was square or plumb. Believe it or not, the north wall was two inches shorter than the south wall. What a nightmare with a geometric pattern like this!) Anyway, part of the trellis ran exactly along the corner of one side of the window ceiling. But it was crooked and off by 3/4″ on the opposite side. So I cut a piece of the trellis design from some left over paper, and pasted it in the off corner, artfully disguising the crookedness.

When the homeowner came in, he looked at the window and said, “You told me it wasn’t going to match, but it does! It all looks perfect!” I had successfully fooled his eye, and he loved the finished room,,, and that’s what matters most!

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