Elephants Walk Across Twin Babies’ Nursery Wall

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


Here is an accent wall in a nursery for new born twins – a boy and a girl. Instant family. 🙂 The expectant mom had seen pictures on HOUZZ and wanted to recreate the look in her babies’ room.

The top two photos show one wall, but there are two mirror-image 37″ wide walls flanking the recessed window. The wallpaper went on each wall, and the recessed walls around the window were painted metallic gold, to match the wallpaper. The walls had rounded outside corners, and the homeowner had them finished off with a piece of wood molding. I love this. See the last photo for a close up.

The homeowners had ordered their paper off the Internet before our initial consultation. If I had gotten to them first, I would have had them order more paper. As it was, we had one double roll bolt of paper to cover this 2-part wall.

Each wall section required two strips of wallpaper. With the height of their wall, and factoring in the atypically long pattern repeat of 30″, the bolt of paper would yield three strips. Not enough paper.

But I was able to make it work. Because the wall was 37″ wide and the wallpaper was 27″ wide, that first strip would cover 27″ of the wall, leaving 10″ to be covered. Since the paper was 27″ wide, if I split it in two vertically, I could get two 10″ strips from it, taking one from the right side and one from the left side.

If I positioned these four strips on the two walls precisely, I could get the job done with the amount of paper they had purchased.

The job was much more complicated than this, though. I won’t go into all the details or all the math, but things to factor in were the 30″ pattern repeat juxtaposed against the exact height of the walls, the 3″ additional paper needed at the top of the two center strips to accommodate the crown molding (see photo), the numbers the manufacturer stamped in ink on the back of the paper which would bleed through the paper which necessitated that a certain amount of paper had to be discarded, the secondary pattern – which is the diagonal movement and the rhythm of the pattern that you see from a distance (see photo), coupled with the fact that all those elephants looked alike – but were not. If one line of elephants got mispositioned – placed too high or too low – that secondary pattern’s rhythm would be thrown off.

Before I took the job, I did some calculating at home, to be sure they had enough paper. I figured that we could squeak by.

At the site, before I cut any paper, I plotted, measured, calculated – and repeated – to be sure everything was correct. I placed strips side-by-side on the floor (see photo, and thankfully this room had a lot of open floor space to do this), to be sure the pattern match was spot-on. As you can see, everything worked out perfectly.

This paper had to be hand-trimmed (see tomorrow’s post), which took additional time, concentration, and equipment. In addition, the walls were far from straight / plumb, so the wallpaper didn’t want to butt up against the new molding, nor did it meet up with the painter’s finish line under the windows. Luckily it was printed on a very malleable substrate, and I was able to twist it into position. That created wrinkles, but it was forgiving paper, and I was able to work out those wrinkles. I’m glad there were only 1 1/2 strips per wall, because the paper would not have cooperated so generously for multiple strips.

This wallpaper pattern is called “Elephant Walk” and is by Jill Malek, and was bought on-line. It comes in a small scale (pictured) and a larger scale. I hung a very similar giraffe pattern by the same company last year, also in a baby’s room. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/wavy-giraffes-jolly-up-a-babys-nursery/

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