“Shrinking” the Pattern, to Avoid a Seam

If I had hung this paper the way the pattern sequentially worked its way around the powder room, the width of the strip over the door would have forced me to place two strips to the left of the door frame – with a seam down the middle. See where the arrow is pointing.

Sometimes it’s best to avoid seams when you can, for a variety of reasons. Especially at eye-level on a dark paper that is likely to shrink as it dries and thus expose the white edges of the substrate and the white wall beneath it all. Seams in an area that can be splashed by water have the potential to wick in moisture and cause curling. And in this case it would have also meant cutting all of the fish motifs into fragments.

After taking careful measurements, I used my straightedge to cut off the fish on the left (third photo), creating a new vertical edge.

Then I took the next strip of wallpaper and butted it up against the newly-narrow strip over the door. Even though the horizontal pattern repeat meant that we were missing a fish (that green one that got cut off), and that the very faint horizontal waves of shading in the design would not match across the seam – neither of those instances was detectable at all, when looking at the finished wall. See last photo.

The fish motifs also are dispersed in a pleasing way as they move down the wall.

This non-woven, easy-to-remove wallpaper is by the British company Cole & Son, in their Fornasetti line, and is titled Acquario.

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