Love this #79 - but don't tell MOH

A picture of this wallpaper arrived in my mailbox recently and I couldn't help but like it.  The email that accompanied it called it an accidental homage to the Tour de France which finishes today.  He's been very into following the race, each stage, who wins and of course the crashes and the protests. And that's why you can't tell MOH, just in case he gets any ideas.

I'm not totally oblivious to the race, and will Geraint become the first Welshman to win the tour? 

You'll know we've recently added a map wall on one of our curved wall, which I love.  And although I'm rather taken with this one, I think one mural wallpaper per property is probably enough.

We don't have a wall for this to go on either, so I know it's not an option for us but I was thinking what room it might work in best.  I could see it in a breakfast room, or an office perhaps, but really I think it'd work anywhere where you needed a bit of a boost, what do you think?

A map on my wall

It's been a little while since my post on loving maps, and the fear of wallpaper but the good news is the map is on the wall, and I love it.  Things didn't turn out quite as I planned for the actual putting it on the wall part, and so I didn't have to face my fear of wallpapering after all.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my Wallsauce mural arrived, in fact I couldn't believe it was here just a few days after I'd made my choice, they most certainly don't hang about.  It arrived well packaged too, in a sturdy cardboard tube within a wallpaper sized cardboard box. There was wallpaper paste too, and as I discovered a visual plan as well as some written instructions, which are also available online.



But because life happens we needed to change our plans of tackling this ourselves. I'm certain we made the right decision as not only were we nervous wallpaperers but our attention, and time, has been taken up by those life events I mentioned on Monday, and neither of us wanted to ruin, or even slightly mess up, what is quite honestly, beautiful wallpaper.

And so we asked our conservatory builders to do the job for us, or the decorator anyway - I use builders as a generic term, and were confident they were up to the job, I wouldn't have asked otherwise.  They were just as keen as us to see what was inside the package that arrived, and so we peeked.  My first view was of Alaska (from Panel 1 of the plan above), and I was smitten, although in truth I think it could have been anywhere and I'd have had the same reaction, because as I said in my first post, because, well maps.

A peak at Alaska on the Wallsauce map mural

Now the builders had seen the wallpaper, they were keen to see the wall it was going on, which was the tricky bit, as we'd yet to tell them it was the curved wall around our spiral staircase.  Their faces were a picture, and while they might have been a little incredulous they were soon checking the wall for what prep needed to be done.

I know from dad that it's all in the preparation, so I wasn't surprised to come home to a wall with some extra filler.  Actually it was great to see tradesmen taking pride in their work, reading the instructions that came with the wallpaper, consulting with us and confident in their skills to do a job well, that we'd all be happy with.



But of course where filler goes, dust follows.  Luckily I'd thought this through and moved the duvet and as much as I could out of the room.  The room was covered with plastic sheets and dust sheets, but my reasoning was if it's not there in the first place it's not going to get dusty, is it?  And that's something I'd recommend, even if a builder says there'll be no dust.  As it's likely your definition of no dust will be different to theirs!

The result which wowed

I'd been keen to follow progress as the paper went up, and cups of tea were made, proffered and gratefully received so I could keep a bit of an eye on proceedings.  And progress was quick, relatively speaking (and definitely much quicker than I would have done) and the paper, and the design got the thumbs up from the builder too.

Even among the dust and detritus it was clear this was something spectacular.  I hadn't thought how having a map on a curved wall would give it a "globe" effect, but of course now it's been pointed out I'm going to claim that as the idea all along, what do you think?

A map on a round wall has a globe life effect

In my first post I shared my potential choices from the world map wallpaper section on the Wallsauce site, but didn't share which one I'd chosen.  This is the Antique world map and is the perfect choice for our room as it tones well with the wardrobe, and as both are things that I expect to be around for some time, that's a good thing.

the americas next to the wardrobe

The more eagle-eyed among you will have already spotted that Australia and New Zealand are missing (sorry guys!) - my wall just wasn't big enough to get you in and I chose to include all of the Americas, rather than cutting that off of the final design.  It's nothing personal, but as we're more likely to travel to the States it made sense to have that on our wall, as I'm pretty sure this wall is now going to become a key tool in our travel planning,

I wasn't expecting to be able to choose where to make the cut on the design, but thinking about it logically it makes sense as not all walls will be the same size, and not all images work if stretched to peculiar dimensions.  In fact the customisable-ness of the image size and position is one of the pluses, and imagine how this could work if you chose your own image. It was also easy to do on the site and to check your design.

You'll see that our map has a textured effect (look to the right of the text South Atlantic Ocean in the photo below) and that's in the wallpaper design rather than actually being raised, and it's very effective and I think adds to the overall result.

A wallsauce mural map on my wall

I mentioned that we would most likely use this while planning our trips, but it's already had its first use when at the weekend I looked to see where England's game against Panama was taking place in the World Cup.  You can clearly see Nizhniy Novgorod to the right of Moscow in the photo on the left below, and my light switch in China in the photo on the right.  

Checking where the England match took place at the world cup
China and the lightswitch

There's going to be many happy hours poring over this map, which has entirely transformed the room.  You've probably worked out I'm completely thrilled with it already and impressed with the quality and service I received - and I am - but I'm keen to know if you have, or would consider mural wallpaper in your house, and of course what do you think of my wall.

* This is a collaborative post but all views and opinions are my own.

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On loving maps, and the fear of wallpaper

Fear, it’s a funny thing isn’t it? And before I go on I should let you know the fear isn’t actually the wallpaper, but more of being a little bit scared of something new.  And in this case, the actual putting it on the wall part, as that’s something I’ve not done before, or unsupervised anyway; dad was a decorator by trade and so I've never needed to know. I'm sure he tried to teach me on more than one occasion, but...  

But I do like maps.  

A lot.  

I can't tell you the number of rooms and room sets I’ve seen online, in magazines and in real life that I’ve pored and lusted over. I think maps have a timeless charm, they're full of intrigue, the unknown and the anticipation of adventure.  So when the opportunity arose to work with Wallsauce, who create made to measure wallpaper murals I jumped at the chance, immediately forgetting how much wallpapering was an unknown, because, well because, maps! 


But which to choose?

Despite overlooking the actual wallpapering - again, our brain's are funny things - I knew exactly which wall my map would go on.  For maximum impact it needed to be a wall without pictures, or obstructed by furniture and so the obvious choice was the curved wall which encloses our spiral staircase. 

When I told MOH he immediately shook his head, not only because he's also a wallpapering novice but because if you can choose any wall, of course you'd choose a curved wall, wouldn't you.  Well, yes dear.  And so of course, it's going on the curved wall, but which one.

It's not as simple as just wanting a map though, oh no.  There's many to choose from on the Wallsauce site, and if maps aren't your thing then there's plenty of other mural options to, and you can even upload a photo of your own.  I didn't even go down that option as I've way more pictures than its possible to choose, and of course, maps!

Grabbing a cup of tea, I settled in for a map browsing session. 

  • I'm a classic kind of girl, deep down and so was immediately drawn to the Classic World Map (see below left), MOH nodded but deemed it safe.  I disagreed and as I've said before classics are classic for a reason.
Classic World Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

Classic World Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

18th Century World Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

18th Century World Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

  • MOH is more of a traditionalist and was more taken with the 18th Century World Map (see above right), which while attractive, I thought was a little dark for the space we had.  And on closer inspection I spotted that part of the Americas had yet to be discovered and I wanted a full map on our wall.

So that was two discarded, although I still had the Classic Map on my reserve list.  Next I tried a different tack, not a world map, but London.  We live in London and so I thought that might work.

  • The vintage map (below left) was a real contender, although I was after a bit more detail so then I saw 
  • The detailed map and I was smitten.  It's just my colours too, but as we live where the plant is in the picture (below right) and being a confirmed South London girl, after some consideration I thought I'd want a bit more South London on my walls.
Vintage map of London  Image credit: Wallsauce

Vintage map of London
Image credit: Wallsauce

Detailed Map of London  Image credit: Wallsauce

Detailed Map of London
Image credit: Wallsauce

So it was back to the drawing board - or website - again.

My next couple of choices took a completely different approach, and rather than a traditional map they're both a more modern take.  I knew they might take some work to convince MOH (the traditionalist, remember) but while I'm a classic kind of girl, I do also like a modern touch - they say opposites attract, don't they?!

So while I liked both the Fly Away Map and the Colour Splash World map (both pictured below) they didn't fit my brief, which I didn't know I even had.  I briefly waved them in front of MOH and he even looked quite impressed, I decided though to save the campaign for either of these for another day, and most likely another house. 

Because as the best advice goes, you need to know when to open negotiations, don't you?  (I think the advice is actually about choosing battles, but I prefer my less confrontational version)

Fly Away Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

Fly Away Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

Colour Splash World Map  Image credit: Wallsauce

Colour Splash World Map
Image credit: Wallsauce

All of these maps are works of art in their own right, and would enhance the right space.  In the end though while these were all contenders our choice isn't one of these - you'll have to wait to see what we chose in the next post - sorry, for being a tease!

Choosing a finish for our wallpaper

I’d seen on the website there were three different finish types: textured peel & stick, classic paste the wall and premium paste the wall.  Not knowing where to start, I decided samples would be the way forward.  My wallpaper-putting-up-phobic self thought the peel & stick approach might be an option.  I've used wall stickers before successfully, but realised that before they'd been a much smaller surface area, so a whole wall length might not be the same.

When the samples arrived, I'll admit to rethinking the whole map thing and just going with a zing of colour instead, but I think not having the actual design (or designs) we were considering helped as it was easy to focus on the finish and feel of each sample.

Samples from Wallsauce, the same but different - trust me

We decided against the peel & stick finish, as MOH also thought it might not be as easy as we first imagined, which left the classic and premium options.  As you'll have realised by now, I'm no wallpaper expert and nor is MOH, but to us we preferred the feel of the premium sample, it feels lighter and more pliable. 

I've no idea if that will help us or not, but I don't think we'll have long to find out as the Wallsauce website says that orders are shipped in 1-2 days, which doesn't give us long to swot up on techniques, so if you've got some wallpapering tips or tricks that you swear by, now would be a really good time to share them with me...

* This is a collaborative post, but all views are my own.

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