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There isn’t a surface in Relda Frogley’s St Mary’s Bay, Auckland home that’s immune to wallpaper. It doesn’t matter a jot whether the surface is flat or gently curved, horizontal or vertical: if it’s blank, there’s a very real chance it may soon find itself with huge images of heirloom roses, patterned Chinese fans or even, in the case of the dining room wall, a giant Buddha’s face in the midst of a Balinese forest.
A long expanse of wall in Relda’s downstairs office, where she works with her business partner and friend Joanne Gray, was the first to get a makeover. Relda and Joanne had just purchased a large-scale printer for Back to the Wall (backtothewall.co.nz), their new custom-design mural wallpaper venture, and they figured they should give it a go themselves before they got down to the business of selling. The pair borrowed an extra pair of hands in the form of Relda’s husband Steve to help dampen the pre-pasted wallpaper and stick it to the wall. “It was the first time that any of us had ever wallpapered and we were like, ‘Oh! That was easy. Let’s go and have a glass of wine,” says Relda.
Indeed, once Relda discovered just how the easy the process was, she proved difficult to stop: a serene Buddha mural now dominates the open-plan kitchen, dining and living room; the interior of a lacquered drinks cabinet found itself re-covered with Chinese fans; and a pair of doors has been repurposed as Chinese-inspired wallpapered screens. But she says she’s done… at least for the time being. “I wouldn’t do that to my husband,” says Relda. “I’ve promised.”
Key features of this space? In the dining room, the Buddha wallpaper design, which began with a photograph taken by Joanne; the dining table, with a top made from beams rescued during the renovation of the house and the base is from Alison’s Acquisitions. The “F” artwork in the kitchen was bought at a Samoan tsunami fundraiser. In the living room, a decorative panel was made by wallpapering a door from Bunnings and topping it with an Asian screen from Xia, a Chinese décor store in Eden Terrace.
Why murals? We liked the idea of huge wall images without any pattern repetition. When Joanne was looking for wallpapers for her house, she found she would look at samples and they’d be gorgeous, but, when you put it up, the pattern repeated and it was all a bit much. So this is like art for the wall. Wallpaper is also an easy way to refresh a room without a full-scale renovation.
Best decor find? Our cowhide bar stools. Jo spotted them on Ponsonby Road; she’s a magpie at spotting cool things and they really work in our home. I found the incredibly heavy candlesticks on the sideboard in the dining room in Hong Kong – getting them home was quite a mission.
A tip for other homeowners? Make sure you and your husband/partner are on the same page. It makes for an easier renovation. In my case, Steve is pretty easy going, so I get the last say in design. He just goes with the flow. Lucky me!
Proudest DIY achievement? The wall murals we created, printed and hung. They’re a bit different, but you need to be a little brave and go for it.
– NZ House & Garden
Continue reading this article at the original source from Stuff.co.nz
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