As spring gently taunts me with its warmth, I find myself eyeing my home office. This is a room in which I spend a lot of time. However, I haven’t put much effort into decorating it. The black sofa and red pouffe were just plopped in there without much thought. And the rest of the office furniture, desk and storage, is all white. Not exactly a stunning canvas to base your career on. Given that I love the outdoors, and particularly the tropics, I decided to take the matter in hand and create some tropical therapy in my home office.
I knew that the sofa and pouffe had to go but what was I going to do with that back wall? A long expanse of white with no furniture is definitely not appealing. I wanted ambience. I also wanted to add some natural elements to create a tropical vibe. One day, while sourcing floral wallpaper for a client, it dawned on me that some kind of floral motif would look great there. And not just small florals. Big florals. Large, make-a-statement-florals. Maybe even tropicals. A few days later Photowall contacted me and the idea for my office was born. Talk about divine timing!
After perusing the enormous selection of wallpaper online at Photowall I decided on a tropical theme since I love palm trees. And instead of doing just the back wall, I decided to extend the paper to the window, which would allow me to enjoy tall palm fronds above both of the sitting areas I planned to create.
The wallpaper was easy to order. Quick tip: Europe uses the metric system while the US uses the imperial system. So, the paper is measured in centimeters rather than in inches.
Once the wallpaper arrived, I put my plan into action. I wanted the tall palm leaves to flank the window, and to anchor the end of the wall. All panels are numbered so it was easy to plan.
The panels are not pre-pasted, so the next step was to mix the paste. It was a bit of a learning curve because I’d never used wallpaper paste. However, I soon learned that a hand mixer, (I used a Braun), is effective at mixing the paste as long as you didn’t add too much water at the beginning. You need just enough water to make a thick paste, as if you were making lump-free pancake batter. Then slowly add the rest of the water while continuously mixing.
I recommend applying the paste to the wall using a paint roller rather than a paint brush, which is messy and slower. The roller allows you to control how much paste is applied so you won’t risk getting it all over your wallpaper.
Hanging the paper was easy once I got the hang of it. It took about 6 hours including the planning, paste-mixing and trimming. I was also alone and had to climb up and down a ladder. If I’d had a helper it would have been quite a bit faster.
Once the wallpaper was applied, I created the seating areas. For the reading corner I wanted to find a comfortable chair that wouldn’t take up too much room. I bought the Poang chair from IKEA with a black cushion. It has clean lines and doesn’t take up too much visual space (I didn’t want the furnishings eclipsing my beautiful wall). I wanted some texture for the floor treatment so I added an IKEA Lohals flatwoven rug in natural and an Ugilt flatwoven rug in black/beige. Two Alseda stools double as a foot rest or side table, depending on my need.
A simple white chair from Zone Maison and a cork box (a gift from a friend) finishes the desk area that used to be inaccessible. This space will now be used by my assistant who comes in twice weekly to help me.
My office is now a beautiful place that I love to spend time in. Sunlight pours through the window and highlights the tropical scene. All that is missing is the pina colada!
Thank you Photowall for giving me the opportunity to use your beautiful wallpaper to redecorate my office. I am so happy with the results!
Photowall not only sells wallpaper and murals, but also canvas prints, framed prints and posters. You can also upload your own image and create your own wallpaper, canvas print or poster.
So, if any of you would like to spruce up a room or simply add a cherished photo or two, I am happy to announce that Photowall is offering a 25% discount to all my readers! Just use the code traceymckenziepw2020 at checkout. This offer is valid until the end of May 2020.