Haven’t you always wanted to take a walk in an enchanted forest? I have, so I made my own. Our basement is ground level, but it is very narrow, making most of the space feel like a hallway, just somewhere to walk through to get to the other side. I really wanted to use wallpaper in my home and knew that this “hallway” space would be the perfect place to try it out. I have the room set up as playroom for my young daughters, but since I would be spending a lot of time in there as well, I wanted something that I would enjoy looking at too. I fell in love with this black and white birch tree wallpaper from Bouclairs. I thought it was fun and whimsical, but still classic.
My mother and I spent about 3 hours putting up the wallpaper late at night, so that we could do it without the kiddos interrupting us. If you ever want to see how well you do or don’t get along with someone, try putting up wallpaper together. I was lucky, we made a great team. It was rather simple since we were dealing with a straight wall and the wallpaper was pre-pasted. Each roll cost $30 and I used a roll and a half for this space.
Once the wallpaper was up, I knew it needed a little something to make it feel even more whimsical, so I hung small antique-looking mirrors at about eye level in an alternating up and down pattern to add a little reflection and sparkle. The mirrors were $5 each purchased from The Sunday Antique Market in Toronto. I also included a set of black plastic ones I found in Walmart which I spray painted gold. I used two tones of gold spray paint for added dimension. It’s hard to tell which ones are vintage and which ones are Walmart. I wanted to include gold on the wall since the birch tree design can look rather “cold” and the gold helps to warm it up a bit. Black frames, or other objects, such as small bird houses or floating shelves would also make great additions to this wallpaper. But, because of the narrowness of this space, I opted to go with something less intrusive.
After I hung the mirrors, I decided to affix some plastic butterflies designed by Umbra to make the wall feel a little bit more fun, while still staying true to the black and white colour palette. I have used these butterflies in a variety of ways before and this way finally made perfect sense. The butterflies look like they were made to be displayed on this wallpaper.
Since the ceilings are rather low in this space, the vertical images of the trees help to give the illusion of added height. Although this room is currently set up as a playroom, I see this wallpaper still working well when the room gets upgraded to a “hangout zone” for the girls and their friends. I think using black and white as much as you can in a playroom is a good idea, since naturally the kids’ toys will add lots of colour, therefore you should limit colour in the ways you can.
The graphic nature of this wallpaper makes it a perfect backdrop for my many photo-shoots of my daughters. However, because the basement lighting isn’t always ideal, I sometimes temporarily hang the leftover pieces on other walls in the house that have better lighting conditions for photos. Might as well use the leftovers for something!
I love this wall. It actually makes me happy every time I walk by it. Most people don’t have this feeling about their basements, so take a risk in that space and do something that you wouldn’t necessarily do on your main floor.
Materials and Cost: Wallpaper – $30 each from Bouclairs, Butterflies – $15 Umbra from Urban Barn, Mirrors – $5 each from The Sunday Antique Market in Toronto and Walmart, Total – $140
Check out The Alphabet Wall, another feature wall in this basement.