Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grasscloth Wallpaper: Do You Really Want to Know?

I've recently decided that I may just be the world's worst blogger. I second guess everything! I have an idea or do something to my house and think, "I should blog about that." Then a day (or hour or minute or nanosecond) later, I think, "Oh, who cares about that." I love writing about other people's homes, but when it comes to my own, I get all weird. I mean, does anyone want to hear about how I rearranged my furniture or bought a new pillow?

Does anyone else have these thoughts, or is it just me? Well, as my mind plays games with itself, I'll share something else that I've been second guessing... my wallpaper.

I've been so excited for the arrival of the grasscloth wallpaper we're using as part of our dining room makeover. Well, it was installed last week, and I really like it.  I think. 

I love the texture of it, and the visible seams don't bother me. I knew to expect that. I also knew that there would be inconsistencies in the color, as the natural fibers absorb the dye differently. But, I'm not sure I was prepared for just how inconsistent it would be.

I ordered 4 rolls of wallpaper, and all 4 were different shades.  One was very pale, one dark, one more yellow, etc.  My installer, who works with grasscloth a lot, said that you do not install one roll after the other, or it would look strange. Instead, she cut strips from each roll, and mixed all the strips together in a pile. We then decided the order in which they would be hung.

Now, I have no idea if that is the proper way to do it. I was trusting her expertise. But, there are some areas where one strip is quite a bit darker than the one next to it.

See what I mean?

The funny thing is when I'm in the room, there's really only one strip that bugs me. But, it's that one strip that wakes me up in the middle of the night. I start thinking about it, and wondering if the paper was really installed correctly.

I hesitated writing about this. (Remember... I've got issues).  I'd like to know from you if this is normal. Not my mental issue (although feel free to comment on that)... I'm talking about the grasscloth now.  

I'd like to know that this is just the way grasscloth is, and then I'll be able to sleep at night. However, I'm scared to hear that this is not normal, the paper is defective or the installer was off her rocker. 

So, give it to me straight. I really want to know. I think.

Oh my gosh... I just had the greatest idea for a blog... "Blog Therapy." Bloggers could write in about their hangups, and we could diagnose and help them with their issues. Wait. Is that a stupid idea? Too late... I'm hitting the "publish" button....


  1. Dear Carolyn, Yeah! I think grasscloth is making a comeback! I used it in the 1980's and loved it...I think it is so classy. I do see what you mean about the piece that seems darker. If it is bothering you (and I hate to ask this) do you have enough left over to replace that one that is keeping you up at night? Or are you going to put anything on the wall at the junction of those two pieces? If there was something to draw a person's eye in that area, it might not be as noticeable.

  2. I love grasscloth and wish I could put it somewhere. My mom had it years ago and my dad had it in his house, too. I do not remember there being that big of a difference. That would bother my perfectionist husband more than me probably. Looks like you had different lots. Were the numbers on the rolls the same? If you will be hiding most of that strip with art and drapes I probably wouldn't worry about it. Maybe you have a light strip leftover that can replace it?

  3. Oh, and I forgot. You mean no one wants to see a new pillow or furniture rearrangement. Well, I better quit blogging. hahahahaha

  4. Hello Carolyn! We all have issues;) I wish I had a penny for every time I thought one thing and then talked myself out if it...in nanosecond record time before it registered to the other side of my brain! anyway...
    Grass cloth...some companies do have directional..meaning it should be hung in one direction. Others don't. And considering it is an natural product, some areas will look differently than others. Did you install it or hire someone? If you did, they will probably just tell you, "it's a natural product and some areas will look differently than others" which is so not helpful! :)

  5. I love the look ( makes me think of the loverly way airel views of fields look.. different but beautiful together and I think that once you fill up with furniture and pictures it will all feel more visually even to you... very organic but in a subtle classy way.


  6. Gosh, I don't have any advice to give you because I've never had grasscloth wallpaper before. I have always loved how it looks though. Maybe you should ask someone at the wallpaper store or even look it up online. I don't think it looks bad. Remember, right now nothing else is in the room so all you see is the wallpaper.

  7. My OCD would never let me rest with it that way....and just so you know, I LOVE hearing about your new pillows, etc!

  8. When you hang stuff on the walls and decorate, much of those imperfections will not be as noticeable.

    About your ponderings....my opinion? Most people who truly READ a blog...do it because they enjoy READING the stuff that someone is talking about. If you changed your furniture around and you like the way it turned out...write about it!! It's YOUR blog!!!! Too many bloggers fill up their pages with guest posts, sponsorship endorsement, other people's projects, pushing products, linky parties, features....before you know it, some of the best blogs are no longer really from the blogger themselves.

    My advice is keep keeping it fresh and real. If you made a cool pillow...POST IT!!! You would be surprised how much we enjoy the inspiration!~!!

  9. I think it looks perfectly imperfect! I have it in my loft and I love it. It looks a lot like yours and it doesn't bother me. Plus I have things on the walls. Granted, you have a lot of sunlight coming in so the difference in the tones are a little more obvious, but live with it awhile and I am sure you will come to love it!


  10. Sweet Carolyn -
    Just look at your growing list of subscribers and there's your answer. People DO want to share your sweet chaos. I have issues, too, though. I'm reluctant to share the interior of my house. It seems to become "look what I have" instead of "look what I did". Makes me squirm for myself, but I'd feel cheated if others wouldn't share. I'm working on it. Your grasscloth: ready???? I think you have more variation that you should have. Don't despair. Pictures and draperies will help. I have grasscloth, too, and I love it. Beware though. It DOES discolor greatly, so if you try to move a picture, plate, or clock, even after a short time, you'll see a "ghost" image on your wall. It's a commitment to the stuff on your wall. But worth it!!! I picked up some samples of it just today to show to a client.
    Linda @ A Toile Tale.

  11. I have never used it so can't help there. I think that once you've furnished the room and added some art to the walls, the contrast will be less noticable and it will all look fantastic! Hope you have a good night's sleep! x Sharon

  12. I don't know much about grasscloth, but I will say that I second guess my blog posts every bit as much as you do! I'm always thinking to myself, "Nobody cares about what I did last weekend or the fact that I spray painted something yet again." And then when people comment on it, I feel SO much better! PS - Your posts are ALWAYS fabulous and I think the blog therapy thing is a great idea!

  13. I'm right there with you...everyone else's blogs seem so interesting. Fact is, all "us women" (and some men) LOVE to see what's up in other women's homes! Right? So put up lots of pics cause I wanna see :-).
    Your grass cloth is awesome. Good job and thanks for sharing.

  14. Saw this on Pinterest today and thought of your dilemma. Looks like it is just the way it happens with grass cloth sometimes!


  15. Someone beat me to the House of Turquoise link. I saw that this morning and kept looking at the one strip behind the bed thinking it didn't look right. I want to do grasscloth in my bedroom, but I'm having reservations about it because I'm not sure if too much of a variation would drive me crazy.

  16. I understand your dilema, I do the same thing. I actually think the inconsistancy in the grasscloth is a plus...the whole natural look thing and I agree with Lesley that once you start getting everything back into the room the grass cloth will be more of a background. Also remember it's the quirks that really make a home stand out.

  17. Is there maybe a way you can get some paint that is close to the lighter color (and with a little added water) tone down the darker paper?
    also maybe ask your friend about doing one roll to one wall. (i mean even the same paint looks different on different walls because of the light.) If the paper is the same on one wall you have continuity for that wall... and the contrast between the 4 walls won't be that noticable... sounds logical right?

  18. Carolyn...unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. I have used it many times and thank God you had someone who installed it properly. I think it looks good and remember...once the room is finished it will not be noticeable.

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