Wall Space: Where Is It And Why Cant I Find Any? by Marjorie Dorfman
Some of the different types of wallpaper include: natural fabrics, flocked, grass, metallic, fabric-backed vinyl and paper-backed vinyl. With natural fabrics, the genuine cloth can be expensive and hard to clean. They are also difficult to install, a fact I assure you will not go away. Flocked material is beautiful but can also be very costly. It has a velvety feel and the semblance of depth to it. Grass is both expensive and very difficult to clean. It can be natural or man-made on a paper backing. It is very useful when dealing with surfaces that are not very smooth. Metallic wallpaper tears easily and requires a perfectly smooth wall for imperfections not to show. Fabric-backed vinyl is practical for kitchens and bathrooms. It is not usually pre-pasted, but it is easy to clean if you can surmount that obstacle. It is also easy to remove. Vinyl-coated paper is delicate and not practical for areas that are likely to get wet. It is covered with a vinyl film and is usually pre-pasted. Paper-backed vinyl is very practical because it is usually pre-pasted and very easy to clean. It is also strong and does not tear easily.
As far as covering the walls yourself to save some money, a few words to the wise are necessary. I once read about this poor woman in the local newspaper who wanted to re-decortate her apartment and decided to save some money by hanging the wallpaper herself. She had purchased wallpaper that was not pre-pasted and the paste in powder form, which must be mixed by hand and is of course, less expensive than the liquid form. She got so embroiled with the glue that she actually had to call 911 to get her arms unstuck from her overalls and the glue out of her hair and mouth. She was so embarrassed that the paper did not mention her name. Some of my neighbors wanted to know if she was a relative of mine. I wasnt insulted. She could have been.
Bookshelves and wall storage units (metal or wood) seem to be a little safer. Bookshelves of double depth permit books to be stacked one behind the other and can assuage a collector who cannot even find a place to sit down in his or her apartment. Shelves can bridge windows or large arches as well as the walls above doors and windows. By utilizing double depth and double sets of shelves, one can quarter the physical amount of wall space required. Everything will be fine until the day the collector needs a book that is behind seventy-five others. When that happens, it will probably better to move.
Wall units are versatile and can be made with drawers, shelves, dividers or just left open. They are great for utilizing wall space in an office, den, laundry room or bedroom. Units can be combined and stacked for endless possibilities. Well-painted galvanized metal shelves are easy to clean and will not rust. The nuts and bolts used as fasteners should also be galvanized. Whether one purchases metal shelving at a relatively inexpensive supply house that caters to commercial firms or at a too often overpriced furniture boutique is a question of choice.
In the end, personal choice based on life style will win out. Whether tis nobler to hang photographs, paintings or murals or take arms against a sea of troubles and wall paper, it is only you who can prevent forest fires. Have a good time, but whatever you do, dont call on me to help you. I know my limits. By the way, do you happen to know anyone in the market for some faux tin paper with circles and squares that almost match?
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Clean is good. Cleaning is not.
Kathryn Hammer, Nature Abhors a Vacuum
Housecleaning is like Chekov; it starts slow and then tapers off.
Henry Alford, The New York Times
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