Wallpaper: The Stay or Go Dilemma
February 13, 2019
While wallpaper is once again an attractive decorating trend for homeowners looking for textures and accents, it's not for everyone. Designer Jessica Lagrange of Jessica Lagrange Interiors in Chicago works primarily with luxury clients who love wallpaper. Here’s what she advises about the “stay or strip” decision before listing a home.
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1. The clash test. Some wall coverings are neutral, such as those with small patterns, intriguing textures in soft hues, or subtle metallic finishes. These are assets if they’re chosen in conservative or traditional colors, Lagrange says. The litmus test is how severely the print clashes with a range of furnishings and artworks.
2. An education campaign. There are wallpaper treatments that are extraordinary, such as some scenic wallpapers that cost thousands of dollars. Listing agents should have a strategy in place to educate buyers and other agents who aren’t familiar with wallpaper. If buyers aren’t interested, sometimes wallpaper can be removed and reused by the seller, Lagrange says.
3. Be willing to part with the paper. Big-personality wallpapers can be exciting in small doses, such as accent walls. But not everyone will agree. A seller should be ready to remove wallpaper if a buyer isn’t wild about it.
4. Get real. If a paper looks worn, dirty, or ripped and can’t be repaired, then the sellers need to remove it rather than having it become an eyesore during showings—no matter how much they love it, she says.
Updated: May 11, 2021