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Friends roll out wallpaper store for DIYers

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Design fans who have fawned over the recent upturn in interesting, vibrant contemporary wallpapers are in luck:

A new Berkeley neighborhood boutique caters to such trendy decorating tastes and was especially conceived for do-it-yourselfers.

The idea for the store, called Covered Wallpaper, germinated when two friends — partners in crafting and fellow fans of the defunct home-design magazine Domino — started hunting for local examples of fun, funky wallpapers to populate their blog on the subject. (That blog now lives on the new store’s website: coveredwallpaper.com.)

A few examples that got their attention: the “Woods” wallpaper pattern by Cole & Sons at the Upper 15th Street bar Forest Room 5 and the craft store Fancy Tiger’s original location, and a collection of vintage Italian wallpapers at the LoHi dining hot spot Linger.

“As we were researching,” says Covered Wallpaper co-owner Carrie Dailey, “we found all these great papers by small independent designers. They’re really more artists than designers.”

Feeling inspired to paper a wall of her own home, Dailey reached out to established Denver design showrooms and found it difficult to secure samples of the fresh wallpaper patterns that most appealed to her.

“We just felt like there was a gap in the market,” she says, “and (wallpaper) could be more accessible.”

Although it has periodically suffered from the reputation of being stoic or tacky — think Victorian parlor or ’70s bachelor pad — today’s wallpaper showcases eye-catching graphics and ultra-modern color schemes.

“It’s definitely back,” says Covered Wallpaper co-Ashley Allen.

Why? Because the popularity of faux finishing is waning, and the recent economic climate has folks in the mood for artful interiors.

“Now that people are more comfortable with accent walls and mixing color and patterns,” Allen says, “wallpaper has become more popular.”

Dailey and Allen’s shop, where samples are mounted and hung like art works, could be confused with a small gallery. A blocky, salvaged wood table holds court at the center of the store. Here customers are invited to flip through wallpaper sample books and design magazines.

Down the road, store owners hope to stock wallpapers manufactured locally, provide an opportunity for customers to design their own wallpaper and start a remnant exchange or resale program.

“We just want (the store) to be a comfortable place where people can come in and stay for a while,” Allen says.

Covered Wallpaper is at 4318 Tennyson St. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and by appointment. To reach the store: 303-455-2372 or coveredwallpaper.com.

Elana Ashanti Jefferson

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Paper pushers

Owners of the new Denver wallpaper boutique Covered Wallpaper compiled these tips for design-savvy dwellers.

• Patterns featuring strong colors and bold graphics tend to work best in smaller rooms like bathrooms or hallways.

• Textured plaster can pose a challenge to successfully hanging wallpaper, but there are fixes for this. Possible solutions include disguising the wall’s original texture with a technique called Knockdown, installing a paper liner beneath the decorative paper, or (the messiest option) sanding down the wall before hanging the paper.

• Self-adhesive wallpaper is not likely to look as finished as papers that adhere with old-fashioned wallpaper paste.

• Renters might consider papering a door, cabinet or piece of furniture.

• Many online tutorials exist to help with a do-it-yourself job. But for the best results, including a well-aligned pattern repeat, consult a professional.

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