Remember a few weeks ago when I was talking about renter-friendly updates for our apartment? I'm so excited to report that a big one on our list is done! Over the weekend, Kristie and I installed temporary wallpaper in the built-in bookshelf in our living room. It has completely changed the space, and feels so special and so cool!
After doing some research, I came across an awesome company called Swag Paper, which makes really sturdy but still removable "peel and stick" wallpaper. They have a ton of beautiful designs, and I almost fell for these contemporary triangles, but then I remembered that I'm not the only person who lives here (ha!). Kristie is a serious map lover, and I knew we'd land in Swag Paper's vintage map collection. And naturally, we chose Paris. So not only is it a cool vintage vibe-y map, but it's a place that's special to us, too. (It reminds me of how we prepared for our trip!)
I figured Swag Paper would send us like a random slice of a larger version of the map that would fit in our weirdly shaped bookcase. But instead, one of their designers was available to tweak the image so it fit as perfectly as possible in a vertical space! I sent Will pictures, and he put so much thought and time into making sure the map would work for us the best way possible.
I've struggled with this built-in all five years we've lived here. It's so dark! (See an even older picture.) My most recent solution was to buy a bunch of white posterboard, and slide it behind the shelves. My heart was in the right place, I think? But yeah...in practice, that was not a good idea. I just used scotch tape to attach the paper together, and over time it yellowed, and the paper bowed, and the seam was soooo obvious...
So. Time for something new. (And better.)
We started by taking everything off the shelves, gleefully throwing away the posterboard, and removing the shelves themselves. Kristie wiped it all down, and I removed the plate from the outlet we'd forgotten was back there.
All right, enough of that. Kristie and I watched Swag Paper's installation video and then got down to business.
Installation was really straightforward, although I freaked out because my first attempt was crooked. Luckily it was easy to peel the paper back off and start again. It felt so resilient, I wasn't worried when I had to start over five more times! You could tell it was high-quality, and not really at all like contact paper (which I kind of thought it would be).
Installation took about an hour. Putting everything back? That took a little longer. I wanted to be as discerning as possible with what ended up back on the shelves. Some of our favorite and most meaningful books, treasures from adventures around the world (I got that blue vase in Copenhagen), a vintage radio, a framed picture of Samson's paw print, binders of cards and letters, a little green bird that was one of two on the sweetheart table at our wedding. All with the backdrop of this beautiful map.
Oh, and Swag Paper is having a big spring sale right now – get 30% off sitewide with the code "SPRING30"!
*Thank you Swag Paper for sending the removable wallpaper for us to try out and enjoy!