Charlie & The Wallpaper Factory
This blog comes courtesy of Rachael Beck @thegirlwiththepinkkitchen
“Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! The Wallpapered Room!”
(does a somersault)
Once upon a time, in a world of pure imagination, on the outskirts of sleepy town in England, so shines a good deed in a weary world. Whilst strolling through the small village squares of Instagramville, a man named Mr. Arthur Slugworth approached this humble girl with dishelved hair to work alongside him. If I kindly obliged to his requests, I could choose ANY “wall candy” I so wished, to makeover our little girl’s bedroom. Ahhh! The dream! I was also asked if I could write a blog about my experience. This is all he wanted from myself, so he could then share insight with others about this, “wallpaper factory.”
Some say, this wallpaper invention was built on “93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.” But, please don’t quote me on that. Before this ‘secretive suited man’ wearing a black felt top hat disappeared, he uttered to me this…….
(eyes bulging bright through his spectacles)
“Think it over, will you? Colourful new wallpaper for you and your family. Happiness and joy for the rest of your lives. I just want your feedback. And don’t forget the name “MILTON AND KING!”
I was just a girl, standing in front of Mr. Slugworth
asking him to love her. No, wait! That’s another movie line. Scratch that. Let’s try this again. I was just a girl, standing in front of Mr. Slugworth with a big decision to make. Of coarse I said, YES! I felt incredibly fortunate in that moment standing there, even though it was in fact a dark alley. But that’s besides the point. I still felt rather lucky to be asked to collaborate alongside the wallpaper factory. It was as if I just opened my very own ‘Wonka Bar’ with the sought after golden ticket inside. I could practically smell the cocoa beans upon my nose. (wallpaper paste)
I knew prior to to designing the space, that I needed our very own Charlie B, who is 4 years old, to be involved in her own bedroom makeover. Upon my rather unexpected meeting with Mr. Slugworth, I ran home as fast as I could to tell her. Literally speaking as someone was screaming at me to do so. “Run girl, run! Run straight home and don’t stop until you get there!” How peculiar, eh? The following day, I told our Charlie the good news and what had happened. She leapt out of bed singing and dancing all up and about. “Go on then, Charlie! Go explore and choose any “wall candy” you wish. This day shall now be named, ‘Charlie and the Wallpaper Factory.'”
Little fun fact: No other wallpaper company in the world prints its paper by waterfall…. But it is the only way if you want them, “just right!” After gazing at all our delicious paper choices and nibbling on Wonka’s Snozberries…
Snozberries? Who ever heard of a Snozzberry?
Our Charlie’s sweet tooth eventually chose Kitty Mccall’s Summer Garden. Charlie expressed to me that it was her most favourite EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER! If you ever get 4 “EVER’S” from a 4 year old, that’s a lot folks, for future reference.
This was indeed the start of something great and I am beyond thankful. These small steps were finally set in place to begin to achieve that vibrant space for our sweet little girl. A place that made her not only feel special, but also to make her feel happy and calm, a room that Charlie can literally, “grow” with. The patterned paper itself could hopefully “grow” up alongside Charlie too. The design is whimsical in a way, feeling colourfully bold and happy! Without feeling too grown up, it has so much moxie! I adore anything in life that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This pattern definitely doesn’t. I’d happily hang it in every room.
Speaking of rooms. I get a bit emotional thinking that THIS wallpaper and THIS room will now fill Charlie’s memories for years to come. All surrounded by her favourite items that actually mean something personal too, which was vital in her “big girl bedroom design.” ‘Summer Garden’ was exactly that, in one colourful candied covered nut shell, an “Everlasting Gobstopper” of colours. I can assure you this paper and pattern “grows” straight into your heart.
Furthermore, I painted in her room by hand, a “wonky” rainbow mural. (I wrote a poem about it below if you fancy reading). This rainbow mural is on the adjoining wall whilst matching some of the colours inside the wallpaper itself. I equally wanted to attempt a colour clash with some leftover paint. This theory I had was meant to make the wallpaper POP even more-so! I was desperately hoping it all didn’t go pear-shaped to then have the ‘Mr. Salt’s’ of our time say, “It’s a LOT of nonsense!” But as Willy Wonka himself may reply, “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” I knew first and foremost that I wanted a colour I hadn’t seen often.
I must admit, I was a bit hesitant upon the first paint stroke. I replayed that line in my head over and over to help get me through that and said, “It’s just paint!” Then, as soon as it was painted, I sighed a sigh of relief. (Phew!) I knew straight off the bat that it matched Charlie’s firecracker personality. We were all absolutely smitten by how it all blended and mixed together. But not. But did. But not. But DID! Does that makes sense?
The colour clash I chose to paint the original door, trim, and skirting boards is cleverly named ‘Charlotte’s Locks’ by Farrow and Ball. It is an utterly delectable, bold and orangey red. Our Charlie B is a Charlotte you see! We simply call her Charlie or, C for short. The paint name we chose was by pure coincidence. Quite fitting. Eh? Ah? “Fitting?” Some D.I.Y. puns in there for ya!
“So much time here and so little to see!” Strike that. Reverse it. I need to be honest here with you though. The suspense of hanging this wallpaper was TERRIBLE!! My only wish is that suspense lasted longer. (smiles and bites lip) The process itself, however, of installing the wallpaper went well, as we had a nice smooth surface to work with upon the wall.
We papered only the one wall. Unlike some of the other “wonky” walls in our old home, this wall was thankfully in good shape. In hindsight, I believe we lucked out. The wall was prepped by us when we first bought our home only a few years back. We spent several days and nights sanding, filling and painting every wall. Then, we smoothed all the bumps out on them, which wasn’t fun work by any means, but was key. Something our future selves would soon thank us for. Now, let’s talk about the prep shall we?
What a funky little word that is eh? “Prep!” Blah! I know exactly what you are pondering. I loathe it too. However, the humble and much needed “Mr. Prep,” if you will, is the most important bit. Just remember this tip if you’re ever about to embark on your own wallpaper journey. Please invest in quality tools, as any good decorator or tradesperson will tell you. I’m no professional at hanging wallpaper. I’m also only a novice decorator at that. But, I can assure you. It honestly could be done correctly the first time, and also swiftly with time and patience. Most importantly, this wallpaper IS an investment, and wouldn’t you want it be the star of show? The icing on the cake? If we eat with our eyes, then isn’t that the same with design?
Before you go along saying this particular wallpaper is “too pricey!” Hey! I’d have to agree with you. You didn’t see that one coming, did you? But, do me a favour. Go add up your takeaway’s, Butterscotch Butter Gin and ‘Fizzy Lifting Drinks.’ “Candy is dandy but liquor isn’t quicker in this case to getting you this 100 percent pure wallpaper.” All I’m saying is, if you make the splurge, remember that you are investing in art and quality. You won’t regret it.
Once the wallpaper had her grand finale in the room, the first word that left my lips was “Scrumdiddlyumpcious!” I honestly could not think of a more appropriate word. Plus, if you’ve made it this far, and haven’t guessed already, there is a theme going here guys! I suddenly became, ‘Ogustos Gloob’ and wanted to devour all the flowers off the walls shoving them into my big gob until my wallpaper heart exploded into a million pieces. (flute plays)
“A way to a girls heart is through paint and wallpaper,” they say. Well, this girl’s heart anyway. Throw in some chocolate too, since we are here. YUMMMMMM!!!!
Before I go, I do have ONE miniscule complaint. Something inside me was, in fact, left un-satisfied with this wallpaper experience. I had instantly morphed into the, ‘Veruca Salt’ of the world and found myself wanting more and more and MORE of this magical place and all that was inside it. I now want alllllll the papers in the Milton & King Wallpaper Factory.
Don’t care how, I want it NOW!
Don’t care how, I want it,
(plummets down the, ‘bad egg’ chute)
Moral of this story:
“Don’t forget what happened to the girl who suddenly got everything she wanted…she lived happily ever after!”
All thanks to Milton & King, the Willy Wonka of Wallpaper. “Wonkapaper”
W O N K Y RAINBOW
Here’s a wonky rainbow, my mommy painted just for ME!
In case some of you don’t know this. Hi! I’m Charlie, and I am THREE!
Mommy’s never done this sorta thing before, and she didn’t know what to do.
But, I loveeeeee this wonky rainbow, and I’m hoping you’ll love it too?
Her hand was a little wobbly, and the mural’s a weeeee bit mad?
No two rainbows are alike you see, all unique, with different colours.
Now… how could that be bad?
My mommy told me a secret, and I’ll share it now with you.
I hope it may help you out someday, if you’re ever feeling BLUE?
“It’s okay to NOT be perfect, and NOT be happy all the time.
Every step is still a step forward in this life…..
We are ALL here to climb.
Some days you might feel sad, and not want to feel at ALL.
Just like these “imperfections” ‘upon your wonky wall.”
Some may call this weakness, but my mommy calls it “STRENGTH.”
“To start somewhere you MUST BEGIN!”, she said
“No matter WHAT the length.”
These lines appear quite bumpy, with unexpected curves, and turns.
But your approval ISN’T needed and not one I wish to earn.
“They will judge you for what they DON’T know!
My mommy says to me.
“But still. ‘BE YOU!’ That’s all that matters, and be allllll that YOU can be!
YOU have soooooo much more to offer, than ANYONE can see!”
Life will throw stuff at me HARD someday.
This world just ISN’T NICE!
But mommy says, “ALL will be lessons learned,”
and then I might think TWICE.
Someday those imperfections, will teach me what life is allllllllll about.
That I mustn’t let my voice be silenced, and let that stupendous sound within me SING OUT!
My mommy says that I am a LION, and within my chest a “ROARRRRRRR!!!!!!”
I’m not quite certain what all that means just yet…
but maybe when I’m FOUR?
Within the perfect imperfections, and all this story shows.
This rainbow is still beautiful, like a, ‘MICHEL….AN……GELO.’
Someday this mural’s memories…
I’ll tell MY children alllllllllllllllllllllll about.
The day MY mommy painted this rainbow on my wall.
And LOVED ME with ALL her WONKY HEART!