Frugal Friday: Semi-Upholstered Walls

Frugal Friday: Semi Upholstered Walls

I love Frugal Friday…it’s the day we quietly slip off Louboutin and put on DSW

Hello classic. Louboutin at Niemans. $700+

you know you have done it…:)

Sweet fun. Marc by Marc Jacobs at DSW. $199 – ish

Today?

How to customize your Couture Chateau when you really want fabulous upholstered walls but need that frugal alternative

This Lee Jofa Silk has such a beautiful hand. Found this beautiful picture on ebay of all places…

I blame my training in NYC for this obsession

 Silk Taffeta in a Park Avenue Private Elevator & Entry?

What a way to learn. Divine.

Problem was, I spent the next few years trying to figure out how to DIY it…(sort of)

Here you go:

1) Drywall Panels. The Acoustical Kind. 4 x 8 sheets. Hardware Store or Lumber Yard. Pay for delivery if no big suv = cumbersome & semi-fragile. Have used 1/2″ & 3/4″.

Basically Drywall that is rated for Sound Proofing. Different Texture than regular drywall. Brown or white, available at Lumber Yards. Has a “cottony” texture on the face.

2) Proper Framing/Fir Strips or Attachment for Hanging. We use 3/8″ plywood strips at upper edge & attach cleat hanging systems (metal or wood).

a fir strip is essentially a piece of wood used to stabilize or even out a surface. for our purposes we attach at the leading top edge on the back and use it to strengthen the hanging cleat. if fabric won’t hold with staples into panels, use additional fir strips around the perimeter of the entire panel on the back.

3) Wrap, Upholster (no batting), Install.

4) Trim out with fantastic gimp & nail heads.

We have 10 custom panels in our 600 sq foot Design Studio

Why I like this Custom Alternative (where appropriate):

A) Custom Wall Upholstery is expensive. Very. Especially done right.

B) This = slightly temporary. And easily customized. Can morph from frugal headboard (no batting, no plywood in size) to pin board upholstery in teenagers room to simple wall upholstery. It’s easy to make it “you”.

C) If you have a fabric you love but don’t have $$$$ to purchase the 120+ yards necessary this is a FRUGAL alternative

Warning:

You know the drill…skill & time. Rush + poor execution = looks cheap!

This is not “cheap Friday”, it’s Frugal Friday….;)

Musings

When I “unearthed” this trick, I was a (broke) 20 something designer watching a temporary installation going up. I asked what the set designer was using.

Brills.

You can learn a LOT from set designers ;).

They are always making custom spaces and places, “couture chateau’s” for peeps.

Have a fantastic weekend. And remember…

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann

4 thoughts on “Frugal Friday: Semi-Upholstered Walls

  1. OK, so technical questions here …. You use the gimp or tape to cover the seams between the drywall panels? And presumably you need to cut the panels to size, whatever type of square or rectangle you are using? Because unless it is an 8 foot ceiling exactly, you can’t just use the sheet as is? I’m very interested in this set design trick!!

    • Hi Traci! If you want the panels to read as a solid wall, then yes, cut to size. For the most part, we use the gimp along each edge rather than covering the seams. Why? because labor & installation costs then approach same as just upholstering the walls. Something to look at ahead of time. I will take a picture and upload so you can see how we handle adjacent panels with gimp. We also install them just below molding and allow a gap = intentional looking. No fooling anyone as it isn’t real wall upholstery. Let me know if you have any other questions! Best, Ann

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