In 2009, but really it's 1974.
A close-up of the wallpaper with lucite handles.
A densely-patterned wallpaper covered the upper cabinets and all of the walls. It was actually a very clever way to make the uppers disappear. The "nice gay decorator from Palm Springs" the original homeowner had hired was way ahead of his time.
Last year, we removed every lick of wallpaper except for the cabinets doors. It wouldn't budge and it was going to cost over $2500 to have new fronts made to match the lower cabinets. I considered new slab fronts to keep the cost down, but they really wouldn't mesh with the existing base cabinets.
The first of ten grasscloth-ed cabinet fronts.
With time evaporating as our self-imposed listing deadline quickly approached, I struck upon the idea of covering the uppers with grasscloth. It would be true to the era of the house and embrace a once-again hot decorating trend. I wanted to use a deep steely gray, but my former-realtor girlfriend convinced me to rein in my design desires and go with a neutral to complement the existing cabinets. I choose a warm beige cut with light gray from Seabrook's Elements of Nature book.
After several days of wrangling obstinate, stiff grasscloth and sailor-league cussing, I'm incredibly pleased with the results. The trick to getting the corner wrap right was using my clothing steamer to soften the paper. I will tell you the recommended adhesive for grasscloth can be too lightweight to keep the sides down, so I touched up areas (especially around the hinges) with white Gorilla Glue.
This was my last major project and I'm beyond relieved to be at the end of it all. Another day of cleaning and I'll be ready for the realty photographer Tuesday morning. Many houses in our neighborhood having been selling in under a week, with one going under contract in less than 24 hours after 20 showings in one day. Fingers crossed the realty fairy (she wears a sparkly rainbow-trimmed boxy jacket from Chico's) is waving her magic wand our way!