Wonder Walls

Why paint when you can paper instead?

By Kristin Belz February 18, 2012


Juju Papers wallpaper brings whimsical leaves of the Northwest forest inside all year.

Time was when wallpaper was a common way to cover a wall; along with providing color and pattern, it camouflaged the imperfections of the plaster the wall was made of. That time, however, was a long time ago. With sheetrock came a preference for paint. Styles and habits wax and wane, though; could it be time for a resurgence of wallpaper power?

Two local companies are making a run of it, by making small runs of handcrafted wallpapers. The downtown West End neighborhood shop Woonwinkel carries the craftwork of both Makelike and Juju Papers. The wallpapers offered by the small, carefully curating shop capture the 2012 Portland zeitgeist: artisanal yet ready-made, at once ornate and simple. And with a clear focus on foliage.

Makelike is a small design studio of artist/creatives who have toiled at graphic arts, branding and advertising for many years in the service of cool corporate clients. The multi-media experts now produce housewares as well, with a line of tea towels accompanying their several hand-screenprinted wallpaper designs.

The designs defy categorization. Fungi and fir trees figure prominently. Colors contrast boldly, and often include metallic gold. The patterns and palettes of the two lines, Cactus and Forest, would hold up to an eclectic range of furniture styles and definitely create an accent wall worthy of notice.

Wallpapers from another Portland company, Juju Papers, are the product of Avery Thatcher and her whimsical, light hand. Her patterns have a sketchlike, homespun quality. Simple leaves falling neatly in A view of the woods are almost childlike, while what look like elaborately interlocking dandelion and chicory leaves in Salad Days create a lightly ornate black lined pattern on a white field.

Should you decide it’s time to refresh your walls via some rolls of paper, here’s an excellent article to help you avoid common DIY mistakes.

935 SW Washington
Portland, OR 97205
Tues-Sat 11-6
Sun 12-5
(closed Monday)

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