I transformed my home office with removable wallpaper from Tempaper — installing it was harder than I thought, but worth the effort in the end

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  • I love bold walls, but not everyone does — so I decided to transform my home office with completely removable wallpaper from Tempaper.
  • I spent about $150 and four hours to create an accent wall — putting the paper up was harder than I thought.
  • I'm recommending Tempaper wallpaper to all my friends who rent since it peels off easily without damaging your walls.
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My boyfriend and I bought our house several years ago, but one room has been more or less forgotten since we moved in – our small third bedroom. The idea was that I'd use it as an office since I work from home, but it mostly became a catchall room for everything from my boyfriend's guitar gear to out-of-season jackets and boxes of books and movies. 

But when my boyfriend also started working from home, I decided it'd be good to take another crack at making it into a comfortable place to work. I like bold colors, but I know that future buyers of our house may not. So I decided to try stick-on, removable wallpaper from Tempaper. The wallpaper comes in rolls with a peel-off backing that sticks directly to the walls (much like a sticker) and doesn't require paste or messy glue. Because it doesn't permanently change the walls, it's ideal for renters.

The process wasn't quite as easy as putting a decal on the wall, but I think anyone could put it up with a little patience and a few basic tools. Here's what you should know about choosing and applying removable wallpaper, along with advice and tips from a first-time buyer. 

Overmeasure (and consider starting with a simple pattern)

I spent a lot of time researching wallpaper designs and colors because the market is huge. I had no idea so many designs were available, and because I wasn't sure what theme I wanted for my office, it took a while to make a decision. Eventually, I ordered a vintage-inspired jungle print from Tempaper. While the site's selection of patterns isn't as extensive as Etsy's or Wayfair's, Tempaper's prices were the most affordable overall. And because they offer extra-large rolls, I only needed to buy two. 

To buy the correct amount, you'll need to know the square footage of your walls. Keep in mind that you'll need to buy more than you'll actually need, especially if you choose a pattern that needs to match up between pieces (like mine). The pattern on my wallpaper repeats vertically every two feet, so I had to trim the excess off the top of each strip to ensure the pattern matched up. The wall I covered is 8 feet tall by 11.5 feet wide, meaning I needed 92 square feet of wallpaper to cover it. I bought two double rolls of wallpaper (120 square feet total) and probably have about 16 square feet left. Even if your pattern doesn't require the strips to match up, order a little extra in case you make a mistake or rip a panel (though I found the Tempaper wallpaper nearly impossible to tear).

I used painter's tape to lightly adhere the panels to the wall before removing the adhesive backing.Suzie Dundas/Business Insider

Though our application wasn't perfect, the room looks like it got a serious upgrade for under $200. Aside from painting the other walls white and rearranging some furniture, we didn't do much else to the room. The wall makes a statement that doesn't require any more significant additions, aside from maybe hanging a simple piece of art over my desk.

A month after applying the Tempaper wallpaper, it hasn't peeled or curled up in the corners, and I'm considering using a different pattern in our master bathroom. Next time, I might start with a more straightforward pattern that doesn't require the strips to be so precisely aligned. I'm sure the process will move a lot quicker that way. 

The removal process is the easiest part 

Though I haven't taken down my finished wall, I did a small test to gauge how easy the wallpaper was to peel off once it had been on the wall for several hours. Tempaper's claim checks out – the peel-and-stick wallpaper was extremely easy to remove. My test square peeled off in one piece and left no residue or marks on the wall; you could absolutely not tell it was ever put up. I tried to re-stick it after peeling it off and found that it lacked a bit of adhesiveness, so it's probably not reusable. It may work for a craft project, like covering a mirror frame or desk drawer, but it would probably not work again on a wall.

Temporary wallpaper is definitely pricier than a gallon of paint 

Tempaper ended up being one of the most affordable options for me considering the square footage I needed to cover due to their generously sized rolls. But even though I bought it during a very steep sale, it still costs more than $150 to cover the wall, which is more than a gallon of paint would cost. Sites that price by the square foot will be even more expensive for large spaces.

I found more affordable options at Tempaper, AllModern, and Target. Etsy has thousands of beautiful patterns, but most start around $4 a square foot; mine cost around $1.10 per square foot. If cost isn't a concern, consider a pattern from Anthropologie or spring for a trendy ombre design from EazyWallz (though the latter would have been close to $700 to cover my same wall).

I'm thrilled I took a chance on removable wallpaper

I absolutely love the way my home office looks. It's now a much more pleasant space to work in and motivates me to be productive – which is more than I can say for when it was just four bare, butter-yellow walls. And because the wallpaper is the focal point of the space, I don't need to spend much extra money on decor or art. I recommend it to everyone who wants a serious home upgrade without any permanent changes.

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