It was on a First Friday stroll down Berkeley’s bustling Tennyson Street early this summer that I saw something that stopped me in my tracks: Covered Wallpaper, a haunt beloved for its expertly curated selection of bold, beautiful patterns, was gone. Owners Ashley Allen and Carrie Dailey, who opened the shop in January 2012, had apparently moved out of the 500-square-foot home they’d been renting as a storefront and locked the door behind them. I was crushed until I found out they had simply done what many of us do as we grow up: They’d bought a bigger home in a different neighborhood (an 1890 Victorian in the northwest section of Baker, to be exact).
Allen’s husband, Adam Martin, spent about eight months renovating the dilapidated house, tearing down plaster, cutting new trim, and repairing the exposed brick walls, which now play host to many more panels of display papers than the old store could hold. (Bonus points if you can spot the patch of the previous residents’ wallpaper he left exposed.) There’s plenty of elbow room at the two tables Martin crafted for visitors to peruse Covered Wallpaper’s ever-increasing inventory of books from brands such as Cole & Son, JuJu Papers, and Osborne & Little.
The move also made space for the duo to add items like paste and stencils, as well as wrapping paper and greeting cards from Denver newcomer Craftbelly to their on-site offerings. Not a homeowner with the power to paper your walls yet? Allen and Dailey get it, which is one reason that they offer custom panels like the ones they use in the store for $105 each—a relative bargain for what’s essentially a giant piece of art.
While store hours are still limited (Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and by appointment), there’s now a book drop in the back so you can return any samples you’ve borrowed on your own time. Or, of course, you can still visit Covered Wallpaper on First Fridays—now as a part of the Art District on Santa Fe’s monthly celebration. 466 Santa Fe Drive, 303-501-0654
Follow copy chief Jessica LaRusso on Twitter at @JessLaRusso.