The Grio

Former Bill Cosby fixer: I paid off women for him

Former Bill Cosby fixer: I paid off women for him

Back at the height of The Cosby Show’s success Frank Scotti was Bill Cosby’s fixer. Scotti told the NY Daily News that he would do anything that the comedian needed, including standing guard of his dressing room when Cosby had …

SNL spoofs ‘Black Annie’ and Jamie Foxx

SNL spoofs ‘Black Annie’ and Jamie Foxx

Last night SNL spoofed the upcoming Annie remake with a ‘Black Annie’ skit featuring the guest host Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan and Jay Pharaoh doing a respectable — if not funny — impression of Jamie Foxx as Daddy Warbucks

“Criminal Casanova” has conned women across...

“Criminal Casanova” has conned women across the US

Broward County, FL — Deputies call him the “criminal Casanova.” Trevor Thornton has conned women across the country, from Georgia to South Carolina to Virginia and even California.  His latest victim, Charmaine Pierre Louis, lost $14,000 when Thornton stole …

Marion Barry dead at 78

Marion Barry dead at 78

WASHINGTON (AP) — Divisive and flamboyant, maddening and beloved, Marion Barry outshone every politician in the 40-year history of District of Columbia self-rule. But for many, his legacy was not defined by the accomplishments and failures of his four terms …

Faizon Love supports Bill Cosby, calls Hannibal...

Faizon Love supports Bill Cosby, calls Hannibal Buress a house N***a

theGRIO REPORT - Don't worry Bill Cosby, Faizon Love has your back. Cosby, who lately seems to be accused of sexual assault on a daily basis, got some unlikely support from the 46-year-old Love - whom many remember as "Big Worm" from Friday...
Did Lisa Bonet just weigh in on Cosby’s rape...

Did Lisa Bonet just weigh in on Cosby’s rape allegations scandal?

Update: According to Lisa Bonet’s manager, the actress is not on Twitter and the following message in not authentic.

Did Lisa Bonet, who played Bill Cosby’s daughter Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show, send out a tweet addressing the Cosby …

Black Enterprise

TipHub To Hold Inaugural Diaspora Demo Day in...

TipHub To Hold Inaugural Diaspora Demo Day in Washington, D.C.

(Image: TipHub)TipHub, an innovation factory that provides startup assistance and services, has announced that it…
RECAP: Who’s Who of Entertainment Gather to...

RECAP: Who’s Who of Entertainment Gather to Celebrate ‘The Good Life,’ with Lexus

Black Enterprise hosted The Good Life event, sponsored by Lexus, gathering top entertainers and influencers…
Tiger Woods Slams ‘Golf Digest’ Magazine For...

Tiger Woods Slams ‘Golf Digest’ Magazine For Misreported Story

Future Hall of Famer Tiger Woods recently lashed out at fellow legend, Dan Jenkins, over…
NBC Nixes Show While TV Land Pulls All ‘Cosby...

NBC Nixes Show While TV Land Pulls All ‘Cosby Show’ Episodes

NBC and TV Land both have left the Bill Cosby business, as the latter pulled…
Dwight Howard Being Investigated For Child Abuse

Dwight Howard Being Investigated For Child Abuse

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard might be living it up at the top of the…
Actress Janice Dickinson Accuses Cosby; Netflix...

Actress Janice Dickinson Accuses Cosby; Netflix Shelves Special

Model and former reality TV star Janice Dickinson has just come out to join numerous…

The Root

Ohio Cop Shoots and Kills 12-Year-Old Boy Holding...

Ohio Cop Shoots and Kills 12-Year-Old Boy Holding Toy Gun

Updated Sunday, Nov. 23, 12:26 p.m. EDT: A 12-year-old boy holding a toy gun when he was shot by police outside a Cleveland, Ohio recreation center died early Sunday morning, a police union official confirmed for Cleveland.com.

Muriel Bowser, mayoral candidate, Washington, DC...

Muriel Bowser, mayoral candidate, Washington, DC Council member

On April 1, 2014, Muriel Bowser was elected the Democratic nominee for the office of mayor of the District of Columbia, defeating incumbent Mayor Vincent Grey. Most agree that Bowser’s mayoralty in the heavily Democratic city is all but guaranteed come November’s general election. As the second black woman to assume the top spot in governing the nation’s capital, she would oversee an $8.8 billion budget. For the last seven years, Bowser has served on D.C.’s City Council, and is the author of innovative "kids ride free" legislation, allowing all D.C. students through age 22 to ride public transportation for free during the school year.

Jennifer Brea, Filmmaker

Jennifer Brea, Filmmaker

Several years ago, Jennifer Brea was at a restaurant and lost the ability to sign her name. Her health quickly deteriorated; so much so, that she couldn’t speak her vows at her wedding. After years of misdiagnoses, she got a verdict: chronic fatigue syndrome, or more specifically, myalgic encephalomyelitis, thought to affect more than 1 million Americans. Brea, on medical leave as a doctoral student at Harvard, sought a way to document her harrowing health tailspin. Since the condition left her with the inability to write, Brea’s video journals became the documentary Canary in a Coal Mine. The film outlines Brea’s walk with this swiftly attacking, misunderstood (often deemed psychosomatic) disease, and raises awareness about the utter lack of understanding (and funding) by the medical establishment. For her untold story, Brea raised over $200,000 in a Kickstarter campaign and Canary was recently bestowed a grant from the Sundance Institute.

Lori Adelman, executive director, Feministing...

Lori Adelman, executive director, Feministing  

As executive director at the award-winning site Feministing, Lori Adelman writes and curates content on race, class, gender and the media.  Adelman’s voice is ever present on the front lines of the women’s movement, whether advocating meta-conversations about feminism in The Nation, or weighing in on radical feminists versus transgender women in the New Yorker. In addition to running Feministing, Adelman also works as an officer in the global division of Planned Parenthood, where she is an outspoken advocate of reproductive rights, especially in Latin America and Africa.

Mark S. Luckie, Social media specialist

Mark S. Luckie, Social media specialist

All things digital are among Mark S. Luckie’s domain. Currently manager of journalism and news at Twitter and the author of The Digital Journalist's Handbook, Luckie is a social media pro bringing more and more journalists to Twitter. Luckie started in the game early, penning his essential work The Digital Journalist's Handbook. He’s gone from helping news organizations like the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly optimize their Web reach, to helping members of those same organizations more effectively use Twitter for the benefit of all.

Mark Tatum, Deputy commissioner and chief...

Mark Tatum, Deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the NBA

In the NBA, recent history had shown that while there was diversity on the floor, the sports league was lacking in its backrooms and halls of power. Mark Tatum has been among the few faces of color to be counted among the stars in the upper echelons of the NBA. Part of the NBA since 1999, Tatum is described as an affable power broker and businessman, big on developing relationships that lead to results—from the board room to negotiating the league’s broadcasting and sponsorship deals. For basketball-business insiders there was little surprise when he was promoted to deputy commissioner this year.

Black Voices (Huffington Post)

Rudy Giuliani Says White Cops Are Needed To Stop...

Rudy Giuliani Says White Cops Are Needed To Stop Black People From Shooting Each Other

WASHINGTON -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on Sunday criticized what he described as lopsided coverage of the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, calling on the media to stop focusing on racially disproportionate police forces and pay more attention to black people killing one another.

"I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We're talking about the exception here," Giuliani said on NBC's "Meet The Press," referring to the Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, in Ferguson by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. Brown's death, which sparked extended and widely covered protests, has become a symbol for racial tensions in the United States.

Giuliani's comments, which were a response to a question from host Chuck Todd about the racial makeup of police departments, prompted an outraged reaction from fellow panelist Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University.

"First of all, most black of people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail," said Dyson. "Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as an agent of the state to uphold the law. So in both cases, that's a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn. ... Black people who kill black people go to jail. White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail."

"It's hardly insignificant," Giuliani interjected. "It is the reason for the heavy police presence in the black community."

Dyson and Giuliani's exchange continued back and forth, with the former mayor finally asking, "So why don't you cut it down [black-on-black crime] so so many white police officers don't have to be in black areas?"

"White police officers won't be there if you weren't killing each other 70 percent of the time," Giuliani added.

"This is a defense mechanism of white supremacy at work in your mind, sir," Dyson replied.

ProPublica recently found that "young black men are 21 times as likely as their white peers to be killed by police," according to data collected between 2010 and 2012.

And this tension isn't anything new. In 1967, a panel convened by President Lyndon Johnson after the race riots in Newark and Detroit characterized the relationship between police and minority communities as "abrasive."

"To pursue our present course will involve the continuing polarization of the American community and, ultimately, the destruction of basic democratic values," the panel concluded.

The racial disparity between police forces and communities at large remains significant. According to The New York Times, "[i]n hundreds of police departments across the country, the percentage of whites on the force is more than 30 percentage points higher than in the communities they serve, according to an analysis of a government survey of police departments."

Giuliani said on "Meet The Press" that as mayor, he had tried to make sure the racial makeup of New York City's police force was proportional to that of the general population.

Despite what Giuliani's comments may have implied, black-on-black crime is not a hidden, under-covered epidemic that's unique to the black community. As Matt Yglesias has pointed out at Vox, 83 percent of white murder victims in 2011 were killed by fellow white people.

Ferguson continues to await word on whether a grand jury will indict Wilson for shooting Brown. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has already, controversially, declared a state of emergency in anticipation of possible violence after the verdict. Many people believe it is unlikely that Wilson will be charged, given that it's rare for police officers to be arrested for on-the-job killings.

Giuliani said he didn't want to question Nixon's decision, but added, "What I would've done -- and I've had three situations similar to this -- I would've had a state of emergency, but I would've kept it quiet."

Want more updates from Amanda? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth.




Obama: Marion Barry 'Helped Advance The Cause Of...

Obama: Marion Barry 'Helped Advance The Cause Of Civil Rights For All'

President Barack Obama issued a statement Sunday on the death of four-time District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry.

Acknowledging his "at times tumultuous" public life, Obama praised Barry for his civil rights contributions and decades of service to Washington, D.C.:

Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Marion Barry. Marion was born a sharecropper's son, came of age during the Civil Rights movement, and became a fixture in D.C. politics for decades. As a leader with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Marion helped advance the cause of civil rights for all. During his decades in elected office in D.C., he put in place historic programs to lift working people out of poverty, expand opportunity, and begin to make real the promise of home rule. Through a storied, at times tumultuous life and career, he earned the love and respect of countless Washingtonians, and Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathies to Marion's family, friends and constituents today.


Barry died early Sunday at the age of 78. His family did not release a cause of death.

He first became mayor in 1979, serving three terms in office. In 1990, Barry was infamously arrested on drug charges as part of an undercover FBI investigation. He decided against running for re-election after his arrest, and ultimately served six months in jail after leaving his post. Barry was again elected mayor in 1994, and served until 1999. He also served three tenures on the D.C. city council, and was the representative for the city's Ward 8 at the time of his death.

Read more on Barry's life here.
I'm a Black Woman Who Dressed As a Nerd, a Video...

I'm a Black Woman Who Dressed As a Nerd, a Video Girl, and Myself on OKCupid, and Here's What Happened

This post originally appeared on Bustle.

By Paige Tutt

Will I always be perceived as the black girl with the big tits and the fat ass, or am I seen as the black girl with the big tits and the fat ass because of the way I dress? My mother would argue the latter. When I almost moved into a notoriously crime heavy part of Boston, my mom and I had a chat. She talked to me about crime rates, about how to be safe at night, about my behavior, and most importantly to her, about the "provocative" way I sometimes dressed. She believed it was inviting street harassment.

My opinion? I'm a grown woman, and I should be able to wear whatever I want. But my mother -- like it or not Mom, this is true -- cares a lot about how people perceive her, and me. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that her mother, my grandmother, used to always put on lipstick before she left the house. "You never know who you're going to see," she'd say. I was taught from a young age about the importance of perception.

So when Nicki Minaj's now infamous Anaconda album cover caused a Twitter explosion this summer, I was especially interested to see how it was perceived. I wasn't surprised when people said Minaj was ratchet, slutty, hyper-sexualized, and a bad role model.

When Minaj responded to the backlash by captioning her album cover "Unacceptable" on Instagram in juxtaposition with other "acceptable" images, she ended up making an unexpected but powerful point about the different standards black and white female sexuality are held to.

Angelic. Acceptable. Lol

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on




UNACCEPTABLE

Una foto publicada por Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) el




The controversy that arose made me wonder what people think about me based on how I present myself. Am I asking for negative male attention if I wear something that shows off my body? Am I opening myself up to criticism if I'm not completely covered? How are the perceived rules different for me as a black woman?

When I saw fellow Bustle writer Marie Southard Ospina's OKCupid experiment looking at how people responded to her dressing as different "types" on the site -- goth, retro, natural -- I couldn't help but wonder how the results would be different for me as a black woman. I decided to give it a shot.

THE RULES

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I changed the pictures on my profile once a week, allowing enough time for new people to register the change. The information on my profile always remained the same; the only thing that changed was the pictures. I didn't respond to any message during the duration of this experiment. Every comment you see under each persona is a direct image of the original first message I received from that user. No user appears twice in the results.

THE PERSONAS

I broke myself down into a few different personas, each representing one facet of my identity: The "Video Girl," The "Hipster/Nerd," The "Afrocentric," The "Professional," and The "Me-Yoncé."

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Inspired by Nicki Minaj's Anaconda album cover, this look was the most stereotypically "hyper-sexualized" of the five looks. This "video girl" side of me comes out from time to time on the weekends, if I'm going to concerts/events, or when I just want to look sexy. It's the sort of look my mother would deem inappropriate.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this was by far the most popular look when it came to the number of visitors viewing my profile. This look also received the most sexually explicit messages, along with messages that linked my race to my sexuality.

In the messages I got while this persona was up, I was heavily fetishized. Responses mentioning a love for darker women, black women, or big butts were common.

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This was definitely the most difficult profile to keep up for an entire week. After the first round of responses came in, I felt really emotionally drained and exhausted. It's hard to see how people think of you written out as opposed to just living your life without knowing.

What does it even mean when someone says "I've never dated a black girl but I've always wanted to?"

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A kid from my high school once told me, after a few beers, that he'd never been with a black girl and wanted me to be his first. He smiled, an almost sneer-like toothy grin, as if what he'd said was some sort of compliment. Was I supposed to be flattered? Why am I something to be sampled, like a new type of non-dairy ice cream? "Oh I've had the vanilla, I think I'll have a scoop of the chocolate just to give it a whirl."

Some of the responses made me feel like a lot of people think of me as just a different flavor, so much so that I considered calling the whole experiment off. It wasn't until I talked to a friend of mine that I decided to trudge on. She argued that regardless of how the comments made me feel, there was something to be learned from these responses and their honesty. So, I kept going.

THE HIPSTER/NERD

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This persona is a mixture of my appreciation for FKA Twigs and my love for some things that could warrant me being called a "nerd." It's also how I dress when I'm in class, on campus, or studying.

If I'm wearing thick rimmed glasses, my septum ring, and a crewneck t-shirt, I'm still a black woman -- I'm just not as blatantly and overtly sexual as the video girl look.

The messages this profile received reflect how dramatically a few accessory and wardrobe changes influenced who some users assumed I was, and the degree to which they fetishized me. In comparison to the "video girl" persona, this look garnered responses focused on the interests I listed on my profile. I got a lot of questions asking about Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, Tasty Burger, my nose ring, and, for some reason, smoking weed (an interest mentioned nowhere on my profile).

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None of the messages mentioned my race at all.

THE AFROCENTRIC

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I remember the first weekend I had these braids. I was out at a bar in Boston, and some guy made a joke likening me to a member of TLC because of my hair. I remember thinking to myself, "Which member of TLC was known for having braids like this? Oh yeah, none of them." After that, I think I became hyper-aware of the fact that people seemed to perceive me as "more black" when I had braids. I started experimenting with African head wraps and traditional prints in an effort to embrace a side of my heritage that had previously gone unexplored.

I felt that this look was the look where my race was most blatantly on display (or at least it was supposed to be), but only one visitor mentioned my race explicitly. I was expecting to have a ton of fetishized messages, but to my surprise, people just gave me compliments and occasionally mentioned information I had included in my profile.

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This was the first profile where I realized maybe I couldn't control people's perception of me just by changing what I wore. I had expected people to have a certain reaction, and when no one took the bait, I was so insanely frustrated. It seemed I understood the way people perceived me even less than I thought I did.

THE PROFESSIONAL

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I consider myself a young professional. In addition to freelancing and getting my master's, I work at an e-commerce company. The dress code at work is extremely casual, but from time to time I have meetings as well as events I have to attend, and need to dress up a bit. This look is about as professional as I get.

This profile was one of the most interesting to observe. A friend of mine said these pictures made me look kind of shy or reserved (which is funny because I would never use those two words to describe myself). Most of the messages I received seemed to reflect that. I got the most succinct responses for this look -- a lot of "heys," "hi's," "hellos," and "how are you doings." I received no comments about my race.

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The other looks showed a side of me that I think is more approachable, while this side of me is very straight-forward, a little quieter, and less open. I wondered if the way I present myself in a professional setting makes me seem at all unapproachable.

THE ME-YONCÉ

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I was the most stressed about posting this persona because it was just me being me. I wear a lot of black. I wear my septum ring almost everyday. I'm usually lying around in bed. I love wearing big black floppy hats and sunglasses that make me look like John Lennon. I tried to take pictures that represent aspects of who I am and what I'm about as a collective whole.

The pattern of messages I received for this look was the most erratic, perhaps because it was the least specific. Some people talked about Tasty Burger, some mentioned my nose ring, some wrote about my hair, and some just stuck with a casual "hello."

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I think this profile came off as the most approachable, which made me happy since it was just me being me. No one really overtly fetishized me or linked my sexuality and race for this profile either.

CONCLUSION

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As the experiment came to a close, I felt more confused than when I had started. It seemed as if men only really linked my race and sexuality in the first profile, and the responses to the rest of the personas I presented were fairly consistent. I thought back to when Marie did her experiment on OKCupid, and her results were far more varied. When she was doing her "goth" look, people really responded specifically to that particular look. "Let's be sad together," one wrote. "You're depressingly beautiful. Get it? Because you're beautiful and I am betting depressed," another said. When Marie was doing her "all natural, no makeup" look, people responded specifically to that particular look. One user said he respected her posting unaltered photos, but also thought she was crazy for doing so. Another said she was cute, but looked a bit sickly.

Like mine, Marie's "party girl" look received the most sexually explicit responses as well, but even those reactions seemed directly related to what she was wearing, not her race. She's Latina, but perhaps because Marie is so fair-skinned, her club look didn't prompt racial fetishization in the same way that mine did.

In my experiment, it seemed users placed me into one of only two categories: over-sexualized black being, or just "normal" girl. That is what fetishization looks like -- reducing someone to a type, rather than a person. This fetishization implies that people of color are no more than our bodies and our skin color, that we are something to be explored or "tried." And as I was forced to painfully confront, that noise is difficult to block out.

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After a couple of weeks doing this experiment, I started to question why I wore the things I did, especially my "video girl" wear. I took all of my going out clothes from my dirty clothes hamper, from my closet, from my drawers, and dumped them onto the floor. I started picking up each item, one by one, to decide why I wore it, if I could be in any way fetishized if I was seen in it, and whether that was enough to deter me from wearing it.

After a few hours of sorting, it seemed like almost anything I wore could possibly draw what, in the aftermath of the experiment, could be classified as the wrong type of attention, or result in me being fetishized.

Staring at the pile of clothing, I realized that people will always want to put me in a box -- but that doesn't mean I need to conform to what they think is acceptable or palatable. I don't need to tweak my expression of my sexuality to make certain people feel comfortable or to ward off negative attention. That's the strength in what Nicki Minaj did: her album cover said Yes, I'm a sexualized black being. So what.

And as difficult as it was in the beginning, that's what this experiment taught me in the end. I can be sexy and black, and while people may fetishize me, that still won't stop me from expressing my sexuality in the way that I choose to.

I decided to keep all of my "video girl" clothes, not just because I don't want to throw them away, but because I refuse to live my life on anyone's terms but my own.

I woke up the next morning, wiggled into my favorite jeans that hug my hips just so, popped in my septum, slid on my favorite black crop top, and with my midriff showing and head held high, I walked out the door. Would some people see my tightly denim-clad ass and crop top and think damn, I've never been with a black girl but I want to now? Potentially. But that doesn't mean I have to stop wearing tight jeans. Especially these ones, because they're my favorite.

Images: Nicki Minaj/Instagram (2), Paige Tutt

More from Bustle:

Kim Kardashian's Paper Magazine Shoot Has An Insanely Troubling Racial Problem

What "11 Things to Keep in Mind Before Dating a Black Woman" Video Teaches Us About Interracial Dating in America

I'm A Black Woman Dating A White Man and This Is The Actual Reality of Interracial Dating
Bruno Mars Became A Backup Singer While Mystikal...

Bruno Mars Became A Backup Singer While Mystikal Rapped On 'SNL'

Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson turned the "Saturday Night Live" stage into the funkiest dance club in New York City last night during the performance of their new hit, "Uptown Funk." But for Mars and Ronson's second song, a very unexpected guest joined the duo.

For "Feel Right," Mars took the backseat and joined his backup singers while rapper Mystikal took over. For those who remember, Mystikal is the rapper best known for the early '00s songs "Shake Ya Ass" (or the edited version, "Shake It Fast"), "Danger" and "Bouncin' Back." Mystikal is back and used his aggressive rap-yelling to bring a lively James Brown-esque vibe to the "SNL" stage for "Feel Right."

Watch the full clip above as Mystikal raps and Mars twirls and sings in the background, trying to pretend he's still not the star of the show.
Officer Shoots 12-Year-Old Boy Holding Fake Gun...

Officer Shoots 12-Year-Old Boy Holding Fake Gun At Rec Center

CLEVELAND (AP) — Police say a 12-year-old boy brandishing what turned out to be a fake gun at a Cleveland recreation center was shot and wounded by a responding officer.

Cleveland's Emergency Medical Service tells WOIO-TV (http://bit.ly/1FefMZO ) that the boy is at a hospital with serious injuries. His mother says he's in surgery for a stomach wound. The shooting happened at about 3:30 p.m. at Cudell Rec Center after officers responded to reports of a male with a gun.

Deputy Chief Ed Tomba tells the TV station the boy had the weapon in his waistband, pulled it out and one officer fired two shots. He says the boy didn't make any verbal threats or point the gun.

WOIO reports the gun was a replica of semi-automatic pistol, and the orange safety indicator in the muzzle was missing.
The Skeptics Guide To Buying And Hanging Wallpaper

The Skeptics Guide To Buying And Hanging Wallpaper

In case you missed the memo, wallpaper is making a comeback, resurging from a place where it had been banished for being too flowery, too hard to take down, and grossly overused alongside pouffy couches and other '80s decor.

With an emphasis on modern designs and sophisticated patterns, however, a new era of decorating with wallpaper is underway. But skeptics still abound. And if you've read this far, you're probably one of them.

Fear not. Buying and hanging wallpaper is neither a life-long commitment nor a DIY fail waiting to happen. Not if you follow the expert advice we rounded up here, anyway.

Where To Look
Sites like AllModern and Burke Decor could be a gold mine of decent papers, if you have a few hours to browse the wide range of options they offer. But if it's a to-the-trade-only paper you spotted on the pages of a magazine, getting your hands on it may not be as easy.

wallpaper guide

Just about all of the designers we asked recommended checking online first. "There are many great smaller start-ups that you can find online," says designer Brendan Kwinter-Schwartz. "They will send samples by mail, [and] they are usually the most current, cutting-edge wallpaper companies." Alternatively, design centers offer programs like the New York Design Center's Access to Design that allow you to work with a professional designer in any capacity -- "to hire for full-scale [projects] or even to work as a purchasing agent," designer Brett Bedlock explains.

Picking The Right One
If busy patterns are what's driving your skepticism about wallpaper, consider easing into it. "Start with something easy, like a textured paper," designers Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz suggest. "A grasscloth is a great example of a neutral that can still pack a big punch without a big splashy pattern. Also try an accent wall or just below-the-chair rail as a way to ease into it." Designer Kati Curtis recommends getting six to eight samples, taping them together and visualizing them in the space.

One other rule of thumb: "Stay away from gloss or metallic papers if you have a wall with imperfections. The shine will exacerbate the problem," says designer Eddie Lee. "Textures and thicker vinyls work best on imperfect walls -- they help hide what’s wrong."

wallpaper guide

How Much To Buy
Ahh, yes -- the tricky part. The amount of wallpaper to buy depends on the pattern repeat and how much coverage you'll need. As a general guideline, Lee has this advice:

Note the width of the paper (generally 20.5” for English papers; 27” for most US papers; 36” for most grasscloths and textures; and 54” for vinyls and paper-backed fabrics). Then, take a measuring tape and mark off how many widths you need to cover the room. Next, measure the wall height from top of baseboard to bottom of crown (in yards if that is how the paper is measured), and don’t forget to add for soffits. Take the number of widths and multiply by the height in yards and you have the yards needed. Lastly, divide by how the paper is sold (3 yards to a roll, 11 yards to a roll, etc.) to see how many rolls you need.


Too much math? Pop your measurements into this calculator at Lowes.com instead. Make sure you add an extra roll to your cart for matching, repeats and corners. (Use any leftovers for one of these genius wallpaper DIY ideas.)

Speaking Of DIY...
Refinishing an old dresser or freshening up a closet door is one thing, but when it comes to actually wallpapering a wall, designers agree: don't do it. "I would recommend hiring a pro if you are using traditional wallpapers that need edges trimmed, special adhesives or have tricky patterns to match," says Marks and Frantz. The exception, however, are the new wallpaper "tile" options designers like Curtis have used from companies such as Hyggee & West.

wallpaper guide

Paper Like A Pro
A bonafide wallpaper hanger should know this, but just in case, Marks and Frantz recommend applying an alkyd or acrylic primer to the wall surface and allowing it to dry for 24 hours before applying wallpaper. "This allows for better adhesion and future strippability," they say. And, always use a blank stock liner paper. According to the design duo, "This is a white paper that goes on before the actual wallpaper. It prevents any wall imperfections from poking through, helps prevent shrinkage and basically give the actual wallpaper a nice absorbent surface to adhere to."

If you're still mired in wallpaper fears, these 11 other tips for decorating your walls should help. Or, take a step back from the information overload and check out this gallery of favorite papers instead.

BET

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