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Do You Guys Like Raufasertapete?

I can’t stop thinking about my walls lately. This past week I was hired to work for a major client on an advertising campaign here in Europe, so I had to do a lot of shooting using my home as a studio space. It was SO much fun and worked out beautifully, mostly because I made some nice backdrops for the walls, etc. but I kept feeling really discouraged with my ugly raufasertapete walls. I know you have heard me complain about this before, but in Germany nearly every rental property is coated with raufaser – it’s this super dated and tacky wood chip wallpaper that, while it may have been popular during the Bauhaus period, I vote we move on and have smooth, normal walls in rentals. That way, it’s easier to paint or paper over them and apply things like decals and washi tape (particularly fun in children’s rooms). Smooth walls are also so easy to clean and maintain. Plus, raufasertapete tears super easy. Here is what it looks like.

Raufasertapete - how to manage

Raufasertapete makes me cringe for so many reasons, but mostly cosmetic ones. But there are also the problems you run into painting it. You have to apply 3-4 coats, sometimes more depending on how deep the color is, because it just soaks in your paint color like a sponge and a lot of times, the color isn’t so even when you are finished which is particularly noticeable if you’ve used a really dark shade, like charcoal. If you want to clean raufasertapete you can spot clean it, which takes a long time, or you can paint over it which is what nearly everyone does – paint over dirt, stains, smudges, candle smoke, etc. I don’t want to sound snobby but paint over dirt? No thanks.

While I singlehandedly cannot change what people want to put in rental property here, I keep thinking about what I can change in my own rental home without getting in hot water. We are looking to buy a home now, but the house hunt will take years and I’m all for future thinking but you also have to love where you live today and for me, the one big thing that makes me love my home less is the raufasertapete everywhere. Thankfully, the landlord didn’t put it on the ceiling in the four rooms in front of the house, but in the hallway, kitchen, guest room, master bed, both baths and my husband’s office, she put it on the ceiling too – which just makes it look like those equally bad “popcorn” ceilings in American. Thankfully, my ceilings are SOARING so you don’t really notice it at all but still. Such a shame to see this cheap paper in a gorgeous period home built in 1900. Why do people devalue their property and take out the charm just because it’s a rental property?

Raufasertapete - how to manage

So I’m thinking a lot about ways to camouflage it, especially since more and more magazines want to hire me to style for them and shoot in my studio, and because I’m shooting my next book partly in this space, so what can I do? I cannot learn to live with it. I tried for 3 years and I cannot change the fact that I think it’s the ugliest stuff on the earth. Sure, it’s white and you don’t “see” it unless you are photographing against it – but when you style shots you mostly are styling against a wall if you are showing art or photos or shelving, etc., so the wood chip ‘bumps’ are super visible and even appear grayish and cast odd shadows and some days, it even goes a bit yellow in the sunlight.

Raufasertapete - how to manage

I thought to use wallpaper, though my landlord says I cannot paint or wallpaper my walls, but I think that is very unfair given what we pay for our apartment so I’m thinking to speak to her again. I want to do remove the raufasertapete and hire someone to smooth out the walls and then paint them in muted Farrow & Ball colors (nothing dark, I really dislike dark walls). I wonder what she’ll think of that? I’m a little afraid to ask! And I would only do it if I didn’t have to return everything back to the way it was when we rented it – meaning, install the raufasertapete all over again. No way, I would never do that, the smooth walls are so much more beautiful and easier to wipe clean and only make the property more valuable and gorgeous.

I was also thinking to spare the expense and headaches and leave the walls as they are and just hang murals like the ones shown in this post from Anthropologie, or buy wood panels and create some wood backgrounds behind my bed or sofa, for instance… Or mount some plywood on the wall above my sofa and wallpaper it, or or OR! I just keep thinking, what can I do!?

I think, aside from learning German, raufasertapete is the most challenging thing for me since I moved here – thankfully I love German but not the wood chip paper. Our last apartment had it too. I just don’t get it. And I just don’t want it!

Any opinions to share?

(images: anthropologie)


Posted by decor8 in Rooms on April 27, 2013

Your comments...

  1. Judith commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 3:52pm

    I don’t like raufaser either and I’m glad here in France it’s not the standard. In a previous rental we had pale pink and green flowery old fashioned wall paper with a “frieze”. Super ugly and as even the door were wallpapered like this, it felt like were were stuck in an oldfashioned english bouquet. But lots of rentals here have yellow-ish wallpaper, which is really ugly too. I guess they think it’s sunny and provence-like… ugh…
    Actually I do feel a little nostalgic about raufasertapete, as my bedroom walls as a child were covered with it. But it is really ugly, grey and slurpy when you want to paint it. Hope your landlady will finally agree on your improvement. It’s such an added value for a home!
    Judith´s last blog post ..Weekend inspiration #2

  2. Juliette commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 4:09pm

    Um, yeah. I totally feel your pain!! We’re in the same situation; I feel the same as you, and while my husband doesn’t mind it so much, he does think it looks cheap. We used latex paint on our walls (not normal here, I know) and that has been a huge help in terms of dealing w/dirt (and pollen season, where I feel I turn OCD about cleaning). It’s also been nice in terms of not having tears or scratches when furniture bumps up against it. Washi tape also peels off nicely, as do any vinyl decals.

    That said, I still find it a hideous texture. I know smoothing walls here is pretty expensive, so it’s something I’d only pay for in my own property. However, you should be allowed to choose your own tapete…and you might not even have to change it back to the crappy white tapete when you move out. You should check with your local renter’s association. A lot of those laws have been changing lately (my BIL deals w/some of this). Sometimes terms in your contract are now ‘illegal’, so honoring them would only be a courtesy. I would really take your contract over to the renter’s association and see what your chances are, then make a bid to the landlord. I wouldn’t pitch the owner without being as informed as possible.

    I think the safest offer would be to tell/sign something saying you want to do what you want to your walls, but promise to have it ‘redone’ in the white Raufasertapete when you move out. This is how we got permission to paint in our first apt. over here. Sadly, the people who rented it after us said they loved our colors and wanted to keep them, but the landlord required us to repaint them white. So obnoxious. We’ve since learned that’s technically not allowed in our region in Germany (of course!). So def. check your renter’s association!

    We’ve decided not to invest any more money in sprucing up this space, but if we did, the walls and ceilings would be the first to change, for sure!

    Good luck. I freakin’ hate the stuff!!!
    Juliette´s last blog post ..Balcony Blooms

  3. Janel commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 4:20pm

    Hi Holly!

    What if you send her a signed copy of each of your books with a letter explaining your recent success and where it is taking you? Perhaps she will acquiesce if you are wishing to continue to use your home? Or look for a small space you could rent somewhere and create a studio there? Somewhere industrial could be awesome with those huge open areas?

    Just some thoughts! Good Luck!

  4. Janel commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 4:24pm

    Also, having the walls professionally spray painted would off you better and more even coverage, as it is a lighter application that can be layered on.

    And I thought about fabric in place of wallpaper? You could tack it up and take it down again?

    See ya!

  5. Janel commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 4:25pm


    Offer you, not off you? Sorry

  6. Anette@lebenslustiger commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 4:39pm

    I hear you and I am with you…same over here…SO UGLY! Don’t these German landlords never look into a magazine or blog??? It’s absolutely out-dated to have this stuff on the wall so your landlord should be more than happy if you would get it off (for her) She can’t possible want you to put them back on when you move out. That would be…well…I guess it’s hard to imagine for us that she would want them back on her walls but you never know…I just told our landlord that we will move out in November and she asked me to describe the look of the new apartment. I tried to describe her the high high walls and the open floor plan etc. and said: “You know, it’s a bit industrial” and she looks at me in disgust and says: “And you LIKE that????” :))))))
    Anette@lebenslustiger´s last blog post ..Optimal Ripeness Of A Mangosteen

  7. Ada Bea commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 4:57pm

    When we moved into our first home, back in the 80’s it was on every wall- it was a nightmare to get off! I would definitely recommend getting someone else to do all the hard work!
    It’s sad when beautiful old homes just get devalued in this way, have a word with your landlady. If she knows how influential you are in the interiors market perhaps she will value your opinion, after all it will enhance a building she owns…worth a shot! Good luck Holly! :) x

  8. Tabula Rosi commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 5:04pm

    I’ve just read your Rauhfaser-post and it speaks to me from the heart. I totally agree with you. These ugly acne walls are absolutely horrible and there is nothing you can do about them to make them look less horrible. I wish there was an anti-spot facial toner for Rauhfaser-walls.

  9. Kim commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 5:08pm

    I know exactly why you mean – it is on every nice of wall in my rented apartment and I hate it. Even the kitchen and bathroom have it instead of tiles. I can’t even hang anything on the walls to disguise it! It’s terrible as a backdrop and its been painted over so many times that in places it’s peeling under the weight of the paint!! Argh. When I own my home there won’t be any wallpaper in site, just clean, fresh painted walls and beautiful art.

    I hope your landlady is sympathetic. Always worth mentioning how long you’re intending to stay, and maybe even make a little design board to show her? Good luck with it!

  10. ella commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 5:36pm

    Hello! I live in Berlin and sympathize with you. Fortunately my new home (built in 1912) is raufasertapete free, but I’ve also lived with it before. No matter how beautiful the house is, the raufasertapete completely diminishes it. I think you are on the right track my approaching your landlord again. She would be a fool not to take smooth walls and F&B over raufasertapete.
    I am new to your blog and wonder if you have a favorite resources post or something? I’ve found furniture shopping in Germany to be an impossible task compared to the luxuries of West Elm, CB2 and more back home in the US. Any good suggestions?
    Thanks and good luck!

  11. Jocelyn Casey commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 5:53pm

    Dear Holly,

    I totally understand what you are feeling and experiencing. In my own way, I have been challenged with raufasertapete. If I were the landlord I would love for you to smooth the walls with a nice plaster! It is amazing how smooth walls allows the eye to have a place to land.

    I love your idea of the fabric on plywood…then you could perhaps move it around to different rooms? (several sections may come in handy) Oh Ohhhhhh…what about giant plywood boards with backing covered in pastel fabric with a slight ombre’ effect? Could be very cool in the light. Another idea is to do something on the front and on the back so you could switch it around when the mood is different or the shoot is leaning towards another style? I see them like giant art pieces! I do know one thing, whatever you do it will be great! Thank you for sharing!

    Jocelyn xoxo
    Jocelyn Casey´s last blog post ..Week in Refelction: Knowledge

  12. AdamsEva commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 10:26pm

    Hi Holly!
    Well… I’m German. And as I read your Topic I couldn’t stop grining. It’s so horrible!!! I hate our RAUHFASERTAPETE here in Germany! You can find it everywhere… In every room! Just ugly… But what should we do, we’re just renter. :/
    Have a good day!
    By the way: I love you new book!!!

    AdamsEva´s last blog post ..Flohmarkt bei AdamsEva – Alles muss raus!

  13. Fiona Humberstone commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 10:34pm

    He he… this post made me chuckle because I too HATE woodchip (never heard of that raferwhatsitsface name before…) but I really dislike it. We had it on our ceilings in our cottage and have thankfully skimmed over them. But what made me chuckle is because your styling is so beautiful I was actually starting to think that textured walls might be coming back in. Crazy hey? However you get around it lots of luck.

  14. China commented
    April 27th, 2013 at 11:16pm

    Have you thought of hanging white gauzy curtains throughout your apartment up next to all of your walls? Gauze is the cheapest material, especially when purchased by the bolt, and you could slide them to the side when photographing artwork and things for other people … at which point I’d suggest using Photoshop to “smooth” and/or “color” the wall. All you’d need is a pair of scissors and to know how to sew a straight line …

  15. Sandy commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 12:58am

    Well, it sounds perfectly awful… not sure if we have it in Australia, there isn’t even really much wallpaper around.
    What I don’t understand it why landlords would want an impractical product on the walls or floors of their rentals. It’s often that way in Australia with carpets, they lay down a cheap cream carpet, that wears terribly in traffic areas, shows all the stains and is nasty to clean! Then there’s the cheap paint they use that is also hard to keep clean… Why not make it absolutely easy to maintain, keep clean and keep the value?!
    I truly hope that your landlady listens and allows you to improve her property :)
    Sandy´s last blog post ..‘Just’ not so

  16. Katja commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 7:15am

    Maybe you could ask your landlady to cover the walls with somthing like this instead of rauhfaser:
    It’s a smooth wallpaper without any bumps or structure in it. You can paint over it (should be possible several times, i guess) an because it’s a “Vliestapete” it tears off very eaysy. It’s a bit thicker than the paper of rauhfaser, so you mostly wont see the wallstructure trough it.

    I dont think you can get only the walls painted … landlords use white painted raufaser because everybody knows it, white is always good and you can paint it several times. (and its cheap!!)
    And after painting the walls directly, it could be complicated to get it wallpapered again. You may have to remove the paint from the walls, refinish the plastering and add a new rauhfasertapete in the end.

  17. Charlotte | Anknel and Burblets commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 8:15am

    I had this is my first flat in London – terrible stuff! I have absolutely no idea what you could do apart from ask her again.

    Why would she say no? Maybe she thinks it’s low maintenance and will save her money as a landlord?

    If you could make a case for why your option will save her money and make the home more hard-wearing, more easily rentable, lower maintenance she might go for it. Think of the benefits she’ll gain as a landlord by letting you do the work on the apartment and sell her your ideas.

    We were so lucky with our last house we rented in London – the landlords not only offered to paint it but agreed for me to choose all the colours. We did the entire 5 bedroom terrace house in soft Farrow and Ball colours with two big blackboard feature walls.

    It was gorgeous!

  18. sue commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 9:13am

    Our walls also have the stuff, everwhere, although I have got used to it. Our landlord is very easy going, we can paint it any colour we want, and I do not think he would object to us removing it. It is in our contract, and presumably yours, that we have to decorate every so many years in any case. When we lived in Switzerland it was even worse as most people have a form of rauputz plaster on the walls which is really hard on the hands if you knock against it, and difficult to paint. We paid a lot extra for smooth walls, which proved a big challange for the plasterers, but meant we had super smooth walls to paint or stencil on. I hear that here in Germany there are 4 qualities of plaster finish you can choose, and only the basic one is included in the price, so be prepared.
    I guess what you could do now, if the landlady really will not agree to changes, is to go with some sort of large canvas idea or make your own panelling of light wood or fabric to cover some areas.
    Ot grin and bear it ;) Good luck
    sue´s last blog post ..ready for the cloud

  19. Nina commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 10:59am

    I’m totally with you. I live in a rented apartment.
    With my current situation I will never be able to pay someone to get the rauhfaser off and smooth my wall, let alone buy own property. My landlord would love this, if I redid the walls
    Unfortunately rauhfaser is almost the only option.

    And also, smoothing the walls means a lot of dirt and dust (you have to ginrd the walls in the last step), I don’t know how this can be made while we actually live here.

    I thought about learning it myself, but I am really afraid of all the dirt and especially the dust.

  20. Heather commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 4:01pm

    We have that too. I hate it! Not sure why it’s so popular?
    Maybe wood boards will be the best solution as to not upset your German landlord. Do you have wall insurance on your place? We have it and I wonder if taking yours down would be covered under that?
    Does your landlord know who you are?!!!! “) You’re only making her place more attractive by taking it down.

  21. laura commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 4:40pm

    a lot of times, wood chip wallpaper is used to cover up problems like crumbling plaster or worse. I remember landlords using it in my crummy student accommodation, but it seems so wrong in a place as nice as yours.

    I don’t think anyone actually likes the stuff, I bet she would be thrilled to get rid of it, and have the underlying problems remedied.

  22. Vicki Archer commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 7:19pm

    Love the idea of hanging a mural on the wall like in the Anthropologie post. If your landlady won’t let you change the walls, at least you can make them look pretty! :)…xv

    Vicki Archer´s last blog post ..P.S But What About The Shoes And Bags… The Prada And The Gucci…

  23. Anne Marie Jackson/Pattern Occurring commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 8:24pm

    So funny Holly! Growing up in England we always had wallpaper. If there is a surface we are going to decorate it. You can never give us enough clashing patterns. So when moving to Seattle and buying our first house my top priority was smoothing the walls out to put wallpaper up. Of course I chose some classic Cole and Son designs that I consider some of the finest.
    We had two different techniques for smoothing walls. Firstly we had an old Irish bloke come and skim coat the walls to smooth out the texture. This was fab and it is holding up rather well with our 2 boys bashing it with toy cars.Then in other rooms we completely dry walled. This was cheeper and quicker but the mud surface is very soft. Any little knock show up and have too be patched with spackling. All the best with your house hunt and may you be blessed with smooth walls!
    Anne Marie

  24. Corinne commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 9:03pm

    Hahaha, the stuff is absolutely dreadful. We had it in our Platte (East German 80’s building) flat and combined with the cheap laminated floors, low ceilings and apparent piping it certainly wasn’t a winner. Hadn’t it been for the absolute fabulous location next to Gendarmenmarkt and the great, for once utilitarian floor plan, I would have run away in a heartbeat. I had most of the rooms painted, some in strong colors, which actually moved the focus away from all the ugly features. When we left, the new renter was a small business running the flats as temporary accommodations for tourists. He insisted on having everything repainted white before furnishing it in the basic plain Ikea version. As soon as the colors were gone, the Raufaser was just there again in your face and the flat became so boring and just lacked any kind of personality. As a landlady I’d never want this stuff on my walls!
    Corinne´s last blog post ..Salone del Mobile: Missoni

  25. Magda commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 9:22pm

    I HATE every piece of raufaser in our rental here in Düsseldorf. I have an impression that no matter how nice I style something, it all gets ruined by the uneven popcorn on the walls! why, why, why???

    I heard some people saying that raufaser has a coziness factor (???????), but I guess these people just have no clue about interior design. Raufaser should disappear from this world once and for all! Whenever I go to OBI or Baumarkt, I am always shocked by how many categories of raufaser there are. Hate it!!!! When we moved in, there was a decorative wallpaper on one on the walls in the kitchen and the previous lady who lived here just left it here. The wallpaper was glued to the raufasertapete beneath it. I took it down about 2 months ago. It peeled off beautifully (I did not even use any solution for dissolving the glue), we just had to refresh the wall with the normal paint. I had an impression that she used some gentle glue and this way it came off as if it was glued with a crafting glue!
    Magda´s last blog post ..Nice design – let’s go to…New York!

  26. vreni_Hamburg von Innen commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 9:23pm

    dear holly, NObody likes raufasertapete! it’s just the thing most people in beautiful altbauwohnungen have to deal with, as most landlords think raufaser is pretty useful to hide uneven walls. whatever is wrong with uneven walls….:)
    good thing is: sometimes the walls have been painted so many many times, that the raufaser isn’t that rau anymore :D

  27. Elena commented
    April 28th, 2013 at 9:27pm

    It should be outlawed ! If you manage to convince your landlord to change it, it would be perfect, otherwise the murals from Anthropologie in the third photo from the top is really cool, go for it! Good luck!
    Elena´s last blog post ..Muse lights by Axo

  28. Cyrus Om commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 1:37am

    I really like your blog!
    Cyrus Om´s last blog post ..Weekend Movie: Architecture Movie Time

  29. fenny setiawan commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 6:27am

    We do not have that kind of wall painting anymore here in Malaysia. Mostly for old houses but normally the landlord or owner re-paint it with smooth finishing paint. Those ‘R’ thing (I am sorry I do not even know how to pronounce it) is almost extinct in here. Ironically when I saw them in one or two old houses.. I mean the aging ‘R’ paint with few tore, I found it quiet charming. I guess this is a human things, when it is abundant we sometime dislike them, when it is not we admire them..:).

  30. Gunhild Storeide commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 7:28am

    I hate the wood chip wallpaper SO much too, we have it all over our house, except in the bathrooms. Thank god we don’t have it on the ceilings too! I wish there was an easy way to get rid of it, but it seems to involve a lot of work. In Denmark it was very popular during the 80’s, probably because it was cheap and you could cover up problems easily. Tell your landlady that the value of your apartment will be a lot higher with lovely modern and smooth walls.

  31. Ria commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 9:13am

    Hi Holly, nice to have you back here. I´m with you and the other girls here: raufaser is horrible. It is cheap and it looks like. We lived with raufaser several years until we buy our own house. We cleaned the walls of every wallpapers and smoothed them by ourselves. I don´t want to look back, because it was so much dirt and work, but it was worth it. We love our walls, because they feel so gentle. Washi tape doesn´t keeps so good, because we used colors based on chalk. Maybe some landlords learn in the future that they could spare the costs of raufaser and only paint the walls in white to have a neutral look, or everyone could choose his favourite colors.
    But if I would be you, just wait. Sometimes you own a house quicker as you think…
    Greetings, Ria
    Ria´s last blog post ..Küchen(alb)traum die Zweite

  32. Stefanie commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 9:49am

    Hi Holly,

    Being German myself, I assure you of my deepest sympathy… Rauhfasertapete is just so not ok anymore.

    I am now living in my own appartment which has smooth, normal walls, but the flat before had something worse than Rauhfaser: Glasfaser! I stuck like … After we nearly dropped dead removing it from the bedroom walls, we decided to leave it in the kitchen and just paint it white. But the chevron kind relief pattern never ceased to unsettle me :)

    Keeping fingers (toes…etc.) crossed that you can convince your landlady to let you improve her property.

    Alle the best!

  33. laura redburn // cardboardcities commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 10:15am

    i can’t stand that stuff! we don’t have it on our walls here, but we do have similar – a horribly textured wallpaper. i hate it! there’s very few areas in out flat with good natural light, so i want to make good use of those areas when it comes to taking photos ..but really don’t want to because of that horrible stuff!

    definitely makes it hard to stick things on top of too. argh! i don’t understand why landlords use it, as i don’t think anyone likes it at all!
    laura redburn // cardboardcities´s last blog post and black

  34. Julia commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 10:41am

    Eeeeek it looks horrible! We don’t have it in France -thank God.

  35. mel commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 12:47pm

    Oh I hear you Holly! I’m renting and the most challenging thing for me are the walls also… some terrible beige – I can’t stand it. Like you I’ve thought about painting but here you get a max of 12 mths lease with possibility to renew but there’s also the possibility that you get the boot (which is what has happened to us now so I’m glad I didn’t paint). Will it really take you that long to find a house? An idea I saw just today was Megan Mortan the Australian stylist using pegboard on the walls which looks kind of cool but once again you wouldn’t get that smooth finish… Good luck and I really do feel for you! Mel x
    mel´s last blog post ..Dreaming of Brocantes & Flea Markets

  36. decor8 commented
    April 29th, 2013 at 1:02pm

    @Magda – I know, I heard that too. COZY? NO way. ha ha.

  37. Kate commented
    April 30th, 2013 at 11:12am

    How about using fabric to cover the walls? You could staple it at the top and just let it hang.

  38. Annie commented
    April 30th, 2013 at 11:18am

    Great topic! We have raufasertapete walls in Stuttgart, it’s so nice to know I’m not alone in despising this wall finish.

    Sometimes I find myself staring at them and catch myself dreaming of what I could do to the walls if only they were smooth “american” walls.

  39. Jane commented
    April 30th, 2013 at 5:35pm

    @ella: I have the same challenge living in southwest Germany. Sometimes you can get lucky with etsy. I check out Urban Outfitters regularly and am signed up for Westwing, Monoquoi and fab. If I am lucky, I’ll find something more in the style that we left in southern California. Good luck!

  40. Dina commented
    April 30th, 2013 at 5:40pm

    I know exactly what you are talking about. That stuff is horrible!

    I always think fabric looks really nice on walls. How about if you build wooden frames along the walls and attach fabric to them? That is what they used to do in the olden days. Your landlady doesn’t need to agree to that, because you would only put small holes in the walls and that is fine with German landlords. It would be a fairly large project, but maybe worth the effort?

  41. Jane commented
    April 30th, 2013 at 5:45pm

    Holly, this post was almost like a punch in the stomach. We are completing our house renovation and unfortunately, we decided to suck it up and live with our Raufasertapete even though we bought! These GD walls are everywhere here (even in a Neubau) and to change the walls would have cost one third of our renovation budget. We decided to change all three of the baths/toilets in our house to accommodate a family of five, changed all the tiling (another cultural difference/quirk), painted all the walls a new color and finished the floor of a hobby room. So, unfortunately, we had to trim the budget somewhere. We did get those ugly textured walls painted F&B colors and because of that, they actually look nicer. (or else I”m just looking for my silver lining.) Raufaser in Skylight, Pavilion Grey and Elephant’s Breath is better than the standard white.
    Jane´s last blog post ..Missing Ingredient

  42. V commented
    April 30th, 2013 at 11:58pm

    Quite funny, I was SO JEALOUS of your walls as they just seemed white to me and my rental place has yellow ones I HATE. And now you say you hate your walls too! Grass is always greener :)

  43. Sarah Stäbler commented
    May 1st, 2013 at 1:37am

    Ugh, yes! I hate the Raufasertapete! We have it all over our apartment. Except for the walls facing the outside of the building, which we had mold problems with. Our landlord was not happy about that and he blamed it on lüften, while we blamed it on the dang Tapete. So we offered to pull the wallpaper down and he would send his workers in to get rid of the mold and to flatten out the walls and repaint.

    Wish we could have done it in the whole apartment, though! I think landlords just do it because they’re cheap – for some reason, all of these old buildings don’t have very flat walls, so the textured wallpaper is very forgiving and covers up those bumps in the wall.

    But I know what you mean, though, about taking pictures! They do look gray in some pictures. Don’t like it at all!

    I would talk to your landlord about it again. I’m guessing that if you offer to pay for a professional to come in and flatten out all the walls, the landlord might not mind. I think they just care the most when they think you expect them to pay for it. Good luck! Keep us posted!

  44. Suzie | PalazzoPizzo commented
    May 1st, 2013 at 12:21pm

    Hi Holly,

    You really sound desperate. I hope I can help. When we bought our German apartment, we had Rauhfasertapete as well, but we renovated the whole place including taking the wallpaper out and smootheming the walls for paint. It was really expensive since we paid by hour and the painter took days and days for that job. But at the end it looks so much better. Of course! My husband is Italian and they also don’t us wallpaper in Italy.

    I would talk to your landlady again. She should know you and your work by now and have confidence in your taste. You can propose her to do one room at your own expense (the one that you use as studio) and invite her to see the result. If she likes it you can continue room by room. If you pay by yourself, she should be happy for that “small” renovation work. Also she would add value to her property, as YOU did the job.

    If she is against naked walls, propose her the wallpaper of your choice. It makes sense to take out a wallpaper after some years for hygenical reason, I guess. For carpets it is about 10-15 years, even by law, to protect the Tennant.

    Was that helpful?
    Good luck

  45. decor8 commented
    May 1st, 2013 at 2:09pm

    @Suzie – I’m not desperate – I am quite the opposite – I am filled with hope, just openly expressing my frustration and looking for a solution!

  46. karla commented
    May 2nd, 2013 at 12:03am

    Removable wallpaper! I designed a line for Hygge & West along with some much better known artists :) You can take it all with you when you leave and stick on your new walls again! It really works.

  47. Eily commented
    May 12th, 2013 at 3:53am

    Thank god the law is with renters in Germany. You can remove the Rauhfaser and decorate with wallpaper. Your landlady couldn’t even proscribe a black or neon pink wallpaper.

    At the end it says: The landlord must not dictate your wallpaper or wallcolour. ;) And a reference to some judical decisions.

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