How to Create English Pub Wall Decorations

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The Brits love their bitters. According to the British Beer and Pub Association, 90 percent of British adults consider themselves "pub goers" and nearly a third of the population---over 15 million adults---go to a pub at least once a week. Even though the English consider that there is no such thing as a typical pub, if you'd love to capture that "public house" spirit for your den, lounge or even a small restaurant, here are some ideas on how to create English pub wall decorations for your own little meeting place. It starts with architecture.

Things You'll Need

  • Faux stucco panels
  • Faux brick or stone panels
  • Faux beams in dark wood color
  • Blocks of wood: 1-by-2 inch blocks are fine
  • Construction adhesive
  • Tape measure
  • Painter's tape
  • Chalk line
  • Stud finder
  • Dry wall anchors
  • Screws
  • Electric saw
  • Ladders
  • Handsaw
  • Drill
  • Caulk gun
  • Wood filler
  • Rags
  • Measure
  • Level
  • Nails
  • Hanging apparatus such as D-ring hooks, picture hooks, wall spreaders
  • Variety of artifacts depicting British life (as detailed in the article)
  • Eye protection when sawing

Install lightweight faux stucco, stone or mahogany wood panels. Create some old world authenticity by giving your walls the look that they have been around forever. Timelessness and tradition are a huge part of pub décor. Decide first which way the panels should interlock. Each panel has "fingers" that interlock with the previous set, much like a jigsaw puzzle. Laying them all out first is for the best.

Apply adhesive to each panel and screw it to the wall. The main thing to remember is to stagger the panels so seams do not line up. Cut pieces with a regular wood saw when you meet wall corners.

Caulk to seal. Once panels are interlocked, glued and screwed to the surface wall, run caulk over the seams. Use your finger to push the "grout" into any seams or openings to keep moisture out.

Install faux wood beams. This is another lightweight, fool-the-eye architectural detail that gives an old-world feel to your English pub. Decide where you'd like the beams installed and mark the ceiling using either a chalk line snapped across the ceiling or set a piece of painter's tape at regular intervals.

Take the tape measure and figure out the dimension of the interior opening of the fake beam. Once you have a number, cut blocks of wood that will help to mount the beam on the ceiling. Drill holes into the blocks; your goal is to mount the blocks into the studs with screws, or the blocks can be fixed with anchor bolts right into the ceiling.

Install these stationary blocks approximately every 4 to 5 feet. Lay a piece of painter's tape adjacent to the installed block so that once it is covered with the lightweight beam, you'll be able to locate the block underneath.

Cut beam to measure when you know necessary ceiling length. An electric saw will work, but a handsaw is adequate too. Sand the ends for a nice fit.

Spread a layer of adhesive to the edge of the beam. Slip the beam over the installation block and use your electric drill to screw a screw through the side of the beam and into the block.

Countersink all screws and fill with wood filler. Then clean up.

Hang and install a dart game, family crests, and other "typical British signage" to the walls. Rustic pieces and artifacts can be studied in English pub books and websites (see Resources).

Tips & Warnings

  • Real country pubs have cast iron stoves to keep patrons warm. Small chairs and tables only are in the lounge area; everyone else must saunter up to the bar for their dark beers.
  • Artifacts depicting the class system and British life will bring some character to the room; suggestions for display are: sculling equipment---oars and trophies; cricket gear---bats, pads and helmets; family crests, stained glass fixtures, bulldog portraits and fire tending implements.
  • Furniture fabrics include leather club chairs with nailhead trim, thick wooden seats and small tables in dark mahogany woods. Use plaids and tartans for curtains and swags.
  • Don't get too kitschy with your wall hangings. The English load their walls with leisure items and signs of heritage.

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