Wallpaper is the Big Little Player

Filed in Design and Decor by on February 3, 2015


0215LAHM_WP-1by Betty Ravnick | Photo courtesy Lucy Interior Design 


I am so excited wallpaper is trending back into favor. I still get a lot of resistance from clients when I suggest using it, but nothing takes a drab room to fab with a minimal amount of money and time.


Wallpaper on walls can be one wall or all the walls, and even on the ceiling. All locations are acceptable and each can elevate the room to a whole new level. A primary reason for my love of wallcovering is that I like keeping the expensive elements like sofas and cabinets, etc in neutral tones and then introducing pattern and color in the accessories to add interest. That formula is a great way to add excitement to a room, without a lot of risk.


Some of my favorite rooms for wallcovering are laundry rooms and bathrooms. These service rooms have limited materials and are often solid in color so the wall covering can add personality and pizazz to an otherwise mundane space. Another little space, the closet, is a gem of a surprise location. The best part of choosing small areas is you only need a few rolls of paper to make a big impact.


A common place for wallcovering is inside the backs of shelves and cabinets. Because this is a little space, it is safe yet very impactful place to add contrast. I have used wallcovering as a backsplash in the kitchen. As long as it is a durable material, it’s a great choice for the budget conscious consumer. Not only is it less costly than tile, it is easier to remove when you want to update the look.


Wallpaper comes in various widths and material choices. Choose carefully and match the material to the surface requirements. Wallpapers can be made from natural materials like jute, grasscloth, wood veneers, and super thin metals. These make wonderful “statement wallpapers” in living rooms and entrances. More durable wallcovering materials should be used in bathrooms and kitchens.


A unique area for wallcovering is the recessed panel on a piece of furniture or cabinetry. This is a fantastic do it yourself project to update tired cabinetry.


Patterned wallpapers add drama and interest. I recall seeing a fabulous interior where the doors between the kitchen and dining room were wallpapered. They were a pair of doors that flanked a buffet and the wallpaper served as artwork in the room. In this case, the wallpaper was applied to the full door, but even papering the center panel would be an interesting look.




QUICK TIPS: Wallpaper does not have to be attached to walls or furniture but rather it can be applied to a substrate like plywood and hung on the wall or used to create a room screen. Add a decorative trim to cover the edges. This technique is a great option in a rental.


Start small to warm up to the wonderful world of wallcovering. Take partial rolls of wall paper and frame them to add instant color, texture and pattern to a room. Who knows, you may even start to like it.




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