The popularity of wallpaper seems to wax and wane every year (or more frequently, depending on who you ask) but collectively, people seem to be in agreement that it doesn’t have to be banished entirely from homes anymore.
Looking for some inspiration as you move into the New Year? Here are six ways for the modern homeowner to use wallpaper.
Statement, accent, or featured walls are an easy way to bring an extra something to a room, from glitz and glamour to calm, cool, and collected vibes. By going with neutral colors on all the other walls in the room, your accent wall will attract the eye and paint a scene.
Love the industrial aesthetic of a brick wall, but didn’t plan for any exposed brick on the interior of your home? There are plenty of faux brick wallpapers to help! Go with a multicolored option to bring in a different colored palette, or choose something a little more traditional.
Or, if you’re all about greenery, invite Mother Nature indoors with beautiful banana leaf wallpaper that transforms any room into a forest paradise. If you’re wanting something with more color, go with a floral wallpaper; sounds outdated, but watercolor pastels are a simple way to modernize.
Entertain the Young’ns (and the Young at Heart)
Most kids love to draw on walls (to be honest, most adults probably do as well, but the vast majority of us just have more self-control, or at least a healthy fear of social expectations). Whether you’ve got the urge to scribble next to the window or a small child who can’t restrain themselves, encourage that activity (and save on cleaning supplies) by putting up wallpaper with which you can interact!
For the artists in the family, chalkboard wallpaper is an ingenious idea that encourages you to express yourself right there on the living room wall. If you have a kids’ room or playroom you’re decorating, wrap the entire room in chalkboard wallpaper or designate a specific area – perhaps underneath the chair rail molding, if it exists – as a “safe to draw” zone.
Add Some Color to the Stairs
If you’ve a two-story home, spice up your hardwood stairs by adding some color or pattern to them. A simple tile design is eye-catching without being too bright, but there are plenty of colorful options as well.
A unique bookcase design is perfect for any bibliophiles out there, and there are plenty of options for those dreaming of a peaceful vacation. A note of warning, though: These can create an optical illusion on stair steps, making a trip and fall all the more likely. If depth perception isn’t always easily processed for you, maybe avoid these and place the wallpaper elsewhere.
Go a Little Gatsby with your Tile Floors
Although this isn’t technically a wallpaper product, it follows the same basic principles of modern wallpaper, so we’re including it here. While this probably wouldn’t work as a permanent option – that would depend on how much foot traffic your tile sees on a regular basis – this decorative gold foil to cover tile grout is perfect for celebrations, or just adding a bit of sparkle to your everyday life. Plus, it’s waterproof, making it safe for the bathroom and kitchen!
Give the Kids Free Reign
When kids get their own room, plenty of parents are excited but anxious about giving their kids the final decorative say-so. This fear is for good reason: When I got my own room, my accent wall consisted of squiggly columns in varying widths, alternating between bright Nickelodeon orange and slime green; that is to say, very unattractive. But I was a rising interior designer and my parents didn’t want to squash my dreams (and for that, I am thankful).
If you’ve got a young Malene Barnett on your hands who needs to express themselves creatively, why not go with a temporary wallpaper in a pattern they love? Mermaid aspirations? Check. Passion for paleontology? Done. Kid with a desire to disappear into an imaginary world? That’s an option, too.
Find Use for Other Small Projects
Maybe you’re trying to find use for wallpaper scraps, maybe you’re just hesitant to plaster an entire wall or room with zebra print. Either way, there are plenty of small projects to add personality and character to your home in smaller ways.
Use wallpaper on window trim or a chair railing to break up the monotony of single-tone walls, cover light switch and outlet panels, or add color to the back of a bookshelf. If you’ve got an interest in wallpaper but commitment issues (for whatever reason, we’re not judging!) working on smaller scale projects is a great way to dip your toes in the water.
No matter what your design goals are, there’s definitely a wallpaper (or similar product) available to help. For more design inspiration, check out NewHomeSource and follow us on social media!
Mia Zozobrado joined Builders Digital Experience (BDX) in 2019 as a content writer. A graduate of Southwestern University with a degree in English, Mia is passionate about the written word and making connections. Outside of work, Mia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Writers’ League of Texas.