Fresh Decorating Ideas: Creative Places to Use Wallpaper

published Apr 1, 2017
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(Image credit: Old Home Love)

One of the most important design trends we’ve seen in the past few years is the return of wallpaper. And these aren’t just the small, fussy patterns you may remember (and perhaps loathe) from the ’80s — these are big, bold florals, geometric patterns, and whimsical designs. And if you want to add a little pattern to your home but aren’t yet ready to commit to a whole wall, there are still plenty of out-of-the-box ways to add a little wallpaper to your space. Here are a few of our favorites.

Above: I love the idea of using wallpaper (especially one with a dramatic, oversize pattern) on a staircase, because of the different experiences it will provide: from afar it will resolve itself into an image, whereas up close you get to take in the nuances of the pattern. Image from Old Home Love.

(Image credit: Ivory Lane)

A peek of patterned wallpaper (Kelly Wearstler’s Channels in black/ivory used here) adds excitement to the back of glass-front cabinets. (You could also do this with solid door cabinets, although you’ll be the only one who gets to enjoy it.) Image from Ivory Lane.

(Image credit: House of Hackney)

Just a little bit of wallpaper, framed with picture moldings, can create a dramatic statement above a fireplace (or console table). This photo (and this gorgeous, quirky wallpaper) are from House of Hackney.

(Image credit: Nooks)

Your first thought for a backsplash is probably tile, but as this space from Nooks proves, wallpaper (with plexiglass mounted over) can be a dramatic and eye-catching option for your backsplash. Another fantastic example? Tara’s rental kitchen.

(Image credit: Stadshem)

Another creative place to use wallpaper in the kitchen is on the side of an island, and seen in this image from Stadshem, via Planete Deco. If you opt for temporary paper, you can easily swap it out as your style changes (or if you’re a renter!).

(Image credit: Desire to Inspire)

In this image from Desire to Inspire, wallpaper covers not just the wall but the panels of the door — a fun and unexpected detail.

(Image credit: Desire to Inspire)

Wrapping a fireplace wall in bold paper, as seen in this dining room from Desire to Inspire, is a great way to make even an unassuming fireplace the focal point of the room.

(Image credit: Design Mom)

Adding wallpaper to the back of a bookcase, as seen on Design Mom, will add a pop of pattern and help to give your shelves a certain cohesiveness.

(Image credit: Cheerhuzz)

Or try a framed piece of wallpaper behind the bed in place of a headboard, as seen in this image from Cheerhuzz.