10 Wallpaper Ideas for Small Spaces

published Oct 22, 2018
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(Image credit: Julia Steele)

When it comes to tiny spaces, most people’s knee jerk reaction is to douse the room with as much white as possible to make it feel bigger and more airy. But that rule doesn’t always ring true. Rather than trying to black magic more square footage into a cramped space, why not go the other direction and have fun with the little room that you have? 
Make a small nook feel memorable with the use of playful and unexpected wallpaper, giving it character and letting you flex your creative muscles in a spot that won’t cost an arm and a leg to paper. Not completely convinced yet? Below are tiny spaces that pull off busy wallpaper, proving that sometimes more is more.

Credit: Liz Hanson

1. Bold Hallways

You can go minimalist with your narrow hallway to try and make it feel bigger, or you can lean into the small space and give it lots of personality with a bold, abstract print. The bonus of going this route is that any art or decor you put into the hallway will pop and take on a new life.

2. Patterned Entryways

Make your small entryway stand out with a panel of wallpaper. The gorgeous mural wallpaper in this Buenos Aires apartment is inspired by Argentinian landscapes. 

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

3. Entryway Murals

You can up the ante when it comes to wallpapered entryways by forgoing the repeating pattern route and instead opting for a look-at-me mural.

(Image credit: Stephen Karlisch)

4. Papered Ceilings

Do something unexpected with your hallway ceiling and add a playful wallpaper across its length. It will spice up white walls or add a contrast against wood paneling or a competing wall paint color.

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

5. A Bold Bathroom

Rather than trying to make your small powder room seem light and airy, go the opposite route and let your creativity run wild in the shoebox space. A great way to do so is to choose a wallpaper with a large print, which will be the perfect backdrop for your mirror and lighting fixtures.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

6. An Eclectic Entryway

The fastest way to give your drab entryway some personality is to cover it in a large wallpaper pattern. But don’t stop there. Go completely maximalist in the narrow space and paint your stairs ombre to add even more interest to this patterned nook.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

7. Patterned Stairs

Applying peel-and-stick wallpaper directly to your stairs is unexpected, fun, and surprisingly convenient for renters, like these apartment dwellers in Toronto — it’ll protect your wooden steps from everyday mishaps or hide old stairs that may be in a state of disrepair.  

Credit: Will Crooks

8. Brighten a Dark Room

If you’re not comfortable with dark colors in your matchbox-sized powder room but want to try covering it in a print, try picking out wallpaper with some white, negative space. This particular floral arrangement has plenty of airy gaps in between the blooms, giving you the best of both worlds.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

9. Add A Surprise From The Doorway

If your dining or living room has a door leading into the hallway, add a playful surprise by papering said hall with an eye-catching print. It will spill into the other rooms, adding a dash of color and pattern into the space.

Credit: Minette Hand

10. Go Wild In the Bathroom

A vibrant blue-green wallpaper featuring circling leopards transformed this tiny Chicago, Illinois bathroom into a wonderful and wild oasis.