The Unexpected Spot You’ve Likely Never Considered Hanging Wallpaper but Need To

published Dec 4, 2023
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Bedroom with a large sun light.

Wallpaper, whether it’s peel-and-stick or traditional, is a beloved design asset. Not only does it add color to a space, but it also comes in seemingly endless patterns and textures. Because of the material’s versatility, it’s not unusual to see it in non-traditional spaces, like inside a bookshelf

Even though wallpaper has become a mainstream interior design accent, you can still find it in delightfully surprising spaces. That’s why when I visited the Shinola Hotel in downtown Detroit, Michigan, I was gleefully excited to see the wallpaper placement in my guest suite. There, Gachot Studios, the interior design firm behind New York City restaurants like Jac’s on Bond, worked to ensure the building’s important history was also present in the 129-room boutique hotel’s new design, and the wallpaper played a key role in that. During construction, the team discovered the original wallpaper from the 1920’s and commissioned Detroit Wallpaper to create a similar design. While the wallpaper’s pattern is striking, where it was applied really captured my attention. 

When I walked into my guest room, I was met with neutral, cream-colored walls, natural light wood flooring, and large windows. It wasn’t until I opened the closet door that the bold, Art Deco-inspired wallpaper jumped out at me. I toured the rest of the room and noticed that the wallpaper, in fact, was only featured in the closet and the bathroom’s smaller toilet area. 

Hanging wallpaper in smaller rooms, like the closet and the toilet area, creates a vivid color explosion. It makes the pattern feel so much more vibrant and is so surprising as you move around a space and see what’s behind closed doors. Small closets and toilet areas can be unremarkable spaces that usually put function over fun. However, seeing this clever use of wallpaper was a choice that’ll stick with me as I decorate in the future. “There is something delightful about a pop of color or pattern in an unexpected place,” says Christine Gachot, founder of Gachot Studios. “It wakes you up to your surroundings.” I couldn’t agree more. 

Credit: Cullen Ormond

The exact wallpaper featured in the Shinola guest rooms is custom-made for the hotel, so it’s sadly not for purchase. That said, similar options are available. If you want to add some pizzazz to the small nooks in your home, shop the Art Deco-inspired wallpapers below. Using wallpaper in smaller spots like this also allows you to stretch your dollars a bit, since wallpaper can be so expensive. That makes this wallpaper application idea a total win-win.