Not Your Grandma’s Wallpaper

Have you noticed that wallpaper is everywhere in design these days?  It’s made a huge comeback, kinda like leggings from the 80s.

And just like leggings, wallpaper can be quite a faux pas if you don’t do it right {leggings as pants, anyone?}.  We all know to stay away from borders and flocked wallpaper, but what are the secrets to making it work?  Luckily, there are a few simple guidelines that take a lot of the guesswork out of successfully incorporating wallpaper into your home’s look.

1.  Go bold or go home. While not for the faint of heart, dramatically bold wallpaper is an awesome way to make a serious design statement.  Stick to no more than two colors to keep the pattern from looking cartoon-y.

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2.  Grasscloth is a no-fail classic. Grasscloth has been in style for decades and it’s not going anywhere.  Perfect for dining rooms and powder rooms, this understated wallpaper adds texture and interest without competing for attention.

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3.  Be mute{d} and shine. If you’ve been known to like a little bling in your life then you might want to check out wallpaper with hints of shine and metallic.  If you go this route, be sure to keep the wallpaper in a somewhat neutral color palette or the overall effect could start looking a bit bedazzled instead of chic.

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Amoroso Design contemporary dining room

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4.  Create a focal point. Draw attention to a room’s highlights by using wallpaper to create or accent a focal point.

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5.  Be playful. If you’re a little gun shy when it comes to gluing paper to your walls, use it to play up features of your home that would normally go unnoticed.

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6.  Use traditional patterns in unexpected hues and scale. Blown up in saturated colors, traditional patterns such as damask and paisley suddenly become modern and fresh.

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Swallow Drive  powder room

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House Beautiful  hall

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7.  Get inspired by chinoiserie and vintage-feeling prints. There’s a reason why floral and Asian-inspired prints have been around forever – they’re awesome.

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Brentwood Regency State 

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8.  Get graphic. If you’re not into florals or more feminine-feeling patterns, think about geometric and graphic patterns that can pair well with just about any design style.

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What do you think about wallpaper?  Would you ever rock it in your home?  Or maybe you already do?

P.S.  Some of my readers check out my posts through Twitter and Facebook – I just wanted to give you a head’s up that I’m not going to be putting my new posts on either of these sites anymore {for the most part}.  I can only handle one social medium at a time!  :)  Anyhoo, if you normally access the blog through Twitter or Facebook you might want to consider subscribing to the blog by email {there’s a subscription form in the sidebar} or through a feed reader like Google Reader – and of course, you can always find it here on the homepage.  Thanks!

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Comments

  1. Joan says:

    Two posts in one day, even if one is the white screen of death, is a bonus! I LOVE wallpaper, but the expense and permanence also give me serious doubts. I most love the blue and white graphic with the dark wood chest and mirror. I have been known to use double stick tape for a small area!
    So borders are out? Does your post imply that my spiffy leggings are no longer current?

  2. christy says:

    Ooh la la yes I rock the wallpaper in my own home! My family room, to be exact. And I’d LOVE to do a powder room in a bright and bold graphic…that last blue and white paper image is just gorgeous – that would be a serious contender, if I could convince Matt!

  3. Oh my word, I’m a HUGE wallpaper fan, as long as it is ‘not your grandma’s wallpaper’ like you said ! Can’t stand those frilly burgandy flowers leftover from the seventies, remember the wallpaper on the Brady Bunch ? Yuck.

    I adore graphics, swoon over shimmers, and fall over backwards in love with grasscloth !! And I even had to hang it myself and I still love it !!

    Great post Liz !
    .-= Kate at Centsational Girl´s last blog post ..Wall Art: What’s Your Style ? =-.

  4. Amanda says:

    Conceptually, I love the thought of wallpaper – and I love these examples. But, there is the part of me that remembers the horrors of wallpaper in the ’80’s, and the follow on horrors of removing said wallpaper in the ’90’s. I’m just not sure I’m ready to make the leap.

    Maybe a focal wall…

  5. Great selection of inspiration pics. As you know, I LOVE wallpaper. Just did my powder room and I’m thrilled with the results. My next wallpaper project will probably be my laundry room or the small hallway that connects my kitchen and dining room.

    Also, for the nervous folks who are concerned about removal, new wallpaper is WAY easier to remove than the stuff from the 70s and 80s. For super-easy removal, go for the “pate the wall” varieties (I know Graham & Brown sells some) that has you apply wallpaper paste to the wall instead of the paper. This ensures that the paper will come off cleanly in sheets when it’s time for removal.
    .-= Averill (Odi et Amo)´s last blog post ..Favorite New Color Combo: Coral & Blue =-.

  6. Joan says:

    Liz, I love your blog and I also LOVE reading the other comments from your readers. A wonderful example is Averill’s comment today about how to apply wallpaper so it isn’t a horror later to remove if you are struck with “buyer’s remorse.” Always a fun visit to your site!

  7. Katrina says:

    I love how things come back in style!! A few years ago I would have cringed at the thought of wallpaper!! I’d love to have some in my bathroom or my maybe a future nurshey!!! I love the pics you have above, talk about amazing :)
    .-= Katrina´s last blog post ..Nate Berkus: Bedroom Rules =-.

  8. Jaimie says:

    Adore them all!
    .-= Jaimie´s last blog post ..[something pretty for your monday] =-.

  9. Gina says:

    can anyone tell me what is the wall paper in the pic that is 8 down from the top….light blue, brown and cream?