I recently did a Facebook poll where I asked participants to select which they preferred – paint or wallpaper. Can you guess what the result was? No one chose wallpaper! Like zilch! Zero! I was shocked! But why did everyone choose paint??
Was it because wallpaper has a bad rap? Think of the nasty wallpaper in your Grandma’s days. The installation was soooo messy and the eventual removal was beyond painful! I guess the answer to my question is another blog for another time.
Needless to say, the result was shocking to me and it led me to this blog topic. Because wallpaper is a very simple way to glam up your home! But it also has come practical applications.
So here we go….lets talk about wallpaper!
Exquisite tulips are featured on
this stunning floral wallpaper
by Designers Guild.
Why Use Wallpaper?
With so many of you choosing paint over wallpaper, I’d like to bring to your attention what wallpaper can do for your space. Besides adding that glamorous decorative flare to a space, as I mentioned before, it does have a practical side.
- Wallpaper can mask weak features (like a big bulkhead) and odd characteristics like flaws in the wall surface.
- The right wallpaper can make a HUGE impact in your space – it can create an optical illusion that makes your room look bigger or your ceilings higher.
- The wallpapers available today are extremely durable and can last for more than ten years! And many are scrubbable making maintenance easy.
- Decoratively speaking, wall papers can create a theme in your house (think of coordinating wallpaper patterns in different colours in adjacent rooms, like the living and dining rooms). Wall papers can also reflect your favourite item (e.g. flowers, flamingos!) or activity (e.g. sailing, golfing).
- Wall papers can create a focal point where there isn’t one. Some examples: creating panelled sections of wallpaper or wrapping an otherwise bland fireplace with a bold print.
There are so many ways you can use wallpaper in your home and I’ve listed ideas further down. So are you convinced wallpaper is a good option for your home? Well then, read on…
3D wallpapers can create quite the impact.
The one above has added glam with embossed flowers.
Types of Wallpaper
Now that you have decided to use wallpaper in your home, what type of wallpaper is appropriate? Well it depends on where you are going to use it. Below I’ve outlined the popular types of wallpaper but just know that there are a lot more on the market than I can address in a blog!
Durable, washable and can be used in moist areas like the bathroom and kitchen…and pretty much anywhere really.
Made of fibers so is breathable but not washable. Use in low traffic areas.
Made from natural fabrics, it is expensive and difficult to apply; it stains easily and can be difficult to clean. Use in very low traffic areas, like the wall behind your bed.
With grasscloth, there are two types: the vinyl version which can be used just about anywhere; and the natural version which should be used in low traffic areas and low moisture environments.
Wood Veneer Wallpaper:
Great sustainable choice and has a natural beauty. Can be used anywhere and is a less expensive alternative to a real wood wall.
Great for hiding imperfections in walls (cracks, roughness) and can be used anywhere.
This beautiful paper has a raised pattern of soft material on it. Not suitable for home with children as it is fun to touch (I know, I ruined my mom’s flocked wallpaper!). Use in low traffic areas as it can be damaged easily.
Made of thin metallic foil (gold, silver, copper) these papers can be very dramatic! They do tend to highlight imperfections in walls because they are reflective. It tears easily because it is thin and creases are difficult to remove (think tin foil) – both make it difficult to hang. It should be used in low traffic areas.
Glam Up Your Space Using Wallpaper
You can use wallpaper to cover the entire wall or you can try a few of these ideas to glam up a room.
Wallpaper the Ceiling:
Yep, you got that right! So many people forget about the ceiling as being another ‘wall’ in a room. Papering can be a cost effective way add oomph to a room! Do you see the image below?? Amazing, right?
Ceiling wallpaper in a boutique hotel adds a glam touch to surprise guests.
Designer: Etienne Hanekom Interiors
In the Kitchen:
Consider using wallpaper for your kitchen backsplash (just cover it with plexiglass!), the space between the upper cabinets and the ceiling, cabinet doors (maybe not ALL of them!), the sides of the island.
This wallpaper is covered in plexiglass to protect it and allow easy cleaning.
Designer: Constrek LLC
These are an excellent option if you do not want to paper the entire wall. Create panelled sections that frame a beautiful wallpaper pattern (consider it art). All you need is moulding and wallpaper. Choose an embossed wallpaper for a more glam option.
Panels framing a faux shagreen wallpaper accentuates this tall wall.
Designer: Lillian August Furnishings + Design
Back of shelving:
Why not add pizazz to your built-in shelving by papering the back of the shelving? You can even create panels to insert into the back so you can remove them to change up the pattern or colour.
This wallpaper really does add depth and interest to what could be bland builtin shelving.
Designer: Ann Wolf Interior Decoration
Wallpaper your dresser, headboard, privacy screen, lampshades, accent table and even stair risers.
Instead of painting your interior doors, consider wall papering them (although this is only good if the door as a flat surface).
Create an impact!
This fabulous chinoiserie-inspired mural does an outrageous job of glamming up this bedroom!
Designer: Austyn Zung
Let me encourage you right now to leave a comment below for ways you have used wallpaper in your home! I would love to hear from you.
A Word on Removable Wallpaper
A big trend in 2019 and now 2020 is removable wallpaper – or peek-n-stick. This is a good option if you are always redecorating your space or you rent. Since it is a hot trend, I thought I would share the good, bad and the ugly on removable wallpaper.
- It is temporary – great for finicky decorators!
- It is easy to install
- Great selection of patterns/ colours
- Cost effective (good price point and no professional labour is involved).
- It cannot be applied to textured walls.
- Not advisable to use in moist areas, like bathrooms.
- There have been issues with bubbling once it is hung.
- It can damage walls despite the information out there. If the adhesive is absorbed by the underlying paint, there could be damage when it is removed.
- The adhesion used on removable wallpaper is not strong and it is susceptible to temperature and humidity as well as direct sunlight, causing it to “fall off” the wall.
A Final Word….
So there you have it. There is so much more to know about wallpaper! It is come a long way since grandma’s time. I love what is on the market these days – the colours, patterns, textures! Oh my! I could spend hours at my decorating centre surrounded by wallpaper books!
Pop into any paint store in Grand Bend, Exeter, or Goderich and have a peek at what is available. You will be AMAZED too! Trust me.
OH! I almost forgot! You can read about the results of my Facebook polls in Design Survey Says! I asked about more than wallpaper…..