22 wallpaper ideas that are total eye candy
This accent doesn't deserve a bad rap! Indulge us as we make the case for wallpaper. Sampling is the best noncommittal way to experiment with pops of pattern and color in any area—even a laundry room!—of your home. Read on for our hot takes.
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Get over your paper preconceptions.
Wallpaper just isn't what it used to be—and that's a good thing. Peel and stick wallpapers make application super clean and seamless. Plus, patterns have evolved. Rachel Cannon of Rachel Cannon Interiors says, "Something to keep in mind for everyone who's ever been scarred by wallpaper: you hated that wallpaper because it was designed to coordinate with the fabrics of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Fabrics have changed since then, and so have wallpapers!"
Sample early—and often.
Experiment with samples before committing to a final design. Live with the samples for a few days, and keep exploring until you find the right fit. With the right look, after all, you may want to be in it for the long haul. As Rachel puts it, "Wallpaper gets a bad rap. I hear people saying all the time, 'It's back!' But it never went anywhere, in my book."
Plan first, then paper.
Ready to take the plunge and paper in more high-traffic areas—like the kitchen? "I love that wallpaper is having a resurgence in popularity. I'm specifying it more and more often," says Heidi Huddleston, kitchen designer of the firm Delicious Kitchens. Just make sure to plan properly: "If it's going to be wallpaper, it's selected early on and then the other elements get worked in. Paint is far easier to layer in as the color options are endless."
Pick a subtle space.
No need to paper the entire house just yet. Start with an unexpected room, then branch out. Designer Barry Goralnick, of his eponymous firm, tells us, "For this laundry closet, we decided to incorporate wallpaper inside to spark joy when doing a tedious task. While some may overlook dressing up a laundry room, I find it adds an inspiring detail that’s unexpected and makes the task less dreaded. Small spaces are the best place to start when pushing the limits with bold wallpaper."
Install may be easier-than-expected.
If it was installed right, old wallpaper should be simple enough to switch out for a modern update. Says Rachel, "A professional wallpaper installation should be easy to remove—our installers have gone back to homes they worked on years ago, and have been able to remove the wallpaper in single sheets because they did their prep work correctly!"