Thursday, February 2, 2012

Deelightful Digs: Wallpaper

Wallpaper has an undeserving bad reputation, which can most likely be attributed to its tedious hanging and dreaded removal. The mere mention of the word makes plenty cringe as images of out-dated fruit motifs or tacky florals fill their heads. Meanwhile others, like me, lust for rooms covered in a bold hue, an eclectic print, or luxe textures.

Truthfully, wallpaper has made leaps and bounds since the days in which I grew up with country-bumpkin geese flocking my mother's walls [sorry Mom, thank goodness your taste has changed]. But as a renter, a splash of paint is the furthest I can push my wall-art boundaries which has left me ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing over images of beautifully designed spaces. Check out some of my favorites bursting with personality and wallpapered pizazz: 

Images courtesy of: Hygge & West // Brandon Barre // Saddie + Stella //Niche Interiors // The Wallpaper Collective // House Beautiful

If you decide to take the plunge, consider these few tips:
  • Choose a palette. Build your space around a set of 3-5 colors. Don't be afraid to create a palette of both contrasting and complimentary colors. Or go the opposite route and create drama through a monochromatic color scheme.
  • Layer, layer, layer. Add dimension to room through a mix of furniture and accessories. If your wallpaper is bold, anchor it with neutral or matching furniture. Think structured couches, a set of matching chairs, or a solid area rug. Once your walls are covered, don't be afraid to hang art such as a well-curated frame gallery or a glossy animal head.
  • Choose an accent wall. Perfect for those on a budget or just want to bring an unexpected punch to their space. Likewise, using wallpaper on the ceiling brings an unexpected dimension to a room.
  • Go big or go home. Unlike an accent wall, covering every wall including the ceiling works best in small, cozy spaces like a powder room or entryway. And for the brave, mix in well coordinated patterns- stripes and florals, anyone?
  • It will only look as good as the quality of installation.  If you can't hire a professional, I recommend reading this post from the DIY Network: How to Apply Wallpaper
  • Get more than you really need.  Even if you use a wallpaper calculator, always invest in an extra roll. You never know when you'll need more and you can always use the extra in a mix of decorative ways.
So if you are a renter like me, try these crafty wallpaper alternatives to help transform your space. Apartment Therapy also just featured an article on Smart Ways to Use Wallpaper in Small Doses for those who are on a budget or just too timid to go all the way. 
  • Decals. Urban Outfitters has a fun assortment if you are looking to add temporary graphics to your walls.
  • Hand-painted murals. Ok, this is NOT renter friendly. But when I saw my friend Emily free-hand paint her closet [with an ikat pattern no less!], I instantly fell in love and had to share.
  • Tapestries. I'm not talking about the hippie tie-dyed things you see in college dorms. I mean beautiful, exotic fabrics. Or how about a roll-up map? You know, like the one your 4th grade teacher had hanging in front of the chalkboard and would pull down for a quick geography lesson. 
  • Washi Tape. To satisfy my wallpaper craving, I created horizontal stripes on one of my bathroom walls using metallic washi tape. It took only one roll and nearly 15 minutes. Best of all, it comes right off and won't leave a mark when I leave. Until I buy a house, I imagine much more washi tape in my future. 
My bathroom
Do you have any other DIY wallpaper alternatives? Feel free to share images of your favorite covered walls! 


  1. Danielle you have a lovely blog! I can already tell you've got so much great advice to share, some great tips here :)
    I was actually going to buy the wallpaper in the first pic before but I kinda chickened out..

    1. Thanks Nancy, that is so sweet of you! I came across Cozamia the other day & I'm an official fan. Your eye for bold color is spot on, I have a feeling I'll be linking back often :)