how to decorate with Wallpaper effectively
Wallpaper is back but it’s a whole new breed, designed to create bold, dynamic spaces. Not only have styles and choices improved dramatically in recent years but the quality exists on a whole new level. Production technology has elevated wallpaper products to tempting levels of realism and style. Let’s just say this is not your grandmother’s wallpaper, Friends.
Incredibly realistic photographic quality provides a look that imitates life. For those wanting all the drama of wood, tile, or brick (just to name a few) wallpaper is a great new option. You can get these on-trend looks without the cost, hassle or commitment. Today’s wallpaper choices provide a realistic and stunning alternative to the real thing.
This post contains a few affiliate links for your convenience. Jodie and I always appreciate your shopping with us, which of course helps our blog exist.
On to the Inspiration
Take a look at these before and after shots of my kitchen accent wall:
The beautiful wallpaper shown here in my kitchen and in my bathroom is called Heritage Tiles, and it looks like real vintage tiles complete with detailed imperfections and three-dimensional grout. This remarkable paper is from Milton & King. This is just one of their many stunning options you can shop from their site Milton & King.
Let’s Talk Pros & Cons of Wallpaper
- Instant style
- High drama
- Less long-term commitment
- Removable (relatively so)
- Less expensive than remodeling required for installing actual tiles or real wood for example.
- No power tools required
- More commitment and expensive than paint
- Not easy to hang on your own
- Might require a professional
- Professionals, especially good ones, are fairly expensive and hard to find
- Style risk involved
Let’s Talk Some Numbers
- A high quality roll can run $100-140
- Depending on where you live pros charge roughly $25-50/hr and
- Priming and hanging takes longer than you imagine, especially if done well.
- Depending on pattern match up requirements and size of a wall, you could need 2-4 rolls per wall on average
- Most wallpaper sites have calculators and even online chat help to assist with accurate estimating
My Local Wallpaper Expert
I spent about a month looking for a local pro who could do my recent wall papering projects, someone with a lot of experience and someone who was worth the money. I found the best of all worlds when I found Bob of Bell Wallcoverings. He has owned his business for over 35 years, and his skills show it. He is a perfectionist. His services include hanging all kinds of wallpaper and interior painting as well. Now that I have Bob’s phone number you can bet I’ll be giving him more work. If you are anywhere in the Seattle area Bob is your man.
Side Note: Custom Pipe Shelves
This bathroom remodel was made complete with the installation of these amazing pipe shelves. You can shop them and variations in sizing and style. The color I chose here is called Early American. The quality in their products is amazing.
The very exciting news is that you can save 10% when you use our affiliate link.
Be sure to click on the bright pink “GET ACCESS” box to unlock your 10% off savings code.
If you are interested in creating your own DIY industrial pipe shelves, check out our reader-favorite blog post.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
- The size of the print: small prints are more subtle so less “risky.” Small prints are often delicate, more feminine. Larger prints are bolder, make more of a statement.
- Some papers are not much bolder than paint, offering texture instead of very noticeable patterns. If you want to stay safer look at these options.
Let’s Talk Wallpaper Options
A new trend in wallpaper is removable wallpaper. This is basically a large sticker or decal. Less prep and easier removal make this an option worth considering. This type is slightly tricky to apply and definitely a two-person job. Quality varies in this new genre so look for a well-made product like the one I used in my kitchen from Shop B Darling.
The wallpaper material from Milton & King is environmentally safe and bio-degradable over time, No PVC and nontoxic. There is no Glycol-Ether or Formaldehyde in the adhesive.
I used their style called Large Subway throughout my kitchen and applied the vinyl right on top of my existing back-splash of dark granite. I am very happy with the end result.
Tips for Choosing the Right Wallpaper for Your Space
Since wallpaper is really a matter of personal taste you must arrive at your decision based on what you like, and this can be a process. The problem for many is determining this before it covers your walls.
- Do your design homework
- Consult interior decorating sites like Houzz, etc.
- Browse Instagram & Pinterest and magazines in order to get ideas
- Create an online décor file, maybe a board on Pinterest or screenshot your favorites from Instagram and keep them in a photo file on your phone
- Take into consideration all the items that will remain long-term in the room
- Carefully consider the direction of the room
- Ask yourself: What activities will happen in this room and what should your mood inspire? Creativity? Fun? Serenity? Masculinity?
- Narrow down your search and choose your top 3 or so.
- Most companies offer samples for free or a small fee (worth it to ensure your long-term happiness)
- Put up the samples and allow yourself time. If papering an entire room view on the different walls, view in all lights, place behind various furniture and accessories
- If uncertainty remains consult a designer or decorator.
- Wallpaper is an investment, so doing your homework will help ensure your money is well spent.
This amazing wallpaper looks like real rustic wood even from up close. Visitors to our home always have to go up and touch the walls. I used the same wallpaper called Rustic Wood Panels from the amazing company, Milton & King. Browse their HUGE collection of high quality choices on their site.
Wallpaper is Worth The Risk
More than anything wallpaper sets a stage. It creates a mood for a space, and powerfully so. Because of this power choosing the right one is essential and can make or break a room. The pressure can be intimidating for everyone. But with the proper prepwork you can confidently embrace this exciting decorating design trend. Jodie and I believe nothing ventured nothing gained. With some risk comes the potential for great reward. In the case of wallpaper the style reward is simply awesome. If you are looking for an instant and dramatic style transformation nothing beats wallpaper.
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Wowzer! I did not think this trend would Ever make a comeback! But since it has & I know how to hang it maybe I’ll hire myself out!? I mean now that I’m retired this might could work. – Thx. Love your posts ????
Pam, Love your reply! Oh yes, it’s back and better than ever. You know how to hang? Lucky you! I did the vinyl adhesive on my own, but I chickened out on all the others. I really didn’t want to feel my way through…I wanted it to be amazing haha. Thanks so much for the kind reply. Jodie and I sure hope you continue to enjoy our blog. Blessings, Julie & Jodie
Holliday Johnson says
What an impact in your kitchen!! The blue and white wallpaper is fantastic! I have used wallpaper in three areas of my home and love it! Great post!!
I’m so glad you like it. Sounds like you are totally on board with wallpaper yourself. It’s a bit addictive once you see the transformations, am I right? Thanks so much for coming to our blog and your sweet reply. We hope you return often and continue to enjoy. Blessings, Julie & Jodie
Kim Hazel says
Julie this all looks so fantastic! I’ve been thinking about doing the self adhesive subway tile wall paper over the granite backsplash at our beach house, so this was so nice to see! Question, does it stick well to the granite and how has it held up with cooking heat etc,…?
Kim, So nice to see you on our blog 🙂 I love the vinyl adhesive wallpaper. In answer to your questions, it sticks very very well to the granite (the brand I used). I’ve heard from my wallpaper pro Bob that there is a large variance in quality of adhesive papers, so be careful if they are priced low…it’s for a reason. Shop B Darling is nice quality. I was able to stick and remove as many times as necessary in the process. Sticks great, still great and you can literally wash it if need be. I recommend it. XO ~ Julie
Heather Bug Lane says
This is such a helpful post!!! I love the gorgeous transformation wallpaper can make! Thanks for sharing your knowledge! ????
Heather, Thanks so much for reading and for leaving a kind reply. Jodie and I appreciate both tremendously. We hope you will continue to enjoy our blog. XO ~ Julie & Jodie
Julie Briones says
Because My Wee Abode is a rental loft apartment, I just purchased some textured removable/repositional wall paper. I am waiting for it to arrive, and hoping and praying it’s a good fit for my little place. 🙂 It’s a reclaimed shiplap style. We’ll see!
That sounds like it will look fabulous! Good luck with your project! XO ~ Jodie & Julie
It all looks lovely! thank you for the tips, I have been thinking of doing our water closet. I never thought I would be doing wallpaper again…Lol! The part that stops me is the thought of removing it one day.
Thank you Jane! That would look great! We hope you enjoyed the post and continue to enjoy the blog in the future!
Jodie & Julie
Alice Carroll says
You made a good point that experimenting with wallpapers is quite exciting because it can make or break the aesthetic of a room. Perhaps I should consider getting a wall paper removal service soon in order to cleanly peel off the old wallpaper in my home that has been here since I bought it off from the previous owner. Maybe going for floral patterns would be a good place to start when I go shop for new ones.
We are so glad you enjoyed this post on wallpaper! It can be such a fun new addition to your decor and the overall feel of a space! And yes, that’s probably a great idea to get some help with that removal. Sometimes, you just need a refresh. It will transform the room for sure. Thank you for the kind comment sweet friend, hope to hear from you again soon.
Lots of love,
Jodie & Julie
Hi. How about stair risers? I don’t want anything busy, something along the lines of white and beige. Would a faux stone look odd? Have you tried this?
We love the idea of stair risers! Neither of us have tried this because neither of us have wood stairs. I have carpeted stairs and Jodie lives in a ranch. Without seeing your house we couldn’t say whether faux stone would look odd. It’s not necessarily what I would think of first. But maybe it’s perfect for your home. I have loved the look of simple geometric design. Have fun with it. Peel and stick isn’t a life long commitment. Good luck, Julie & Jodie