9 Creative Ways to Use Wallpaper
You already know that wallpaper is a wonderful tool for adding subtle texture and pattern to a room or a pop of color to the main wall. What many designers don’t realize is that wallpaper is a diverse tool for much, much more!
Wallpaper will stick to just about anything. Using it to decorate different aspects of your clients’ home, furniture, and décor gives you a clean, smooth finish, a consistent pattern, and the ability to customize to your heart’s content. Impressive DIY projects and decorative wallpaper crafts let you spruce up the space a little bit or a lot!
Here are some exciting and creative ways to use wallpaper in a new décor design!
1. Wallpaper the ceiling
Who says colors and patterns are only for the walls?
- Especially in spaces with angled ceilings, leaving the walls clean but wallpapering a cheerful color on the ceiling brightens up the space in a unique way
- If your clients are feeling adventurous, try colored walls and a pattern across the ceiling
- Eccentric clients might go all out with a bright pattern on the wall that continues onto the ceiling
Be careful in small rooms. Busy ceiling patterns can make a space seem smaller and overwhelming.
2. Canvases and frames
Wallpapered art canvases are a great way to tie colors and themes from central spaces into the décor elsewhere.
- Use your wallpaper scraps to smoothly cover canvases of different sizes and create a collage on the wall so the pattern carries on subtly down the hallway
- If you’d rather keep that pattern or color to one room, paper a single wall and create a canvas collage on the opposite side
- Would your clients prefer something a little more ornate? Find decorative picture frames, place the wallpaper inside like a picture, and use those instead
Turning wallpaper scraps into art ties the room together and carries themes throughout the house.
3. Lined shelves
Wallpapering the back of a shelf is a great way to give the room a subtle pop of color or texture without overwhelming the rest of the décor. Consider papering:
- Book shelves
- China cabinets
- Media centers
Have your clients pick exciting wallpaper and smoothly line the back of each shelf before you fill them. This is the perfect way to use that bright orange paper with the loud pink polka dots that caught your client’s eye but that you both know would completely overwhelm a whole room.
4. Wallpaper cutouts and shapes
Just because you’re putting wallpaper on the walls doesn’t mean you have to do it the “normal” way! Try creating shapes and patterns with the paper your clients have chosen.
- Horizontal or diagonal lines in different colors or patterns give the room a mod, geometric look
- Circles, stars, or shapes of different sizes are easy to do and give the space a fun, whimsical look
Covering bits and pieces of the wall rather than the entire thing gives the room personality.
5. Wallpapered storage and décor
Why not incorporate the practical parts of the room into the overall décor for more stylistic appeal? Choose a wallpaper with a continuous pattern and cover things like:
- File folders
- Storage boxes
- The outsides of dresser drawers
Note: Would your clients prefer not to paper the front of their pristine white dresser? Add color along the side of each drawer on the inside so it peeks out when they open them instead.
Keep the pattern continuous and flowing from box to box or drawer to drawer for extra detail. Consider spicing up other practical aspects of the room too, like:
- The frame around the mirror
- The stand of the lamp
- Lampshades that are thick enough not to heat the paper and pose a fire hazard
Wallpaper is a versatile tool for giving a facelift to what your clients already own.
6. The front of each step
Have your clients choose from their wallpaper scraps or a new paper they absolutely love and transform their main staircase. Along the front of each step, paper a fun, classy, or textured color or pattern. Guests using or passing by the stairs will be intrigued by the unique decorative detail. Consider:
- Prints of book spines if your clients are book lovers
- World map print if they’re avid travelers
- Simply their favorite color
Wallpaper is a low maintenance way to give older furniture a new lease on life. It’s also great for creating accent pieces and contributing to the overall décor of a space. Choose a design to cover an old stool, a wooden chair, the top of a dresser or side table, or your head board. Stick the paper smoothly to each surface and cover it with spray lacquer to seal it for more durability. Are your clients missing a headboard? Create them one out of wallpaper cut into the shape of a headboard’s silhouette and paste it to the wall directly behind their bed!
8. Little accents
Style is in the details! Try wallpapering these decorative accents for extra flair:
- Take off the light switch cover or outlet cover and use wallpaper to give it some color and texture
- Line the indented details in the bedroom, bathroom, or closet doors, or perhaps just the frame around the doorway
- Window frames, wooden shade panels, and thick blinds also make great canvases for a little wallpaper creativity
9. Can’t find wallpaper you like?
Picture this: You and your clients have a vision of what you want, but you can’t find wallpaper that matches. You don’t want plain, solidly colored walls and you’d prefer paper over paint. Why not create your own patterned wallpaper?
- Choose a solid color or plain white as your background and an accent color for your pattern
- Check local craft and paint stores for a paint roller in a pattern you like, or try techniques like sponging and splattering
- If your clients are very artistic, they might simply paint or draw a pattern on the background paper, or hire someone to do so
- Create roll, sponge, or create whatever design you please
Paint rolling creates a neater, more even pattern than freestyle painting, but your clients might be into that DIY aesthetic!
If you’re inventive about how you use it, wallpaper is an almost limitless décor tool! Whether you’re putting your own spin on a traditional wall application or sticking it to something completely out of the ordinary, the range of colors and patterns available makes wallpaper a great option for making a statement.