I have a love/hate relationship with wallpaper. I fall in love with it in every magazine, but when it comes to using it in real life I get scared. First and foremost it is EXPENSIVE (especially in comparison to a can of paint). Secondly, a large pattern glued to the walls makes redecorating more of a challenge. If you start with a neutral paint color and bring in pattern with pillows and accessories, it allows for an easier change later on. That being said, wallpaper has the ability to make a room feel more luxurious than any paint color. So if you are a wallpaper virgin like myself (but are still tempted to give it a chance) then here are a few of my recommendations:
- Start with a small space. I think powder rooms and guest bathrooms are a great place to be adventurous. (Bonus: the smaller the space, the cheaper the commitment)
- Choose a classic pattern. If you don't want to redecorate every three years, stay away from trendy patterns. Old wallpaper can date a room faster than any accessory or fixture.
- Let the wallpaper be your focus. This is not the place to put your favorite painting or fabric. Layering pattern with pattern can create a glamorous or eclectic look, but you don't want them to fight each other in the room. Make sure you see large samples of the patterns you are using in the room (lighting is key!) before you make the decision.
Living room in Charleston, SC. This is a great example of layering pattern and color to create an exquisite look.
Powder room that features bold wallpaper and sleek design everywhere else. Using the bead board for the bottom half is a great way to save money.
Here is a more subtle use of wallpaper but equally striking. Lining the open shelves with a bold pattern coordinates beautifully with the interesting mirror.
This simple design lets the wallpaper have ALL the focus.
A gold shelf in front of a small, repeating pattern creates unparalleled glamour.