Unique Wallpaper Ideas to Enhance Your Home

Julia Weaver, Redfin blog author, asked me to contribute to this great article about wallpaper ideas to enhance your home.

There’s no denying the wow-factor of great wallpaper. From floral and nature patterns to striped and geometric styles, wallpaper can add interest to any room. But, nowadays many homeowners are hesitant about decorating with wallpaper. So, we’ve asked experts, from New York to Portland, to share their unique wallpaper ideas to enhance your home with wallpaper. With so many patterns and textures, the possibilities are endless.

Start by choosing a theme for your home 

A unique wallpaper idea is to try to start with wallpaper when choosing a “theme” for your home. I’ve used bird clad wallpaper to help remind me all about summer camp and vacations in New England all year long, so paying homage to a favourite city or trip can be a great place to get started for inspiration. – The Charleston Weekender

Make a room appear larger with bold patterns and bright colours

Bold and colourful wallpaper designs make a space look larger than life and much bigger than what it actually is. Most people tend to have conservative decorating styles and choose faux earth tones and neutrals, which is nice, but you can really transform a room if you’re willing to go past that. – Wallpaper Boulevard

Use wallpaper as the foundation of the room

Wallpaper should be fun and make you feel like you are in a jewelry box. Take a risk when making a choice for the paper you want to use and use it as the foundation for the rest of the space. – Susan Hill Interior Design

Define rooms in an open concept floor plan

Wallpaper is ideal for decorating small spaces where it’s not possible to incorporate a lot of furniture or decorative accessories, such as entryways, hallways, or bathrooms.

It also helps to define areas in open spaces. For example, a mural in the dining room can help to visually separate this area from the living room.

Wallpaper creates contrast helping to break the monotony of colours, textures, or materials in a space, making it visually more interesting and striking. – Isolina Mallon Interiors

Opt for large scale prints

Adding large scale prints to smaller rooms makes a room feel bigger and creates more of a designer statement in the space. In an open concept home, adding wallpaper to the ceiling unites the space and creates a continuous flow from a kitchen into a great room. – Jaima & Co.

Make a great first impression

Entranceways are a fantastic space to create a first impression for guests, but also the first area you enter when returning home, so consider how you want your home to make you feel. Calm and cocooned, or cheerful and vibrant? Consider the views into the entranceway from other rooms, how much do you see, how will the design you choose for the entrance flow into the other rooms? Hallways can often be narrow with little natural light so consider using colour and pattern to create a design scheme that brings warmth and light to the space. -Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director Paint & Paper Library

Think outside the box

Instead of just painting your bookshelf, give it an instant style upgrade by adding wallpaper. The nice thing about wallpapering-on-the-back-of-the-bookshelf is that it’s easy to do. Plus, it’s a great decor idea for renters who want to add a little pattern to their home. And, if you want things to look up, don’t forget the white ceiling space of your home. Think out of the box and create your own floor-to-ceiling masterpiece with floral wallpapers. It will be like your own version of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo who? – Omysa

Try adding decorative tape to your walls

Think of your wall as an artist’s blank canvas, then grab some tape. It’s simple to apply and easily removable, so you can let your creativity roam free creating wall art in your home. From murals to feature walls to mini race tracks for kids, decorative tape is the ultimate flexible tool for creating instantly stunning wall art. – The Washi Tape Shop

Use your creativity to inspire your space

Wallpaper is a great way to revamp any area of your home, whether it be your living or dining rooms, bedroom, office space, or bathroom. From the type of material to design, there are a lot of different options to choose from. If you’re like me and you like to use your creativity to inspire a room just for you, wallpaper is a great option to achieve that.  – Just a Blonde in Buffalo

Consider using removable wallpaper

Wallpaper is a great way to add color and interest to any space. I love the idea of peel and stick wallpaper because it gives you the look without the commitment. Which is super important in a world of ever changing trends. – Cribbs Style

If you’re looking for style that sticks, removable wallpaper is your answer. Being the #1 choice for DIYers who are new to wallpapering or for seasoned crafters, this wallpaper is easily repositionable and removable as seasons come and go and your personal style evolves. Compared to paint, peel and stick wallpaper is more durable, vibrant, and shows off your unique personality in your home décor. No matter what your experience is with interior design and wallpapering, it makes it easy to add color and print to walls with a variety of designs waiting for your creative touch. –WallPops

Keep wallpaper below the dado rail

Don't be tempted to create a “feature wall” with wallpaper, it can so easily look as if you couldn’t afford to do the whole room. If you're on a tight budget and there is a dado rail or picture rail, rather keep the wallpaper below this and take it around the whole room. –Louise Booyens Interiors

Add wallpaper to your ceiling

Since wallpaper offers a unique opportunity to truly personalize your design, we love using it in a variety of ways. We love to apply wallpaper to the ceiling. Our designers look for metallic, beaded or intricate wallpaper designs to add a special pop here. This design element works great as a finishing touch in Master Bedrooms. We also love inspiring our customers to customize their furniture. Wallpaper offers a unique way to finish the fronts of dressers, back of built in bookcases and other furniture items. We like to look for graphic or textured wallpaper prints for these finishing touches. – Spacejoy

Pick wallpaper that is risky

Our best advice for wallpaper is to not play it safe. Pick the wallpaper that feels a little risky and makes you slightly scared. Most of the wallpaper we’ve picked out for clients have been patterns they were a little nervous about but ended up loving it that much more. Also, go big. Don’t just wallpaper a wall. It’ll make more of an impact to wallpaper four walls in a small room than one wall in a big room. – Swatts & Co Design Studio

Use textured paper to add interest

Wallpaper doesn’t need to be all statement and color. A unique wallpaper idea is utilizing wallpaper for its textural capabilities adds another layer to elevate a space. A textured paper can add subtle interest that works well when you are wanting to add warmth and dimension while not needing to draw focus. These applications can be an affordable way to achieve a high-end look. You can even use them to mimic the look of expensive finishes like Venetian plaster, painted brick, and grass cloth. – Curatist Studio

Go bold and take a risk

Don’t be afraid to go bold. You can always pare back the color and pattern in other parts of the room to allow the walls to be the focal point. Wallpaper doesn’t need to be a lifelong commitment anymore. Many brands are making easily removable products so when you are ready for a change, just peel it off and start again. – Kristen Laing Design

For a big impact, think small

I use wallpaper all the time and I think it’s a great way to add visual interest and a big dose of design to any room. But let’s be honest, wallpaper can be expensive and wallpaper installation is even more expensive. My favorite thing to do is order wallpaper that’s peel-n-stick and install it myself, it’s basically a giant sticker. It also makes it easy to remove so if you’re renting or don’t want to commit for the rest of your life, this is a great option. I love to use a small amount of wallpaper for a big impact. So maybe just the inside of a closet, one small pop-out in a room (like around a fireplace), or the wall behind a bed can also make a huge difference. – Jasmine Roth

If you want to incorporate wallpaper into your home without feeling too heavy-handed, a unique wallpaper idea is to look for opportunities to infuse wallpaper into smaller areas. I love seeing wallpaper accent walls, as well as peel & stick wallpaper in the back of bookshelves, lining drawers, and even tucked into the risers on staircases. Whether you’re decorating an entire living room or creating an accent wall, wallpaper will brighten any interior space. – CatCoq, LLC

Take the size of the space into consideration

One thing I always caution my clients about is understanding pattern size and how it will look on the wall versus a tiny sample. One pattern may be perfect for a powder room, but not appropriately sized for a larger space, such as a dining room. I’ve seen beautiful small scale samples suddenly turn into Magic Eye posters as soon as you start thinking about putting them on a large wall. – Benton Art & Design

Other posts by Julia Weaver at Redfin