4 Unconventional Ways to Use Wallpaper



Until more recent times, wallpaper was somewhat a thing of that past that we happily left behind in the 50-Shades-of-Beige 90s in its tonal, botanical-print form. Now however, with countless options ranging from cheap and cheerful to high-end designer, wallpapers no longer resemble something you would see in your Auntie’s outdated bungalow. On the contrary, everything from contemporary abstract designs to intricate flora and fauna gold-leafed sceneries are now available and function as fine art worthy of those celebrity homes you swoon over on the pages of Architectural Digest. But if a completely wallpapered room or even an accent wall still makes you cringe and triggers PTSD from decades past, here are 5 somewhat subtle and unconventional ways of incorporating wallpaper into your home that you might come to love…

Photo Courtesy of Elle Decor

A Wallpapered Ceiling

This is a form of wallpapering that you don’t see often, which makes it all the more impactful. A wallpapered ceiling is one of those features that is delightfully surprising in any room and incredibly effective for creating the desired mood. We’ve done cloud-print ceilings to inspire sweet dreams in nurseries as well as textural papers to add drama to dining rooms. Regardless of which room’s ceiling you decide to adorn though, it goes without saying that gravity is working against you. For this reason, it is absolutely imperative that you use a seasoned professional for the installation. A word to the wise, this is not a DYI situation but fret not, we have all the best trades to make your dream a reality.

Photo Courtesy of Hallie Henley Design

Lined Shelves

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the art of decorating shelves but sometimes it’s not just a question of what is displayed on the shelves but rather the shelves themselves. If your built-ins are looking a bit boring, consider having the backs of them wallpapered! Prints can be used to add colour and visual interest or you can opt for something tonal to add some texture or shine. Some wallpapers are made to resemble natural materials like marbles, metals and hardwood. 

Photo Courtesy of RoomMates Decor

Wallpapered Pieces of Furniture

Yes, you read that right! In some cases you can wallpaper your furniture, a process called decoupage, which is a French word for decorating objects with paper cutouts. This works best when the surface area in question is fairly flat and free of curves. For example, the top surface of a wooden desk or table can easily be wallpapered and then fitted with a custom-cut piece of glass overtop for both protection and functionality. Alternatively, the fronts of chests of drawers and the backs of chairs are also great opportunities for wallpaper. 

Hang Wallpaper as Art

At the end of the day, wallpapers truly are works of art designed by incredibly talented painters, print-makers and graphic designers. With that said, we see no reason why you can’t frame and hang a segment of wallpaper that you particularly love. If you look at super high-end wallpapers such as those by De Gournay, as shown above, many of them are designed to be murals. When you’re spending that kind of money on a wallpaper, it’s worthwhile to consider hanging the mural in one or several framed segments like pieces of art. This way, you will have options down line should you move or redecorate, without having to scrap the paper completely. Another scenario in which framed wallpaper would make perfect sense is for off-cuts or remaining wallpaper from a previous project. More often than not, you end up with extra so why not make the most of it and use those segments in other parts of your home?