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How to WOW with Wallpaper

Updated: Feb 19

I. AM. OBSESSED. with wallpaper and am here to share some tips & favorites with you.

If you haven't been living in a hole, you know that wallpaper is making a comeback, and in a BIG WAY. What was once thought of as ugly and dated is now [typically] considered fresh and stylish. Whether you're looking to freshen up a powder room, foyer, or bedroom, a good wallpaper choice has the potential to make a beautiful statement. I like to think of wallpaper as artwork, something that sparks conversation and is memorable. So you won't find any boring or basic wallpaper recommendations here. Sorry!


I have wallpaper in many spaces of my home: my powder room, laundry room, master bath, in-law suite bath, & my elevator, and I'm currently planning my next wallpaper project. I have had a professional install the wallpaper, and I've also done some myself- both peel & stick, and traditional.

I have so many tips for installing wallpaper yourself, but that requires a separate blog post, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some ideas to help you select wallpaper for different spaces in your home, and to help you get over the fear of using wallpaper in general.

Laundry Room Wallpaper

The laundry room is a great first space to add wallpaper, especially if you are hesitant. Since you and your family are likely the only ones who see the laundry room regularly, so this will give you some time to get used to the idea of wallpaper.

My laundry room wallpaper is Kitty McCall "Encinitas" from Milton & King. The photos don't really do justice to the beautiful colors in the print, and I have to say that I love so many Kitty McCall prints, that it was really hard to choose which one to use in this space.

Funny story is that I had actually chosen a bright pink from the print to paint the ceiling, but when we were building our house, the painters used the wrong color (I had chosen navy for the ceiling of my powder room), but I actually liked it and decided to keep it! So my laundry room ceiling is the same color as my powder room ceiling (pic to come).

Entryway Wallpaper

Another spall space and great way to experiment with wallpaper is your foyer or entryway. What better place to make a statement and set the tone of your entire home than as soon as you walk in the front door. Depending on the layout of your entry, you can wallpaper just one wall, or if you have a smaller foyer, go ahead and wallpaper the entire space.

Here are some of my favorites for the entryway:

Powder Room Wallpaper

Ok, if you are going to wallpaper just one space in your home, make it the powder room. You can have so much fun here! I recommend going bold and not looking back. Like the laundry room, this is a small space, although more visible than the laundry room typically. But there are so many options and ways to have fun: molding and wallpaper, wallpaper one wall and paint the additional walls & ceiling the same color, wallpaper the ceiling...and so much more!

This [left] is my powder room. I fell in love with this Clarence House "Tibet" wallpaper when I saw it in the lighter blue color, but wanted to go bold, so I chose the navy option and I absolutely love the statement it makes. I wanted a contrast so I chose bright, white molding and a navy ceiling in this space.

Here are some others I'm currently obsessed with for the powder room:

"Just One Wall" Wallpaper

If you love bold wallpaper like I do, start small. By wallpapering just one wall in your space of choice, you get the benefit of the fun, bold colors and pattern without committing to an entire room. I often try to select a color from the wallpaper to paint the rest of the room and this typically turns out really well. PRO TIP: most paint stores can match a color if you simply bring in a sample of the wallpaper. I've done this many times at Sherwin Williams, Lowe's, and Home Depot.

I used this [left] Emma J. Shipley wallpaper from Anthropologie in my elevator and am in love with it. It's so funky and bold! I also had Sherwin Williams create a custom color to match the dark blue in the print and decided to pain the ceiling of the elevator in addition to the walls.

In my new home, I really wanted to experiment with color and pattern, and all the wallpaper I chose definitely fits the bill.

My #1 piece of advice to keep in mind when designing interior spaces is: be confident and commit!

The "just one wall" method is also great if you want to spend a little more on your wallpaper but don't have the budget to do the entire space. Here are a few of my favorite splurges:

"Just Go For It" Wallpaper

If you're not scared of wallpaper and just want to make a statement in your space, awesome! Below are some options for what I call the "just go for it" wallpaper.

If you're choosing one of these, you should wallpaper your entire space - all four walls - or you can consider using one of these prints on your ceiling, with a bold color on the walls. When I chose this bold, peacock print for my master bath [right], I was initially going to just paper the focal wall, but I am so glad I decided to do the entire room, because it really makes a stunning impression!

These are the REAL conversation starters:


A few other considerations...

  • Pay attention to the SCALE of the print you choose: sometimes larger-scale prints won't lay out correctly on smaller walls depending on the location of doors, windows, etc. And conversely, sometimes smaller-scale prints will get lost on larger walls, in larger spaces.

  • Think about the MATERIAL that will work best for your space. If you are placing wallpaper in a regularly-used bathroom with a shower, for example, you want to avoid grasscloth or other fabric, or paper-like wallpapers, as they won't hold up well with the humidity. Peel & stick wallpapers tend to be more vinyl-like and durable, whereas higher-end wallpapers are more fragile.

  • If you are installing the wallpaper yourself, make sure you consider where the SEAMS will be located - especially if you are installing in a bathroom. I always try to avoid having a seam near my sink or faucet, because I find this is typically where the seam will begin to come undone first.

  • Do you want PEEL & STICK, PRE-PASTED, OR JUST PAPER? Well, to me, this really depends on who is installing the wallpaper and where it is going. I have personally installed all kinds and to be honest, I find them all difficult to work with in their own ways, BUT if I had to choose a type to install myself, I would probably select peel & stick. This tends to be the most affordable options as well. But your choice is going to depend on who is going the installing, and where it is going.


Hopefully this helps spark some ideas for you! As always, reach out if you need help designing your interior spaces, or even if you just have questions. I'm always happy to chat: or 443.465.0954.


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