There was a time when wallpaper felt timeless; then, there was a time when everyone was ripping tragically busy motifs from their walls and buying paint cans by the dozen. When thoughtfully chosen, wallpaper can make a sizable impact on a space. When wrongly applied, it can create disaster. In these 12 spaces, you can see wallpaper’s ability to add interest to a space — big or small — as the walls of dining rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms are dressed in well-chosen designs and styles. Does a simple monochromatic paper suit you, or does a bold, statement-making pattern resonate better with you? Take a look and see which catches your eye.

Simple, yet showstopping

“Wallpaper can be a maker or a deal breaker for the design and the budget,” Castle Homes‘ Heather Looney shares.  As a design and build firm, Castle Homes is tasked with seeing the whole project — including budget — from start to finish. When the opportunity arises to incorporate wallpaper into the design, Heather follows the KISS method (keep it simple, silly!). “It is about balancing and layering tastefully and subtly with your personality,” she says. “When the opportunity or desire arises, it is fun to indulge and create a look that reflects what the client would like.”

Home Trends: Wallpaper in Every Room

Grasscloth was used in this room to create a sense of warmth and pull together the existing furnishings. “This gave life to the furniture, updating and giving the room an organic and colorful, yet subtle trendy pop,” Heather says. Image: Reed Brown

Home Trends: Wallpaper in Every Room

“The vertically striped wallpaper design and colorway were used repeatedly in a small space,” Heather explains. The repetition creates a classic Southern feel. This was one of the guest rooms appointed by Castle Home’s project partner Interior Designer Pheobe Howard in the Southern Living Idea House. Image: Reed Brown

Pattern play

“Depending on the style of the wallcovering, it can add interest to any room with pattern or texture,” says Jonathan Savage of Savage Interior Design. “Wallcovering gives a space much more depth than painted walls. I find myself often using wallcovering on ceilings as well to make shorter walls feel taller, while also adding a punch.”

Jonathan isn’t afraid of pattern, as showcased below. Bold prints and playful patterns create interesting spaces.

Home Trends: Wallpaper in Every Room

Jonathan transformed this dining room by adding a graphic pattern with a floral twist to the walls and ceiling. Image: Savage Interior Design

Home Trends: Wallpaper in Every Room

“This bold wall covering in the entry sets the mood for the home,” Jonathan tells us. “These Koi have the tendency to spark a conversation as soon as guests arrive. The Nina Campbell Palms wallcovering adds sophistication to a rather casual beach-like setting.” Image: Savage Interior Design

Subtle style

Wallpaper doesn’t have to be filled with pattern and color to make a big impact. Sara Ray, of Sara Ray Interior Design, proves this point for us. When educating us on how to properly use wallpaper in a space, she suggests selecting something you won’t grow tired of. “Small spaces are great for packing a big punch — flamboyant, large-scale and/or lots of color can make a small space, like a powder room, really dramatic.”

 Image: Alyssa Rosenheck

“The watercolor effect is subtle and visually lightweight, contrasting with the heaviness of the floating stone vanity,” Sara explains. Image: Alyssa Rosenheck

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Versatile and impactful 

“Oftentimes we use a solid wallcovering as a way to bring texture and depth to a space without overpowering the room with a bold print,” Blair Parkes of Parkes & Lamb Interiors tells us. Their work shows how wallpaper can set the tone in a space. In a little boy’s room, wallpaper adds sophistication, and in a powder room, wallpaper enlivens a small space. While wallpaper is often thought to be formal and traditional, this design duo showcases its versatility and impact.

Image: Mary Craven Dawkins

“In the little boy’s room, we used a navy and camel grasscloth on the walls to add a little sophistication to a room that the boy would really grow into one day,” Susan Lamb shares. “The grasscloth gives the room some age and an overall organic feel to complement the room’s otherwise modern elements.” Image: Mary Craven Dawkins

Image: Mary Craven Dawkins

“This client wanted to do a fun print in the powder room, so we selected a Galbraith and Paul wallcovering that would reflect well in the small space,” Blair tells us. Image: Mary Craven Dawkins


“I like to use any type of wall covering — either a printed paper, grass cloth or even shagreen, as in this example — as a subtle textural enrichment on walls and ceilings,” shares Peter Fleming, who leads Pfeffer Torode Architecture‘s Interior Architecture Studio. “In compositions where layering and rarified objects are in play, as we have here with Venetian mirrors and custom plaster consoles in the style of Syrie Maugham, the background helps establish and enhance the sense of a curated, informed interior inspired by important 20th-century decorative arts.”

Home Trends: Wallpaper in Every Room

Subtle texture is added to the walls behind the Venetian mirrors. The wallpaper creates the ideal backdrop for these thoughtfully chosen design pieces. Image: Jerry Atnip

The unexpected

“We love to use wallpaper in unexpected areas and, if we can, find a pattern that brings all of the colors in a house together,” Roger Higgins of R. Higgins Interiors tells us. “It really works in a space like this entry hall.” Roger ties the space together by pulling colors from the wallpaper into the furniture and accessories. We’ve never seen an entryway so stylish.

Home Trends: Wallpaper in Every Room

“We used a gimp trim around the edges to give the room a little something extra,” Roger says. Image: R. Higgins

Refined romance

“Wallpaper styles are very subjective, like most other things in design. You can go bold and make a statement or choose a paper that is more subtle and adds texture,” Brad Ramsey of Brad Ramsey Interiors explains. He also addresses the important point that wallpaper is not forever. “Wallpapers these days are made with adhesive that doesn’t destroy walls like old papers used to. And a professional installer will give you an even better result.”

Brad took a chance that paid off in this bedroom. “The wallpaper sets the tone for a romantic bedroom that is both beautiful and refined. The black and white keeps it classic and allows other colors in the room to stand out.”

Home Trends: Wallpaper in Every Room

“In our featured space, we were creating the look of a modern Parisian loft,” Brad shares. Image: Showcase Photographers

Daring designs

“Today, there is an abundance of amazing wallpaper designs and we are having a blast incorporating it into our projects, both walls and/or ceilings,” says Joanna Goodman, Director of Interiors at Christopher Architecture and Interiors. ” If you want to add texture, create visual interest or give your room a new style, wallpaper is an easy way to achieve a refreshed look. Whether you like colorful or neutral, patterned or abstract, textured or flat, geometric or floral, there is wallpaper out there for everyone.”

We love these lobsters!

We love these lobsters! Image: Jack Gardner

The playful design of this wallpaper brings personality to the space.

The playful design of this wallpaper brings personality to the space. Image: Chris Luker

These rooms are what wallpaper dreams are made of!


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