Blog by Beebe Cline

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11 Ways to Roll With Wallpaper All Over the Home

I meet a lot of people who have reservations about wallpaper. Two of the most common questions I'm asked are: "Isn't wallpaper out of fashion?" and "Isn't wallpaper a lot of maintenance?"

My stock answer: no, actually it's just the opposite. Wallpaper is very much in fashion, and I think it always will be. Additionally, in most cases it's easier to clean than painted walls. Proper installation by a professional wallpaper hanger and a high-quality paper are key.
Wallpaper is a wonderful design tool. I use it for almost every project: bathrooms, bedrooms, stairs, kitchens and cabinets. Name a flat surface; I've probably papered it. Here are some creative applications of wallpaper by talented Houzz designers. Consider one of these for your own home — you'll be hooked. Wallpaper is here to stay.

In the bath. If you have tile wainscoting in a bathroom, consider wallpaper above the tile line, or the top two thirds of the wall. Wallpaper that is installed properly can withstand the steamy environment of showers. Using a fan or ventilating with windows is always a good idea.
As an accent wall. Wallpaper one accent wall and use a coordinating paint color for the remaining walls. Select a pattern you like — geometric, floral or abstract — and pair neutral furniture pieces with the wall. And yes, hang art right on the wallpapered wall.
A wallpapered accent wall in a room with multiple pitches looks great. The wallpaper creates contrast and highlights the architecture.
At the entry. Wallpaper works great in an entry and a stairwell. A bold wallpaper pattern can really bring life to this first-impression space. I particularly like wallpaper up a stairwell if I am working with a smaller budget that doesn't allow for pricey finish carpentry. Notice the switch plate at the base of the stairs that is perfectly camouflaged by the wallpaper pattern.
Behind shelves. Create interest in a room by wallpapering the backs of bookshelves. Highlighting bookshelves in this way makes a special display space for treasured accessories and family photos.
Above wainscoting. If you have a room with high wood wainscoting, consider wallpapering the upper third of the wall. I like the bold mix here of a traditional wallpaper and a midcentury table and chairs.
In the kitchen. This application of wallpaper is brilliant. The designer selected a white subway tile backsplash with an open shelf above the splash line. Wallpaper was applied above the open shelf only. It's great use of wallpaper in the kitchen that still allows for easy cleaning.
Install paper in the back of kitchen cabinets. This works particularly well with painted cabinets. A splash of bright wallpaper looks great with white cups and plates, and makes things easier to see.
Within a frame. Apply wallpaper inside wall molding to create your own canvas of wallpaper art. If you have wall molding in a pattern, consider a whimsical installation.
In a powder room. If you have a powder room with exposed plumbing, wallpaper is a great way to dress up the plumbed wall. Note how the wallpaper here adds to the furniture-style feel of the vanity.
As a cabinet detail. One of the reasons I like a Shaker-style cabinet door is that wallpaper looks great in the recessed portion of the door. Here a textured grass cloth on the drawer fronts adds contrast to the painted built-in.
On the stairs. Add interest to stair risers with wallpaper. Stairwells are high-traffic areas in most homes; kick up your walk upstairs a notch with a fun pattern. I have seen a thin acrylic sheet placed over risers for protection. That would work well here too.
Wallpaper the ceiling! If you have a recessed ceiling detail from a cove or another architectural detail, consider wallpaper with a coordinating wall color. Note the placement of the ceiling fixture here; it creates a great focal point against the pattern.

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