Tips For Subtly Decorating With Wallpaper


Original Oil Paintings Aviary I, Aviary II, Aviary III; inspired by French Empire wallpaper designs.

Wallpaper and the term “understated” aren’t usually used in the same sentence. Normally wallpaper is bold and demands attention, which is why so many homeowners use the item to create an accent wall. But the truth is, you can decorate your home using wallpaper without overwhelming the room. Here’s how to do it:

Stay in the same color family
If you want an accent wall in your home, select a wallpaper that matches the tone of your walls (or is at least in the same color family) The pattern on the paper will create just enough contrast to draw attention to your accent wall, but it won’t become the dominating focal point in the room.

Use it in small areas
You don’t have to rely on wallpaper to cover an entire room. Instead, choose to use wallpaper in small areas, like a kitchen backsplash or even on the inside of a bookshelf. Lining the inside of your bookshelf with wallpaper can add color and help the shelves pop. You can do the same thing with cabinets into your home, so each time you open them up you’ll enjoy a splash of color.

Frame it
Choose two or three different patterns of wallpaper that you love, and frame them! This way, you can create a pretty display without covering up your walls entirely. Frame a big piece of wallpaper, or cut out a few smaller squares and frame them to bring color and texture to your walls.

Cover a coffee table
Is your contemporary living room in need of a little personality? If so, select wallpaper that coordinates with the existing color scheme in the room and use the paper to cover the top of your coffee table. Place a sheet of glass over the paper to protect it from rips, tears and stains. Having glass on the wallpaper makes it easy for you to switch out the paper for a new design whenever you want.

Update frames
Instead of replacing your old picture frames with new ones, just use wallpaper to liven them up a bit. Use an X-acto knife to cut the wallpaper to fit the shape of the frame, then use Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the surface of the frame. Choose different patterns and hues of wallpaper that coordinate with one another and arrange the picture frames on an entryway table or coffee table for a colorful display.

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