15 Fresh Ways to Use Wallpaper
Wallpaper needn't cover an entire room. Applying wallpaper in select areas or unique ways, such as in a niche or inset, makes it a style standout
After languishing for decades in decorating obscurity, wallpaper is back. If you've been to a home or design center recently, chances are you've seen some of the gorgeous new designs. Big, bold graphics seem to be the motif of choice, although certain classic designs remain a safe bet.
Having been out of fashion so long, it's perhaps not a surprise that wallpaper seems fresh again. A big part of its new appeal, though, is that it's being used in a number of imaginative ways. Certainly, you can paper an entire room like your grandmother did, but if that idea doesn't appeal to you -- yet you still yearn to use some of the fabulous new wallpaper patterns -- consider these 15 ideas.
1. Wallpaper a niche.
Niches and insets cry out for attention. Put wallpaper here to give these small spaces more design punch.
2. Make an accent.
Pick a wall behind a bed, desk or sofa for a wallpaper accent that will make this area a focal point.
3. Paper over valances.
Are your plain wooden curtain valances too, well, plain? Change the motif with bold or exotic new wallpaper.
4. Create a backdrop.
To soften a corner, wallpaper a folding screen.
5. Make an entrance.
Wallpapering the foyer can add needed drama to your home's entry.
6. Add a headboard.
If you're lacking a headboard for your bed, try making one. Cut plywood to the size of the bed's width and attach 1-by-2 boards to the top and sides to create a flat box. Cover with wallpaper. Attach to bed frame or hang on the wall like a frame.
7. Revivify a worn-out or damaged desktop, nightstand or dresser.
Have glass and wallpaper cut to the size of the top of the furniture. Place wallpaper on the surface and then top with glass.
8. Create a fireplace screen.
Using half-inch plywood, cut three pieces of plywood for a fireplace screen and cover with wallpaper. Hinge pieces together and display.
9. Add punch to your powder room.
Bold, graphic wallpaper in a small powder room makes a big statement.
10. Adorn your doors.
If you have a door with insets, add wallpaper to the insets. Or, if you have plain doors, add a centerpiece of wallpaper and then glue or nail mitered trim around the wallpaper for a custom look.
11. Make wainscoting.
If you have chair rail molding, add paper below the chair rail to create wallpaper wainscoting.
12. Make a backsplash.
There are many wallpaper patterns that look like tile. Use these for a decorative backsplash in the kitchen, making sure the paper is cleanable.
13. Dress up shelves.
Put up wallpaper behind the shelves in your medicine cabinet, bookshelves, china cabinet or kitchen cabinets. Or, if you have messy shelves behind your glass cabinet doors, add wallpaper behind the glass to hide the mess.
14. Create artwork.
Wrap various sizes of artist canvases with wallpaper. This looks especially good across from a wallpapered accent wall.
15. Serve up some style.
Wallpaper the bottom of a serving tray and top with glass.
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(c) 2010 Living Space by Kathryn Weber