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The Most Under-Utilized Decorating Accessory that Makes a BIG Impact

Curved lamp in a livingroom

Photo Credit by Graham & Brown

When was the last time you walked into a home and saw wallpaper?

Chances are it’s been a long time.

Let’s be clear—the reason you haven’t seen wallpaper recently is not because it’s not current or on-trend (quite the opposite); it’s because most people rarely think about using wallpaper as a fabulous way to accessorize a room, a piece of furniture, a nook, or a shelving unit.

Want to add texture, warmth, or pizazz to a room in your home? We highly recommend exploring the wonderful world of wallpaper.

Come along with us as we take you on a wallpaper journey, so you can be informed about the latest trends, creative ideas about where and what to wallpaper, and so much more.

Traditional Versus Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Traditional wallpaper has nothing to do with the style, it’s about how the wallpaper is made.

Traditional wallpaper is referred to as “non-woven” which means the back of the wallpaper is breathable to avoid the growth of mold or other bacteria. The breathable backing also reduces the paper from contracting and expanding and is fairly simple to remove.

For installation, traditional wallpaper will require paste and a roller brush. Because of the paste, it is easy to manipulate as you are putting the wallpaper in its proper place.

In recent years, peel-and-stick wallpaper has become increasingly popular especially for people who are renting their house or apartment—you literally just peel the paper off and leave no trace behind.

Another reason to use peel-and-stick wallpaper is if you are the decorating type who likes to change things up on a regular basis. Done with the current pattern after a year? No problem, change it out for a completely different design.

If you are considering peel-and-stick wallpaper, make sure your walls are well suited for it. It’s best to use it on a smooth, flat surface with little to no texture. If you have a textured wall, we recommend doing a tester to see how it adheres. You can use a wallpaper paste for better adhering, but that defeats the purpose of the convenience and no trace left behind with peel-and-stick.

Be aware the removable peel-and-stick is unforgiving--because the back is sticky, it doesn’t allow you to manipulate the paper into its perfect place like traditional wallpaper.

Generally speaking, traditional wallpaper is a superior product to peel-and-stick even though there can be more labor and cost involved; however, as discussed, peel-and-stick is a great option for temporary tastes and homestays.

Wallpaper Worthy Walls

Photo credit by Oliver Designs

As mentioned above, peel-and-stick wallpaper is best installed on a flat surface.

Got texture? Read on!

When considering traditional wallpaper, some of you may be thinking “I have textured walls so I thought I couldn’t wallpaper over them?” Good news—most walls, even-textured ones, can be wallpapered if the wall is prepared properly.

The most effective way to go from textured to flat walls is performing a process called “mudding.” Follow these four simple steps and your wall(s) will be wallpaper worthy!

  1. To level the surface, apply a skim coat or a layer of joint compound.

  2. Sand the wall.

  3. Wipe down the surface.

  4. Apply one coat of primer to seal the wall to prevent the wallpaper paste from soaking into the newly flattened surface.

Wallpaper Trends for 2021

Maximalism is in!

You are familiar with minimalism (white walls, muted color palettes, streamline designs), so think the polar opposite—bigger, brighter, bolder, busier and you’ve got maximalism.

We are breaking down the trends to three categories:

  1. TEXTURE: The textured wallpaper gives dimension and the illusion that the pattern is directly on the wall like brick, stone, and other patterns like weaves, grasscloth, silk, and bamboo.

Photo Credit by Brewster Home Fashion

2. FLORALS/BOTANICS: A big trend for 2021 is “bringing the outside in,” so flowers, trees, and plants are very popular choice in wallpaper. Whether you choose a literal or abstract botanical design, you will not disappoint!

Photo Credit by Richard Powers

3. GEOMETRICS: Geometric shapes make a room appear balanced and makes those who inhabit the space feel a sense of stability. Large, basic shapes like diamonds and squares create an expansive feeling. Use contrasting colors within the geometric patterns and you’ve got yourself a space that calls out for fun, excitement, and creativity.

Where & What to Wallpaper

If you are looking to infuse creative décor into your home, think beyond just wallpapering your basic four walls. Here are some ideas to inspire you to think outside the wallpaper box.

  • Bored with staring at that white ceiling? Wallpaper the ceiling only for a big design statement.

  • Got a nook in your great room or den? Wallpapering it will give it that extra pop.

  • Struggling with how to make a big living room wall interesting? Use wallpaper as your accessory and save money on buying art

  • Sick of all that white space on your stairwell? It’s a perfect place for wallpaper.

  • Want to make your closet look like a million bucks? Wallpaper the back of all your shelving units.

  • Does your kitchen look drab and dated? Spice things up with using wallpaper as your backsplash especially if you are a renter.

  • Do you have pieces of furniture in need of a makeover? Wallpaper your headboard, side tables, or a desktop.

Whether you are wallpapering a piece of furniture or an entire room, let your creative juices flow and experience how wallpaper can be an affordable, simple way to transform your home from ordinary to extraordinary.

Photo credit by Tim Young


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