Editor’s Note: We’re sharing this post, originally published in May 2021, as inspiration for anyone who’s thinking about adding wallpaper to their home. Below you’ll find seven unexpected wallpaper ideas to consider in your design process.
As someone who enjoys updating the design of my abode (and works for a meticulous, talented designer to boot), wallpaper is right up my alley. But as someone who lives in a rental? Wallpaper isn’t exactly in the cards.
And yet, despite the cold hard truths set forth in my lease agreement, I still find myself longing to install wallpaper of my own. A bold patterned version to infuse life into my bathroom walls? I dream of it. Wallpaper in the entry hallway to greet anyone who walks through the front door? Pure magic. Wallpaper in the bedroom? I’d do it in a heartbeat.
I scrounged the internet—and the corners of my imagination—for unexpected ways to add the beauty of wallpaper to a home.
For any other wallpaper-loving souls out there, whether you have the option of installing it on your walls or not, below I’m sharing the fruits of my search. Come along for the ride.
1. Add wallpaper to a frame
I love the way this use of wallpaper packs a punch, without needing to worry about the dreaded removal phase. Get yourself the wallpaper of your choice OR simply purchase a sample, place it in a frame, and BAM—you’ve got a fresh, eye-catching work of art for your home.
2. Add it to your medicine cabinet
Caroline Donofrio from Cup of Jo installed removable wallpaper in the back of her medicine cabinet, writing, “I lined the medicine cabinet with removable panther wallpaper, which serves the dual purpose of hiding unsightly rust stains and bringing me joy whenever I’m washing my face.” Now that’s a functional, stylish hack we can get behind.
3. Wallpaper the ceiling
If you do have the option to add wallpaper to your walls, consider extending it to the ceiling as well. Envelope the entire room in wallpaper and you’ll create a space that feels supremely intimate and cozy. Kate did this in their home’s blue office space and the result is a delight.
4. Place wallpaper inside a bookshelf
Adding wallpaper to your nearest shelving unit can infuse some extra life into your shelf styling game and make for a true transformation.
5. Get creative with your install
We’ve said it time and time again, but when it comes to your personal design style, there are, ultimately, no rules. That’s one of the reasons we love London-based blogger Medina Grillo of Grillo Designs—her ingenuity and curiosity when it comes to transforming her home with unique DIY projects. Medina installed the wallpaper in the photo above halfway up the wall, creating a visual effect that’s similar to a chair rail, while also saving hundreds of dollars in the process by opting out of installing it across the entire wall.
6. Install wallpaper inside your drawers
Want a little breath of fresh air every time you reach for a t-shirt or a pair of socks? Go ahead, line those dresser drawers right on up with your pattern of choice.
7. Create your own DIY version
Wit & Delight contributing writer Maggie LaMaack blew us away with her creative DIY. While this likely wouldn’t be the best option for most renters, for those who do have a little more flexibility with their decor choices, this is an excellent, budget-friendly way to add personality to your walls.
Jackie is the editorial director at Wit & Delight. In her spare time, you can find her running around the lakes of Minneapolis, grabbing a bite at a local restaurant, or recharging at home with her boyfriend and their beloved corgi, Marge. You can follow her on Instagram @jackiesaffert.