stairs pin

Maybe sometime in the past you’ve spent hours stripping stubborn pink and blue floral wallpaper from a wall, so the title of this week’s 5 Ways post has activated your nervous twitch.  Relax!  I have some fun things to show you today, and they aren’t all walls.  Less than two decades ago, wallpaper used to be the DIY decorator’s best friend–it was hard to find a house that didn’t have at least one room covered in paper.  In more recent years, tastes shifted to decor that was neutral in color with patterns that tended to be more subtle.  Current trends are headed again towards bright colors and bold, statement graphics.  Which is where wallpaper comes in:  few decorating mediums do the combination of color and pattern better than wallpaper.  The good news is that you can try out this trend in small, non-committal doses, if you want, and that’s what I hope to show you with these 5 Ways to Decorate with Wallpaper.

1.  On Furniture

Even though “wall” is the first half of it’s name, there are many more uses for wallpaper than being pasted predictably to a wall.  This pretty hallway table at Crafty Nest proves me right, with it’s patterned desktop.

2.  On the Staircase

Bet you thought I meant on the wall of the staircase, didn’t you?  Nope, the addition of several pretty, coordinating patterns to these stair treads featured by Homedit really creates a visually exciting space.

3.  On the Ceiling

Obviously, I’m working “up” to something, here.  This fresh yellow stripe papered ceiling is in the home of J. Crew’s famous creative director, Jenna Lyons, and is featured at Apartment Therapy.   The classic stripe takes on a whole new persona when it’s surprisingly on the ceiling, and I love it!

4.  On the wall, temporarily

When the apartment dwellers of Oh Happy Day wanted to do something to spice up their front hallway, they decided to use temporary wallpaper (also known as renter’s paper).  While it does take effort to apply to the walls initially, it can be easily peeled off without damaging the walls underneath.  A great option for anyone who wants to test-drive a papered space before committing for the long haul.

5.  On the wall, permanently

Here’s a great example of how a fun pattern and bold colors can coexist peacefully in the same space, the home of designer Lindy Allen, featured by House of Turquoise.  The busy pattern on this black and white wallpaper seems much less obtrusive when paired with chunky furnishings in vibrant, solid colors.

So, what do you think?  Will you be steering clear of wallpaper, or giving this comeback trend a whirl?





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  1. I love these ideas 🙂 I just used bead-board wallpaper on my kitchen island and it turned out great! I can’ wait to try it on a piece of furniture!

  2. I saw the picture of the yellow stairs recently too…. so amazing! It inspired me to work on my basement stairs. I couldn’t find similar wallpaper, so I decided to buy a scrapbook paper pack and modpodge papers to the back of my basement stair treads. It was a fun project with great results and super cheap. 🙂

  3. For the record, both sets of stair risers pictured were stenciled, not papered. The yellow set was stenciled by artist Carol Leonesio, of Paint It! Both sets use stencil designs from Royal Design Studio.

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