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  • Lindsey Borchard

How to Use Wallpaper

Wallpaper is back, and it's better than ever! It can create drama, add color and pattern, or contribute subtle pattern and texture, so there is a wallpaper out there for everyone and every room, whether you are hiring it all out or taking on a weekend project. If you aren't yet convinced, check out our tips for using different styles of paper, plus a few shopping spots if you are ready to take the plunge.


This style is not for everyone, but a bold paper will do a lot of the decorating heavy lifting in a room by adding pattern, movement, and color all at once. Whimsical patterns are ideal for kids' bedrooms or play spaces where the playful factor can be a bit higher. If you choose a large-scale pattern like these flamingos, try papering just one wall and then painting the rest of the walls a shade that is close to the background of the pattern.

For this look, try:

Hygge & West - a go-to for fun patterns and kitchy details (like ET and Elliott biking through the sky).

Graham & Brown - more than 800 options might be overwhelming, so narrow your search by color, style, room, or designer.

Soft and Sophisticated

Much more than even the prettiest paint colors, wallpaper adds a layer of interest and dimension to a room, and when that paper is softly patterned, the walls can take on an etherial quality. Subtle floral and botanical prints especially bring a note of organic movement that elevates a room and offers a quiet sophistication. We love patterns like this for creating a bedroom oasis, or any space where you want to create a soothing, relaxing vibe.

For this look, try:

Lulu and Georgia - everything from bold murals to geometric patterns, but plenty of soft and subtle options.

Farrow & Ball - it's no surprise that the British paint company known for its curated palette makes a lovely range of papers.

Subtle and Textural

Papering the back of a bookshelf is not a groundbreaking move, but it's a go-to for good reason! A subtly-patterned or textured paper will make your accessories pop off the shelves, or provide interest if you keep them minimal. A textured paper will bring a layer of depth to any space, so it's a good option when you want more than just paint, but a bold pattern isn't right.

For this look, try:

Serena & Lily - try the Paperweave pattern, or one of the smaller prints in a soft colorway.

Nobilis - this French company makes a range of faux bois papers depicting woodgrains found around the world.

Bold and Colorful

One of the most fun ways to use wallpaper is to choose a bold, colorful pattern in a small space. Most of the rest of this home is painted white, so we created a fun jewel-box of a powder room with a funky paper and a pretty blue wainscot. To keep it from feeling too childish, we kept the rest of the finishes in the bathroom simple and sophisticated. The look is unexpected and interesting, and is sure to put a smile on your guests' faces!

For this look, try:

Rifle Paper Co. - the stationery company that launched the hand-drawn florals trend is now in the wall coverings game.

CW Stockwell - that iconic palm-leaf paper, plus bold florals and colorful graphic patterns.

Design by Amber Interior Design | Photo by Shade Degges


One look that isn't currently represented in our design work is the renewed interest in traditional patterns. While it isn't our own aesthetic, we can appreciate a lovely floral or toile when we see it done well in other spaces. If you choose a paper with a traditional pattern or color scheme but don't want your room looking like a time capsule, be sure to add in some modern, sleek elements and plenty of organic texture.

For this look, try:

William Morris - patterns created during the Arts & Crafts movement are getting a lot of attention in traditional decorating circles.

Lake August - lots of florals and pastoral scenes, some of which would be so sweet in a nursery!

To get in touch with our design team about your own project, please fill out our inquiry form.

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