Can you believe that wallpapers have been around for more than 2,000 years? Historians tell us that China was the first to invent paper, paint it by hand, and glue it to walls for display… as early as the year 100 B.C.!
Around the 15th century, wallpaper made its way to Europe, and later, to the U.S. Over those many centuries, it has been used as a way to partition rooms, to alter the appearance of a room’s size, to display scenes of exotic and faraway places, and even to display education or wealth.
The full history of wallpapers is fascinating, but today, I don’t want us to look too far back. I want us to look forward to how wallpaper is being used in our modern-day homes. Because these days…
…wallpapers are bringing the WOW!
What Do Wallpapers Do for Your Space?
In my recent post on Our Vibrant Coastal Aesthetic, I shared the 5 design characteristics that we personalize for each and every one of our clients’ designs. One of the most important features on that list? The wow factor!
The wow factor can be defined as a bold touch of the unexpected. It’s the element that makes you look twice, that elevates the room, and that feels truly one-of-a-kind.
If you look at our projects, you can find the wow factor nearly anywhere — in vibrant fabrics covering furnishings, as statement art pieces, as custom Roman shades with intricate trims, and a personal favorite, as gorgeous patterned wallpapers.
What can the right wallpaper do for your space?
- Color: Wallpaper can add a pop of color to a neutral space or harmonize the other colors in the room.
- Texture: Texture can create visual depth, soften a space, and make it feel more organic.
- Pattern: The right pattern can make a room feel more spacious, can add a calming or exciting energy, and create immediate interest. Most patterned wallpapers can be categorized as geometric or botanical.
- Personality: Personality is the way a wallpaper feels. This one is more difficult to describe, but you’ll see exactly what I mean in the examples below.
Where are the Best Places to Add Wallpapers in Your Home?
There’s really no place where we wouldn’t use a wallpaper. Seriously. But rather than tell you, it’s easier to show you via fresh photos of our recently completed projects. Some of these are not even on the website yet, so this is your chance to see a sneak peek!
How Do We Use Wallpapers in Our Clients’ Homes?
First, let’s start with the geometric-inspired wallpapers. These can have soft, sinuous geometric shapes, as well as hard-lined shapes and patterns.
Spencer in Metallic Gold on Navy by Anna French, Thibaut
This powder room is seriously one of our favorite small spaces, and the wallpaper is what brings it all together. It adds the appearance of texture, deepens the space, and is stunningly intricate close up or far away. It’s difficult to see in the photo, but there is also a subtle sparkle in the wallpaper that perfectly complements the brass sconces, hardware, and mirror. Truly wow!
Zimba in Ebony by Schumacher
Zimba makes a graphically stylish statement in our clients’ butler’s pantry. Though this pattern is just as geometric as the previous powder room, the personality it adds to the room is wholly different. Here, we have a space that feels fun, energetic, and full of movement.
Camber in Blue by Thibaut
This home has 360 degree water views, so it made perfect sense to mirror the sinuous movement of ocean waves with this geometric pattern. It visually raises the height of the ceiling and adds a sense of calm to this guest bedroom.
Bold Yet Classic Stripes
Summer Stripe in Raspberry by Thibaut
Who doesn’t love a classic stripe? This bold raspberry-hued stripe makes a vibrant statement in this small space, adding energy and joy to the place where each day begins (the master closet). If you look closely at the reflection in the mirror of the bathroom beyond, you’ll see a peek of another geometric print that we used in the master bedroom. 😉
Demetrius in Black by Thibaut
Our clients fell in love with this print after seeing it in the bathroom of the Blakely Studio… so we knew we had to use it somewhere in their home. The pool-side bathroom ended up being the perfect place! Even though it’s black and white, it adds a vibrant dose of energy and the perfect touch of wow factor.
Now, moving on to more botanical-inspired wallpapers, we have…
Emma Wallpaper in Coral by Pepper Home
This whimsical coral wallpaper is feminine and fun, especially in a small space like a powder room. From a distance, the pattern feels wave-like; close up, it looks like a watercolor painting. Both pair perfectly with ocean blue tones and the coastal theme of this powder room in our Safari Coastal Project.
Plantation in Black & White by Gaston y Daniela, Kravet.com
This palm print is simply stunning. Unlike the previous examples, which were repeating patterns, this wallpaper feels wilder and more free-form. It’s perfect for this summer vacation home. The black and white also offers fabulous contrast, especially with a pop of color from the Roman shade.
Pina Pintada in Gull by Aimee Wilder
This ensuite bathroom is vibrantly feminine and as sweet as a pineapple. More proof that wallpaper doesn’t have to be vibrant on its own. The light grey and white pattern create the perfect canvas for using other color in the space — watermelon pink, leafy green, and warm toned brass.
Honshu in Navy by Thibaut
We gained a second bathroom in our design studio from our expansion, so of course we had to choose a wallpaper that reflects our mission to help our clients live vibrantly! We love this bold floral wallpaper with tons of personality. It covers 3 of 4 walls… the 4th wall is brick, which brings a nice warmth to balance the colorful print.
Next up is grasscloth wallpapers — a classic wallpaper style that has regained popularity in recent years for its versatility and delicate beauty.
Grasscloth in Vivacious Green
String Texture in Green by Seabrook Designs, Wallquest.com
Grasscloth is fabulous for adding texture to a room, and it comes in many different shades. We used this green grasscloth on an accent wall in the guest bedroom of the Stone Tower Lane project. (More photos of this project coming soon to our website!) This green is vivacious, restorative, and totally wow.
Grasscloth in Sultry Noir
Shang Extra Fine Sisal in Black by Thibaut
Black grasscloth adds texture, contrast, and undeniable drama, making this formal dining room vibrant in a completely different sense. Here, it creates an edgy yet elegant feel, one that is indulgent, stimulating, and likely to inspire conversation long into the evening.
Chromatic in Technicolor Taupe by Phillip Jefferies (left) & Bankun Raffia in Wheat by Thibaut (right)
Of course, I can’t leave out the classics. If you’re not ready for a bold color, a neutral grasscloth can do just as much for your space — on the walls, the ceiling, backing a built-in bookcase, you name it. We recently used grasscloth in our Safari Coastal Master Bedroom and The Lemon Tree Project’s delightful kitchen.
Last but certainly not least are asian-inspired wallpapers such as chinoiserie and scenic toile prints. Known for their intricate ability to tell a story and add worldly personality to a room, asian-inspired prints are still just as prevalent in homes today as they were hundreds of years ago.
Luzon in Grey and Lemon by Thibaut
This unique powder room tells a story through the lemon colored scenic wallpaper. It’s worldly, unexpected and bold, just like the rest of the home…coming soon to our portfolio!
Asian Scenic in Coral and Green by Thibaut (right) and Bixi in Sapphire by Schumacher (left)
Another expansion update, Becky and I chose these wallpapers for our vibrant new offices. Brave color, uplifting energy, great movement, and details to love — these are both WOW wallpapers we are happy to enjoy every day!
So, which were your favorites? Do you have a space in mind that could use some wow? If so, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on our Interior Design Project Planner. It will guide you through the initial steps needed to plan your project and get it off the ground.
And if you’d love some help along the way, we’re here for you. Book a discovery call with us here, and let’s get to know each other!