Photo: Onzeg, Getty Images.
When you need to perk up a room in your living space, look no further than the walls. Brand new wallpaper can be the difference between “blah” and bright.
Wallpaper isn’t one-dimensional anymore. It’s incredibly creative, thanks to modern interior designers. Whether its the hand-painted simplicity of SheShe, the boho tie-dye look of Eskayel, the whimsical hand-drawn work of Abigail Edwards, the textured wallcoverings of Phillip Jeffries, the playful patterns of Hygge & West, or the art gallery-esque aesthetic of Trove, wallpaper has evolved into more than just something you indiscriminately slap on a room.
What colors of wallpaper help brighten a room? Nancy Mayerfield of NM Design House says, “It depends if the room has a natural light source and the feeling you would like to evoke. Creams, light blues, and, if done correctly, some sheen or metallics” are worth a try. Lindsay Chambers recommends “yellows, whites, bright greens and reds, but also light airy grays and blues if the right shade is selected.”
As for patterns, almost any one will do. “I prefer a more bold pattern, and if in a lighter palette, it will bring drama and lightness at the same time,” says Mayerfield. Chambers opines that “Large patterns, for whatever reason, kick the room into high gear and wake it up, which gives it a natural brightening effect.”
Don’t assume the wallpaper has to cover all four walls, either. Kara Smith of SFA Design admits that “sometimes, I like to do a room with painted walls, and put the wallpaper on the ceiling.”
Should you attempt to hang the wallpaper yourself or hire a pro? The consensus among interior designers is definitive. “If wallpaper is not hung correctly, it will look terrible and be a waste of money,” cautions Mayerfield. “All you have to do is hang up one roll crooked and it’s over,” concurs Chambers.
Here are a sampling of cool wallpapers that will enliven, uplift, and add personality to even the most mundane space.