Cool Wallpaper for Every Aesthetic

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Sara Watson

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Published on September 14, 2020

Paint can add warmth, depth, and visual interest to just about any room, but when it comes to making a bold statement, there’s nothing like wallpaper. Thanks so many bespoke wallpaper companies, the options are truly endless. We’ve rounded up wallpaper inspo, whether your style is all about a certain color or simply about what’s beautiful.

Below, you’ll find the most asked-about wallpaper patterns and colors our designers see, plus some of their go-to favorites. Keep scrolling tips on how to select the right wallpaper for your space.

We see you, trendsetter. And we’re not surprised you’re looking for cool wallpaper—after all, even Vogue proclaimed that “Wallpaper is Back in 2020.” Of course, “cool” can mean many things, but for us, texture and abstract patterns come to mind. We love the look and high-end feel of Kelly Wearstler’s wallpapers. She’s an interior designer known for her glam-meets-avant-gard-meets-refined aesthetic. Fittingly, her wallpapers are just plain chic. Choose her “Currents” wallpaper in black and gold for an undeniably unique look, or her “Entangle” design. We’re loving the warm tones in the mustard and saddle colorways. 

Schumacher’s “Queen of Spain” wallpaper is another eye-catching choice that also has a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll edge. Although developed as an homage to royalty, it was perfect for rock royalty: Mick Jagger used the print in his London apartment during the 1960s.

If you’re more classic than cool, “pretty” wallpaper might speak to you most. Selecting wallpapers with a subtle chinoiserie motif creates a beautiful, feminine effect. We love the “Strawberry Thief” style from Morris & Co., available at Rejuvenation. The Birds & Butterflies and Chiang Mai Dragon styles from Schumacher would also create that perfectly pretty vibe. Scalamandre’s China Rose style also incorporates roses, another highly requested look—more on that below.

Florals are perennially popular. Whether you go the prettier route (see above) or choose something more graphic or botanical-inspired, rose wallpaper is a sought-after look. This moody, hyper-realistic take on roses would add glam and drama to a bedroom. Or, opt for a more traditional look with this Cole & Son style, offering a subtle English country aesthetic. Rose doesn’t have to mean a rosy hue, either. This Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines style achieves a vintage rose look with tones of gray, green and indigo.

Name happier flowers than daisies or sunflowers—we’ll wait. If you’re looking for a design bound to enhance your mood, sunflower wallpaper would be a great choice. This trail of mini sunflowers would create a charming look in a bathroom, guest room or child’s bedroom. We also love how the mustard hues play with neutrals like taupe and black to create a striking, farmhouse look that’s clean and not overly feminine. For a more botanical inspired vibe, try this Summer Garden wallpaper—the charcoal backdrop lets other colors pop. Daisies are another super-happy choice that share a similar color palette to sunflowers. Try this graphic style from Novogratz.

Novogratz daisy wallpaper

In our recent post on color psychology, we found that in general, blues evoke a sense of calm and security. Who wouldn’t want those feelings in their home? There are infinite options when it comes to color palette, but think about the type of pattern you’d like. Brands like Kelly Wearstler nail bold, graphic patterns, featuring tones of blue, while brands like Schumacher skew more traditional. Rebecca Atwood lets you search by color—have at it with a range of stylish, painterly blue wallpapers (we personally love the marble wallpaper style in ocean). The Gable style from Farrow & Ball comes in several expertly curated shades of blue, ranging from grey-blue to true blue.

Red brings fiery energy to a space, meaning you may want to use it sparingly. Still, depending on the saturation, hue and pattern you pick, red wallpaper can be a stunning choice. We like this Gems wallpaper from Rebecca Atwood, which uses a white backdrop to create a bit of breathing room. Farrow & Ball’s Paisley style tones down bright red with a soothing, blue-green backdrop for the best of both worlds.

Farrow & Ball Paisley wallpaper

We’ve already explored sunflowers, so you know yellow is a happy color. If you like that bright, cheerful energy but aren’t into the idea of flowers, you can incorporate yellow tones through graphic patterns instead. Rebecca Atwood’s Dashes wallpaper would be a great choice. We also like the Brockhampton Star wallpaper from Farrow & Ball in the buttery yellow shade with gold accents.

Rebecca Atwood wallpaper

A deep purple shade creates luxury and drama, while something closer to lavender offers a light, calming feel. Consider what tone and vibe you’re after, then look for the perfect shade of purple to match. We love the texture of this aubergine-hued grass cloth option. This shibori-inspired pattern would be beautiful as well, with a subtle gray undertone.

Carey Lind for York Wallcoverings wallpaper

While ultimately style is your choice (with the help of Havenly experts), we typically recommend using bold wallpaper in a smaller room like a powder room. Of course, you’ve got opportunities to go all out—if you’re committed to punchy prints or even textures and shine, try wallpapering a dining room, bedroom, or really anywhere your heart desires. You’ll just want to think about scale: a smaller room generally means a smaller pattern, while larger rooms call for bigger patterns. 

The term “best” is also pretty subjective, but one thing most designers can agree on: purchase the highest-quality wallpaper you can afford. Whether you’re into traditional toile or contemporary colors, opting for higher-quality wallpaper ensures it’ll adhere to the wall better, come off easier when it’s time, and look nicer over the long haul. All of the brands we’ve mentioned above are pricey, yes, but they’re also finely crafted to hold up against trends—and everyday wear and tear.

Too many wallpapers, not enough time? Let Havenly experts help you wade through patterns and prints. It all starts with our design style quiz.

Words by Sara Watson