Wallpapers We’re Crushing on Right Now

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WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on February 23, 2021

Wallpaper has come a long way. For many of us, the pattern paper brings to mind afternoons with Grandma, but its history dates back much further than the shabby-chic interiors of relatives. 

Emerging from China in 105 BC, the earliest forms of wallpaper were hand-painted prints and stories on walls. We haven’t stopped decorating our walls since! 

While wallpapering as a practice still remains, the styles have certainly changed — there’s truly an option for every style and taste out there, whether you’re seeking something modern and abstract, something classic and floral (with a hint of grandmillennial), or pretty much anything in between. Below, we’ve rounded up a few designer-approved wallpapers we’re anything but torn up about.

Abstract Wallpaper

Incorporating a subtle yet engaging abstract wallpaper into your home can add some visual interest to a room without making the design feel too busy. The natural flow and lines of abstract design can even add some feeling of calm to a room. Less rigid designs can help free up your space, creating some fluidity and fun in a room.

A chic and minimal design, like this metallic dot overlay, can even modernize an otherwise dated space — we love how the dots catch the light, too.

Floral Wallpaper

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. “Floral wallpaper has always been around, but it’s currently having a moment in part because of the resurgence of maximalism and the style dubbed ‘grandmillennial,’” explains Havenly designer Vivian Torres

But the latest reimaging of floral wallpaper comes with a twist. Unlike just the small, intricately printed floral wallpaper of yore, you’ll find a world of size, dimension, and complexity. Go with a grand oversized floral print, or opt for an old-school smaller-scale pattern with vintage appeal.

The benefit of flower wallpaper is its versatility, Vivian says. It fits in with traditional or modern decor, no matter the room.

Toile Wallpaper

Another classic making a comeback is toile. Originating in France, these traditional prints can be found on anything from linens to plates and wallpaper. 

While toile still evokes a sense of farmhouse cool, the style has grown up a bit. “Toile has been reimagined recently in that it’s being printed to depict various landscapes and cultures, not just the traditional French farm life,” Vivian explains. (This pared-back, graphic toile from Serena & Lily is a perfect example.)

Toile’s updated look brings a fresh perspective to a traditional design. Use the trend in a bathroom or closet for a fun point of interest in the space. 

Textured Wallpaper

Incorporating a textured wallpaper can be a great option if you want to create dimension in a space without adding prints or colors. 

Choosing a natural-feeling texture, like grasscloth or burlap, immediately helps create a natural feeling in the room, and the depth on the walls can make a space look even bigger. (We also like this option from Anthropologie.)

If you want to take your textured wallpaper to the next level, you can try a print that also incorporates texture — an abstract, textured print can make a room feel more complex and dynamic. When you can reach out and “feel” the wall, you might feel more engaged with your day-to-day space, too. 

Animal Wallpaper

If you want to elevate a room’s design without a renovation, Vivian recommends trying a bold, animal wallpaper. “They’re an especially great option for nurseries or powder rooms,” she says.

An animal wallpaper (not to be confused with animal-print wallpaper) can feel whimsical without seeming too youthful. Try a complex design with a neutral palette to elevate the print from childlike to chic.  

Or, create a small moment of delight in the guest powder room. Draw visitors’ eyes to woodland animal designs to make a small half-bath feel explorable instead of small or cramped. It’s a fun, unexpected moment of design that transforms a room on its own.

Removable Wallpaper

Paging all you commitment-phobes out there: there’s even wallpaper for you. Applying traditional wallpaper is permanent, and uses a paste to adhere to the wall. If you want to remove wallpaper, you’ll have to steam or scrape it off. 

Luckily, we now live in a world with removable wallpaper. Hanging removable wallpaper (also known as peel and stick wallpaper) is easier than the traditional sheets, and taking it off requires a lot less elbow grease. You don’t even have to skimp on bold design or variety; there’s still a ton to choose from. 

Whether you want to blanket a room in style or just accent a wall, wallpaper’s newest trends can suit any decor, instantly refreshing your space.

Want a designer’s stamp of approval before wallpapering? Take Havenly’s design quiz to get started.

Words by Emma Diehl