Wallpaper Isn’t Just For Walls — 7 Unexpected Spaces Just Waiting For Color And Pattern

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Kelsey Clark

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Published on April 8, 2022

We hate to break it to those many brave souls that spent days removing 70s-era wallpaper with a spray bottle and putty knife, but wallpaper is officially back. Thanks in part to the much-needed advent of peel-and-stick wallpaper, this once-dated design feature has been given a second lease on life.

Not only are there endless neutral, textured options that feel fresh and new, classic patterns like floral, geometric, damask, and more are also making a comeback (in other words, yes, that retro wallpaper you removed is in style again).

But, being interior designers, we can’t help but love a creative, non-traditional wallpaper moment. Peel-and-stick has opened a whole new world of design opportunities, from wallpapered ceilings and staircases to bookcases, cabinets, and beyond. Ahead, find the creative wallpaper ideas our design team is bookmarking this season:

1. Wallpaper on a staircase

Wallpaper ideas

A little strip of wallpaper is all you need to make a dash upstairs that much more exciting. Keep it low-maintenance with a peel-and-stick option that you can easily clean or switch out if it gets a lot of wear and tear. 

2. Wallpaper on shelves

Wallpaper ideas

Line cabinets, drawers, or the back of bookshelves with peel-and-stick wallpaper for a touch of subtle pattern. Little details like this are what make a house feel truly homey and unique to you — even if it’s hidden behind a cabinet front.

3. Wallpaper on the ceiling

Wallpaper Ideas

We’ll never tire of statement ceiling wallpaper. Go with something subtle for a little added texture, or embrace a bold print to create a subtle design feature in your space.  Either way, ceiling wallpaper definitely adds a punch of excitement to your space – particularly when paired with a dramatic shade of paint.

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4. Wallpaper on a dresser

Wallpaper ideas

This is such a fun and easy way to breathe new life into an old, thrifted, or found piece of furniture, from dressers to armoires and beyond. It’s an easy weekend DIY project, especially if you go the peel-and-stick route. 

5. Wallpaper as framed art

Wallpaper ideas

We love a low-commitment wallpaper moment. If you want a pretty and unique accent without spending time and money wallpapering your space, frame a favorite print of yours as a large-scale statement piece, or add it to a gallery wall. It’s a great way to test the waters with pattern without committing to an all-over look.

6. Wallpaper surprise moments

Wallpaper ideas

In our opinion, it’s the secret spaces that nobody pays attention to that deserve a little bling. Try wallpapering your floating shelves, kitchen island, bar backsplash, coffee table, and more for an unexpected touch of personality.

7. Wallpaper behind wainscoting

Wallpaper Ideas

Plot twist: add your wallpaper before panel moulding for an unexpected application of both wallpaper and wainscoting. Choose a high-contrast paint color for the moulding to really make the look pop!

From creative wallpaper ideas to perfecting room flow, our designers are chock-full of expert tips. Check out our design packages to work with a design pro one-on-one. 

Words by Kelsey Clark