House & Home

Use Wallpaper to Dress up Your Home These Dazzling Ways

Posted December 12, 2015

Wallpaper is a fantastically versatile home improvement tool. It packs a triple design punch, adding color, pattern, and texture to your walls and all kinds of other surfaces in your home. It's also handy for covering up ... er ... beautifying flaws. Whether you use a little or a lot, installing lovely wallpaper is a great way to give your home a whole new look. TIPS: It's no simple task to hang wallpaper -- the right way. For large areas like walls and ceilings, a professional will achieve the best results. And do be sure never to adhere wallpaper to bare drywall. Begin with a layer of primer to make wallpaper removal at some future date so much more simple.

Create an accent wall. If you tend to be the shy, subdued type, now's your chance to play with wild wallpaper. Wallpapering a single wall in a bold print is much less overwhelming than covering the whole room. PS. Millennials prefer the term "feature wall" to -- shades of the 70s! -- accent wall.

Decorate out of the box by wallpapering an accent ceiling. This will be equally appealing in a child's bedroom (think a soothing night sky) or in your own, especially when you coordinate it with a decorative overhead light fixture.

Separate spaces. Open plan homes may be all the rage right now, but sometimes you might like to make a visual separation between one space to the next (example: dividing an elegant dining nook from the less formal family living area when you're hosting the boss for dinner). Alternatively, you can use an actual room divider -- embellished with wallpaper, of course -- to temporarily partition off some private space.

Cover just one part of a wall. Complement stylish carpentry work, such as wainscoting, by applying wallpaper just up to (or above) the level of the trim. Or frame and hang large panels of striking paper on solid colored surfaces for instant oversized wall art.

Cheer up a workaday part of the house. Choose bright and cheerful wallpaper for your laundry room -- guaranteed to make humdrum tasks like sorting whites and colors or searching for lost socks a lot more fun than they used to be. When is a garage not a garage? When your workbench or crafting table faces a garage wall that's been glamorized with wallpaper.

Transform open shelving. Line the back of a bookcase, china hutch, or display case with wallpaper. This will show off your prized collection of antique volumes or mid-century figurines to its best advantage.

Hack flat pack or thrifted furniture. When you didn't spend much for them in the first place, you can feel free to experiment with the fronts of dressers or seats of chairs. Stick on an easy-clean vinyl-coated paper to add a little pizzazz ... or to cover up any dents or cracks.

Small is beautiful. Yes, it's hard to make a design statement with a foyer or powder room that's no bigger than the size of a minute. But you can give these rooms a dose of oomph with a mini expanse of ooh-la-la wallpaper. The same goes for the inside of your walk-in closet. You'll smile every time you see that dash of bright color.

It's all in the details. Even smaller spots in your home can benefit brilliantly from a wallpaper-y facelift. Line your kitchen cabinets (use a paper that is easy to reposition or remove), cover storage boxes, or accentuate each riser of a staircase.

Laura Firszt writes for

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