Wallpaper: Thumbs Up Or Down?

The first house my husband and I bought had 7 rooms of dated, hideously ugly wallpaper. Every room was covered in a busy print of  flowers, birds, or fruit. It took weeks and weeks of labor (steaming, scoring, scraping) to get it off. I still remember the agony and saying at least a hundred times how I would never, ever, have wallpaper again.

Well……fast forward 17 years….I recently found myself flipping through a few wallpaper books and I didn’t see a single Rooster, Cherry or tiny Floral pattern in the book. What I did see was fabulous colors and patterns.  It was a far cry from what I stripped off all those years back. Although I am still not ready to pull the trigger and wallpaper an entire room, I must admit, I have had moments of weakness. I continue to see wallpaper showing up in design magazines and I must say I have become a little more open minded.

It got me thinking… maybe I will use a little wallpaper and line a china cabinet.



I love this painted side board lined with this black and turquoise wallpaper.


I’m not a fan of an entire room covered in wallpaper unless the paper is very subtle or textured such as a grass cloth.




I do like the look of bright and colorful wallpaper when used as an accent.


Notice the same paper used as the art on either side of the panel.

This red paper accent wall adds a nice pop of color to brighten up this bed room.



I love this black and white graphic used as an accent wall in this dining room.



Another fun idea is wallpaper on the ceiling. Although I couldn’t imagine the labor getting this off  when you tire of the look.



I think this blank frame wallpaper by Graham and Brown is genius…your child can color right on the wallpaper. My kids would have LOVED this when they were little.



I absolutely adore the hand painted wallpapers from Black Crow Studios. This one would look so beautiful in my dining room or in my entrance way…just beautiful!  Not only do I love the colors but I love the whole watery feel.


hand painted wallpaper by Black Crow


Then problem with wallpaper is that just like fabric, it is such a personal choice. What I love, you may not; and since we plan to sell our house and downsize sometime within the next 5-7 years I think of the pain of taking it off. But then again…

So what is your vote on wallpaper?  Thumbs Up or Down?


If you would like some help with decorating, staging or color, give me a call.


7 Responses to Wallpaper: Thumbs Up Or Down?
  1. Sheila Zeller Reply

    My vote is like skim milk! I want just a little, but keep it on the thin side 🙂 I’m not a lover of doing up whole rooms or large surface areas, but I do like the idea of small spaces like a powder room. They can be super dramatic with a great wall paper. I’m also into backing bookcases and open cabinetry… or framing a fab piece as a piece of art. It’s all in the details, and roosters don’t count!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Sounds like we are on the same page Sheila!

  2. kristie@thedecorologist Reply

    I LOVE wallpaper, but it’s true that no matter how fabulous it is, it can wear you out after a couple of years. I think the fear is always the nightmare of removal at some point. If you size it and apply it properly, you minimize that downside.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      It’s just like fabric for me..I love it, then I like it, then I tire of it.

  3. Cheri Reply

    I, too have memories of wallpaper removal- layers if it in one house in particular. Used sparingly, I do think it brings some spaced alive and can complement paint nicely. I do prefer paint to paper in general.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      OMG! Removal, esp. that old stuff from the 6o’s is a nightmare!

  4. Kelly Reply

    That’s how I feel Linda, wallpaper is like fabric. You just get tired of it after a while. Love your examples! Love the little bedroom with the red. And I am going to check out Black Crow. Very cool!

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