Amitha's Blog

As Ideas Go… It’s a Little Off the Wall

So… what comes to your mind when I say – “wallpaper”?

Chances are, you’re thinking about old-fashioned, 80s-style, monstrously-printed wallpaper and cringing.

Nowadays when I talk about using wallpaper to my local Houston interior design clients, lots of them have the same reaction. But today’s choices are so much more exciting, classic and long lasting! In fact, when used tastefully, wallpaper has the ability to utterly transform a space into the epitome of chic. Now that I’m doing some updates to my own home, I hope to use wallpaper in several areas including my master bath, my powder bath, maybe a guest room and my great room. In my great room, we actually have very little wall space and I keep envisioning a little pop of wallpaper.

Why Wallpaper?

What I like about wallpaper, is that it often has the effect of making a room look more formal and imposing. As you may know, changing the paint color is one of my go-to tricks for changing a room quickly, but truly wallpaper adds another layer of dimension, interest and depth to a room.

Who are You?

So you might be wondering where to start? Wallpaper, like any aspect of your home, is a wonderful way to express your passion for your home. Are you full of color, or more subtle in your design style? Do you love oversized pattern, such as in your clothing or jewelry? If you do, you might love large patterned wallpaper. The first step to figuring out what to put on the walls is to determine what you would love to live with everyday – much like picking a husband!

A few Ideas:

Stripes or patterns, big or small – there are so many options when it comes to choosing a gorgeous wallpaper for your home. I love how this subtle leaf print wallpaper has been used with a more detailed big leaf print fabric on the Louis XV chair.

A rich stripe always works well and gives an appearance of tailored elegance – here, it’s been used in conjunction with a feminine floral print (a combination that always works!) to create a pretty, fresh French country bedroom.

This room has such an elegance about it, mixing both a geometric and floral print, as well as a few antique pieces like the classic French style bed, French side table used as a nightstand and the antique bench at the foot of the bed. 

Going Bold

If you really want to create a wow factor in your designs, wallpaper can be the key. I have to admit, I love using wallpaper to create real interest and drama in more public spaces like the foyer or dining room, where you make more of an impact. For example this powder room is a great place to display this wallpaper! I love the boldness of this color and pattern in a small space – gorgeous!  

While the colors are subtle, this pattern is very bold and rich, spanning across the entire wall. I love the whole story this room is telling.

I simply adore damask pattern wallpapers, especially in rich shades. Gold, silver, pewter, as well as many pale and rich jewel tones – all these colors look fabulous in damask prints. There’s a real air of regality and grandeur about this pattern. What do you think? Do you have any damask patterns in your own home?

I love the utterly beautiful drawing room pictured above – the elegant sofa, the rich wallpaper, even the side table with the miniature lamp is gorgeous! Sumptuousness and glamor and elegance all in one… and I’m sure you can’t even remember anymore why you didn’t like wallpaper!

Wallpapers don’t have to be light, and antique-looking to last a long time. How about a bold geometric – honestly this can be timeless too. My only bit of advice: pick something you can envision living with for a long time, because this will be a little bit of an investment. With all that said, I could certainly live with this gorgeous Schumacher pattern on my walls:

A Subtle All-Over Approach

If bold is not your style, you can always find a wallpaper that has a more subtle approach. Wallpaper can look great in a bedroom, it really changes the feel of the room and leads the direction of the design. Even in a bedroom, though, the effect is startling. See this beautifully papered bedroom – it just looks like a study in Parisian chic! I just love, love this chinoiserie wallpaper. I love chinoiserie, it just feels so dainty, romantic and as if you’ve stepped into some faraway land. If you want to learn more about chinoiserie, click here to read more about it!

I adore the room and pattern below. This is like something I would put in my own guest room. I love the all-over pattern and the subtlety of this Rose Tarlow wallpaper. It still gives you plenty of room to bring in other colors and fabric patterns.

Here are some patterns that I have been looking at for my own home, especially my petite master bathroom:

wallpapers by Rose Tarlow

Just like myself, you might have different approaches for different rooms, and that’s fine. In my own home, I can envision a rich jewel-toned pattern (much like the ‘bold’ ones above) for my powder bathroom. But for my master bedroom, you can see I like the subtlety of the more muted wallpaper because I want my bedroom to be a retreat. Same for my guest bedrooms. 

You certainly do not want to have different ‘theme rooms’, but you can mix and match different scales, and mix geometrics with more organic prints like floral patterns. My tip is to make sure there are certain things in common – like a color palette. Also, I wouldn’t go super modern with an antique style wallpaper. If I plan to use something like the Rose Tarlow papers above I would contrast with a more traditional motif like an oversized damask pattern or the cherry blossom style chinoiserie paper. 

As always, if you need some help, just ask when you come by, or click reply and send me a message along with a photo! We’d be happy to help!

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