How to Use Wallpaper to Maximize Space and Style


Neutral bedside space
Photo: Monika Hibbs

Text by Bethany Adams

Wallpaper is endlessly versatile, customizable, and adaptable. Perfect for covering vast walls or brightening up into tight spaces, wallpaper can fit into any style, from classic to contemporary and everything in between. Because choosing from the countless patterns, colors, and textures available can be overwhelming, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get the most out of this two-dimensional statement piece and take your home to another plane of stylish.

1. If you’re not quite ready to embrace the bold wallpaper trend, start subtle. Modern lines in neutral tones add elegance and interest to this airy bedroom.

Photography by Children and Playrooms

2. Don’t be afraid to inject your space with some bold color, like this nursery dripping in sunshine. Pairing bright hues with subtle patterns keeps the walls from overwhelming the rest of the room.

Gray wallpaper
Photography by World of Wallpaper

3. For added interest in a monochromatic style, embossed wallpaper can be the perfect backdrop to your favorite décor.

White bedding
Photography by Design Sponge

4. Metallic tones paired with minimal lines can add a contemporary twist to a classic space. Choose neutral hues to let this option’s true beauty shine through.

Striped bedding with suitecase side table
Photography by Notes of Nostalgia

5. Love the look of shiplap but not willing to commit to a full renovation? Easily add textural interest to your walls with a pattern that mimics weathered wooden planks.

Pink nursury
Photography by Glitter Guide

6. While wallpaper can be the perfect way to add bold lines and vibrant colors to your home, dreamy watercolors and oversize floral prints are great for creating a relaxing sanctuary.

Black and white kitchen
Photography by The Effortless Chic

7. Don’t be afraid to pair more than one pattern. Geometric prints are great for adding a modern touch to a cottage-style space, but this option’s nature-themed companion keeps it grounded.

Floral Wallpaper
Photography by The Effortless Chic

8. Add an aged, timeless feel to your home with vintage-style florals in muted tones. If you’re concerned about a pattern overwhelming a room, try limiting the paper to an accent wall to create a stunning focal point.

Photography by A Beautiful Mess

9. Don’t let its name fool you—wallpaper can be used on nearly any surface that needs an extra pop of style. Line bookshelves, stairs, and other nooks and crannies with your favorite pattern to mix things up a little.

Photography by Jim Bathie

10. Don’t forget your room’s fifth wall. Embossed wallpaper on the ceiling of this bedroom draws the eye up and makes use of an often-overlook space.

For more inspiration view our newest special issue, the Best of Cottage Bedroom!

The Cottage Journal cover