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Styling Your Room With Wallpaper

Wallpaper is known for being transformative. However, styling your room with wallpaper alone might not provide you with the makeover of your dreams. Often the best makeovers involve much more than just wallpaper. Wallpaper, when considered part of a bigger makeover, typically provides the foundation for what is done with the rest of the room. Consider how the wallpaper style and pattern work within the space. Look at how the colors in the design will work with the other elements like trim, furniture, etc. Use the colors in the wallpaper design to help guide the look of the rest of the room. Let’s look at examples from interior designers and interior enthusiasts who have used wallpaper as an important step in helping define their makeover.

Styling Your Room With Wallpaper • Jewel Marlowe • Candy Stripe Wallpaper • Bethany Linz • Boys Room

Image above showing Candy Stripe Wallpaper in room designed by Jewel Marlowe

“…the entire room design is inspired by this Palm Springs wallpaper from Milton & King. Its a retro wallpaper without looking dated and the modern color palette makes such a statement in this little room.” –  Rebecca Plumb

Rebecca used the color palette in the Palm Spring design to choose the color of the wainscoting in the bathroom. She matched the color in the hand-drawn trees and cacti of the design. The result was a room that felt cohesive. She didn’t just plop up wallpaper in an already finished room. She allowed the design to guide the other decisions. Notice how the small accents like the incense holder, the candle and the fresh flowers play on the coral colors in the wallpaper as well. Color cohesion is important when it comes to styling your room with wallpaper

Palm Spring Wallpaper • Milton & King • Rebecca Plumb • Studio Plumb

“Let’s start with the inspiration for the room. Can you guess it? Yep, it’s the beautiful Milton and King Cranes wallpaper. I immediately fell in love with the exotic Japanese inspired motif of the cranes – the bird of happiness and good fortune in Japanese culture.” – Veronica Solomon

Once again, we have an example of an interior designer using wallpaper as the jumping off point for styling the room. The wallpaper is not the afterthought. It’s the starting point. The black, white and gold palette holds the entire range of color for this laundry room. Veronica matches the gold with gold picture frames, gold door handles and a gorgeous golden snake-framed mirror. The black in the design matches the black and white pattern in the flooring and in the marble countertops. Finally, white is the base color for all the cabinetry, painted walls and doors.

Cranes wallpaper • Laundry Room • Veronica Solomon

After the wallpaper, I selected the bed. I had a tight height restriction- 50″ is the tallest I could go to fit under the slanted wall. I found this mint, velvet tufted queen bed on Overstock and I fell in love! It fits perfectly and the mint coordinates nicely with the wallpaper. – Ashley Wilson

Ashley, the interiors enthusiast, used the Birds of Paradise design in giving the master bedroom a makeover. In the quote above, she explains that the colors in the wallpaper were used to match the bed frame and headboard. You can also see how the pink florals in the design perfectly compliment the pink throw pillows and the golden foliage matches the gold accents in the lamp and bedside table. In this instance, the wallpaper wasn’t the first element in deciding how to style the room, but it was an important point of reference in tying it all together.

Birds of Paradise • Bedroom Wallpaper • Tropical • At Home With Ashley Wilson

“The wallpaper is a whimsical departure for me, but I still found myself drawn to it. This paper is called ‘ Woodland Birds‘ by Milton & King, and it really adds a ton of personality to the space!” – Ursula Carmona 

The wallpaper in this instance was really coming into what would otherwise be a fairly plain and blank space. It was mostly just white with some gold accents. So pretty much any wallpaper that had white and gold in it would work. And the Woodland Birds design really does help the gold elements pop. There definitely is no clash here. It is simply a design that Ursula loved and she found a space that was perfectly fitting.

Woodland Birds • Closet Wallpaper • Ursula Carmona

“One of the biggest ways I plan to incorporate color is to use the Kitty Mccall Wilderness wallpaper by Milton and King on the ceiling! I’m so excited to try this out!” – Stephanie Watkins 

When you look at Stephanie’s basement makeover, you’d be hard pressed to find a color palette, but that’s the whole point. Multi-colored, vibrant and wild is the theme. So choosing a wallpaper that matches the multi-colored rug and the multi-colored items on the shelves is the idea that ties it all together.

Hockney Wallpaper • Stephanie Watkins • CasaWatkinsLivingBlog • Colorful Wallpaper

“I fell in love with this Milton & King Fantails Wallpaper and that really got the ball rolling. I got the goosebumps when I saw this pattern in this color way and used it as the jumping off point for the whole bedroom.” – Rachael Moriarty

This interior designer wanted a bold feature wall and a dramatic ceiling color in her bedroom. But note that she didn’t paint the ceiling or add all the other elements to the space and then find a suitable wallpaper. She first found a bold colored wallpaper that really popped for her. Then, she based all the other elements on the room on the color and design. Even the wall art and bed frame plays with hues of purple and maroon. Also notice how the design on the bedding plays along with the feather elements in the wallpaper. And while the room is still wild with pattern and color, there is a running theme of boldness throughout the space.

Fantails Wallpaper • Folklore & Flora • Maroon Wallpaper • Purple Wallpaper • Rachel Moriarty Interiors • Deborah Shields Photography

photo above courtesy of Deborah Shields Photography

So what is the point we’re driving home? Wallpaper can be transformative. If your room is already styled and coordinated, there is a good chance wallpaper will be a key element in bringing it all together. However, for the best results when you’re styling the room with wallpaper, you need to consider all the aspects. Flooring, furniture, accents and patterns can affect how effective your wallpaper will be. So in order to avoid disappointment, take the time to plan ahead. Coordinate your colors and figure out exactly what you want. You can do it yourself. Though, consider hiring an interior designer with the training and the eye to really help you achieve your goals. And it will be worth it. After all, you have to live here.


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