· By Studio
Beyond Walls: Creative Wallpaper Uses to Try at Home
At CommonRoom, we want to make art and interiors accessible for as many people as possible. And we understand that wallpapering can be a bit of an undertaking, and sometimes feel intimidating.
Wallpaper by artists can hugely impact the look and feel of a room: it’s an extra layer that adds depth, texture and colour. It's quite theatrical in many ways, and is an alternative to hanging a painting, whilst still putting an artist's work on display.
If you're looking for new ways to add pattern to your home, read on to discover our hacks for dipping your toe into the wallpaper world.
Wallpaper borders are a brilliant way to bring something special to your space - a relatively small change with potentially big impact. "If you’re a bit of a commitment-phobe or you’re worried you might change your mind, borders are a really cost-effective, easy way of adding pattern," our founder Kate told Sheerluxe recently.
We recommend pairing a border with a complimentary paint colour. "In my bedroom, I painted the ceiling blue so it feels like you’re looking at the sky," Kate says. "I then used our Ivy Chaplet border around the cornice and doorway and painted the walls in Farrow & Ball Drop Cloth."
Check out our full border collection here.
DADO RAILS & DIVIDED WALLS
"If you're trying to save money on wallpaper, it's often quite a good idea to deliberately add a dado rail so you can paint below and wallpaper above," Kate says.
Dividing a wall in two not only adds to the aesthetic, but will halve the costs of wallpapering. This is also an opportunity to go to town with paintwork, experimenting with a shade that brings out the best of your chosen design.
Here, the wonderful Yasamin at Overdale House has used our Climbing Curios in a child's bedroom - offset by vibrant green paint and blending seamlessly into the mantelpiece and dado rail.
NOOKS & CRANNIES
Recently, we've seen a move towards feature alcoves, as opposed to the feature wall. Often, alcoves are ignored or hidden, but wallpaper can make a space feel cosy and special.
Nooks and crannies are sometimes the most memorable parts of a home. A reading corner, pantry, attic or office can be brought to life with a beautiful print, and perhaps also offer a little creative escape.
Emma Gurner's take, using our Stony Point paper, draws the eye to the alcove and offers a pop of colour without a full takeover of the room.
Another way to use wallpaper without going full steam ahead is to decorate your loo! It's a great way to nod to a more out-there design if you're unsure about pulling it off in a bigger space. Plus, it's something to enjoy while you do your business!
This design by Drawn London makes for a fun and distinctive WC - a lovely combination of painted panelling with our Lioness & Palms in Midday.
ABOVE A BED
Wallpapering the space around a bed can add a whole new dimension to the room, and cuts costs as an alternative to decorating all four walls. Here, a canopy has been created with Old Oak (Pomona Green/Fawn) behind the headboard, leading up and onto to the ceiling, giving you something to gaze at as you fall asleep.
In a similar vein, wallpapering a ceiling can really provide something spectacular. It's a highly original way to add a pattern to a scheme (and makes for a nice alternative to the slightly run-of-the-mill feature wall).
The brilliant Anne at AH Curated used Fee Greening's wallpaper Harlequin Pearl in her Denmark showroom to create overhead impact.
A gorgeous trend we've seen recently is panelling: it is a relatively simple, inexpensive addition to a room that adds another level of texture and detail. Paired with wallpaper it can look timeless but modern. A favourite example is from Obsorne Hodge's hallway, using our emerald green clover wallpaper by Kate Hawkins, Lucky Leaf.
CLASSIC MEETS CONTEMPORARY
It's a truth universally acknowledged that the best pieces are not necessarily the newest. We absolutely love sourcing antique, vintage and second-hand bits and pieces to work alongside our wallpapers. Or even fishing out that decades-old hand-me-down that suddenly feels relevant again.
Our Arts & Crafts wallpaper, Chequerboard ~ White, by artist Abi Ola was used recently to decorate a dressing room. Somehow this contemporary design works perfectly with the antique furniture and the classic countryside setting.
THE HOME OFFICE
Quite like the downstairs loo, the home office is typically a smaller space in the home that provides an opportunity for more daring decoration. Certainly now that many people are working from home more regularly, it seems sensible to try and make this space the very best it can be... and hopefully help you through a tough day, or keep your creative juices flowing.
Lovely Anne at Underwood Interiors used our Lioness & Palms in Midnight wallpaper by C.F.A Voysey in her small but mighty home work space/study nook.
What a treat it is to peek open a shelf and find the inside adorned in your favourite print. We recommend this as a way to use up excess pieces of wallpaper, or just the one roll of the design you love but can't quite commit to papering a whole room with.
Home and Found used our Love Leaves (Cameleopard/Prussian Blue) inside these kitchen cabinets - this works especially well thanks to the clear glass doors and neatly stacked crockery.
Finally, we wanted to shout out to those of you feeling stuck with an unsightly built-in furnishing situation. Fear not! Wallpaper on furniture can be a total game-changer: it hides all manner of sins, and allows you to put your creative stamp on something that maybe isn't quite to your taste. It's true functionality meeting creativity.
Our founder Kate used her Bloomsbury Group-inspired Dressing & Undressing wallpaper in her dressing room. How apt!
We hope this has given you some decoration inspiration. We’d love to see how you bring our wallpapers to life in your homes. Tag us on Instagram @commonroom.co, use the hashtag #mycommonroom or get in touch with images via email to email@example.com.
Words by Alice Hodgson.