Alright, let’s take a moment to appreciate the resurgence of wallpaper in modern interior design. It’s like a silent superhero of home decor, quietly transforming spaces with its versatility and impact. And guess what? You don’t need a team of experts or weeks of work to get in on the action. Nope, we’re talking about simple, effective wallpaper decor ideas that you can tackle in just one day.

So, picture this: you wake up on a Saturday morning with a bare wall staring back at you. By the time the sun sets, that wall is going to be the talk of the town (or at least your living room). Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Let’s dive into the wonderful world of wallpaper and explore how a little bit of creativity can go a long way in sprucing up your space. Ready? Let’s get started!

floral wallpaper, lights, folding table and laundry supplies.

Shop this Honey suckle wallpaper seen in our laundry room.

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Understanding Wallpaper: Peel and Stick vs. Traditional

Let’s break down the wallpaper game. We’ve got two main players here: peel and stick wallpaper versus traditional wallpaper. Think of it as the showdown between instant gratification and classic charm.

Peel and Stick Wallpaper:

Peel and stick wallpaper is like the superhero sidekick of the decor world. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it gets the job done without breaking a sweat. When it comes to ease of application, peel and stick wallpaper takes the cake. It’s like putting up a giant sticker – no messy glue, no complicated techniques. Just peel, stick, and you’re good to go. Well, sort of… Having worked with both peel-and-stick and traditional wallpaper glue, I’ve found traditional paper easier to hang on larger surfaces (i.e., walls!). So now you’re thinking, how can that be? With peel-and-stick, there’s no mess, which is true. HOWEVER, once on the wall, you cannot shift or adjust it at all. There’s no sliding it a bit to line up with what you’re hoping to align with. Luckily, you can simply peel the sheet of wallpaper off and try again, but the ability to shift when on the wall is why I prefer traditional over peel-and-stick. More on this below, but let’s go over the pros and cons of peel-and-stick paper.


  • Quick and easy application
  • No messy glue or complicated techniques required
  • Great for smaller projects and quick updates


  • Limited moveability once applied
  • Can be challenging to reposition if not applied correctly

Traditional Wallpaper:

On the other hand, traditional wallpaper, the OG, offers its own set of advantages. With traditional wallpaper, you have more flexibility during installation. The paste allows for some moveability, making it easier to adjust and ensure a straight application. For me, ease of hanging leans towards traditional wallpaper because of this flexibility.


  • More flexibility and moveability during installation
  • Allows for adjustments to ensure a straight application
  • Suitable for larger projects and intricate designs


  • Requires the use of paste, which can be messy
  • Longer installation process compared to peel and stick wallpaper

However, both types have their merits. Peel and stick wallpaper is incredibly durable and maintains its stickiness even after multiple adjustments. Plus, it’s a great cost-effective option and can be easily removed when you want a change.

So, whether you opt for the instant gratification of peel and stick or the classic charm of traditional wallpaper, there’s a wallpaper out there with your name on it. Choose wisely, my friend.

Wallpaper being applied to a wall.

Tips for Hanging Wallpaper

Hanging wallpaper can be a fun and rewarding DIY project, but it requires some preparation and patience to get it just right. Here are some tips to help you achieve a professional-looking result:

Preparation Steps:

Before you start hanging wallpaper, it’s essential to prepare your space properly. This includes:

  • Cleaning the Walls or surface: Make sure the walls are clean, smooth, and free of any dust or debris. This will ensure that the wallpaper adheres properly.
  • Measuring the Space Accurately: Take precise measurements of the area you plan to wallpaper to ensure you purchase the correct amount of wallpaper.
  • Gathering Necessary Tools: You’ll need tools such as a wallpaper smoother, a sharp utility knife or scissors, a measuring tape, a pencil, a level, and a wallpaper brush or roller.

Tip: Use this convenient wallpaper calculator to determine your needs.

General Application Techniques:

Once you’ve prepared your space, it’s time to hang the wallpaper. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Prepare the Wallpaper: If you’re using traditional wallpaper, apply the paste according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For peel and stick wallpaper, simply peel off the backing to expose the adhesive.
  2. Start Hanging: Begin at the corner of the room and work your way across the wall, using a level to ensure the wallpaper is straight. Smooth out any air bubbles as you go using a wallpaper smoother or a clean, dry cloth.
  3. Overlap and Trim: If you’re using traditional wallpaper, overlap each strip slightly to create a seamless finish. Use a sharp utility knife or scissors to trim any excess wallpaper at the ceiling and baseboards.
  4. Repeat: Continue hanging strips of wallpaper until the entire wall is covered, making sure to match the pattern as you go.
Wallpaper with tools.

Troubleshooting Common Issues:

Even with careful preparation, you may encounter some common issues when hanging wallpaper. Here’s how to address them:

  • Misalignment: If the wallpaper doesn’t line up correctly, gently peel it off and reposition it, taking care to match the pattern.
  • Wrinkles: Smooth out any wrinkles or creases in the wallpaper using a wallpaper smoother or a clean, dry cloth.
  • Seams: If you notice seams starting to lift, apply a small amount of wallpaper paste or adhesive behind the seam and smooth it down with a wallpaper smoother.

Patience and Teamwork:

Lastly, remember that hanging wallpaper can be a time-consuming process, so be patient and take your time to ensure a professional-looking finish. Having two people can also be beneficial, as one person can hold the wallpaper in place while the other smooths it out and trims the excess. Furthermore, it’s worth considering beginning with a small space or project before tackling a larger one, allowing you to build confidence and expertise gradually.

With these tips and a little patience, you’ll be able to hang wallpaper like a pro and transform your space in no time!

smoothing out the wallpaper with a red tool.

Showcase of Wallpaper Decor Ideas

I absolutely adore the magic of wallpaper – it’s incredible how a simple application can utterly transform a space, infusing it with personality and charm. From accent walls to creative uses, each application brings a unique touch that elevates the entire room. Let’s explore some inspiring ideas where wallpaper takes center stage at our home, turning ordinary spaces into extraordinary showcases of style and character.

Accent Wall Ideas

Laundry Room: Inject vibrancy into a compact space by crafting a lively accent wall with wallpaper. Recognizing the laundry room’s lack of texture and patterns amidst its predominantly solid surfaces, I sought to introduce a captivating design. Upon discovering this peel and stick floral wallpaper, I was instantly enamored. Its bold pattern, adorning just one accent wall, achieves precisely the visual impact I envisioned. To maintain consistency, I chose to paint the remaining walls in the room with the same gray hue that serves as the background of this wallpaper.

Galley style laundry room with a feature all in the back with floral wallpaper. Adding some much needed pattern to this space.

Shop a similar wallpaper to the one we used in our laundry room.

Guest Bedroom: Infuse warmth into your cozy guest retreat with a captivating bold patterned feature wall. When I set out to revamp our guest bedroom, I opted for this striking wallpapered accent wall, and it exceeded all expectations. The peel and stick design effortlessly incorporates the room’s color palette, seamlessly tying everything together with cohesive charm.

Sideview of a white bed with caning. lot of flowy bedspreads and coverlets with pillows.there is a floral print wall paper accent wall behind the bed.

Shop this gray floral wallpaper.

Creative Applications of Wallpaper in Home Decor

Fireplace Screen/Cover:
Last year, I embarked on a mission to breathe new life into our living room fireplace, and thus was born my DIY fireplace coverboard project! The inspiration struck during the summer months when our brick fireplace lay dormant, begging for a fresh update. I envisioned something light and airy to replace our previous free-standing metal cover, which, truth be told, never quite won me over. Little did I know that this DIY creation featuring this woodland peel and stick paper, designed initially for seasonal use, would become a permanent fixture, gracing our hearth for years to come!

A white brick fireplace with a fireplace cover that has a woodland black and white print on it.

Shop this grey woodland wallpaper.

China Hutch Backing: Give your dining room’s focal point a fresh makeover with a touch of creativity. In my blog post, “Quick and Easy China Cabinet Makeover Using Wallpaper,” I share a simple yet impactful idea to revitalize your china hutch. By wallpapering the back panel, you can inject personality and style into your space without breaking the bank. Whether you opt for a bold pattern or a subtle texture, this DIY project offers endless possibilities to transform your dining room decor.

My dining room hutch with open shelves with wallpaper on the back wall.

Shop this Linden Owl wallpaper.

Fireplace Opening: Elevate the ambiance of your living room with a captivating focal point using a faux brick peel and stick wallpaper. When a friend generously gifted us a fireplace surround, we were thrilled to enhance our guest bedroom space. We purchased an electric fireplace insert, However, we noticed a gap between the fireplace and the surround, which presented an opportunity for creativity. Opting for a gray faux brick peel and stick paper, we seamlessly filled the space, adding texture and depth to the fireplace opening. This simple yet effective solution transformed the area into a cozy and inviting feature, enhancing the overall charm of our guest bedroom.

Shop this brick wallpaper.

Repurposed Furniture: Another innovative way to incorporate wallpaper into your home decor is by using it to revamp furniture pieces. I repurposed leftover wallpaper from my laundry room project to update the front panel of an old radio console. The wallpaper’s vibrant pattern instantly breathed new life into the console, transforming it into a stylish and eye-catching focal point. Don’t underestimate the power of using leftover wallpaper to add personality and flair to a piece of furniture, giving it a fresh and unique look.

A grey painted piece of furniture

10 Creative Wallpaper Decor Ideas for Leftover Wallpaper

It’s uncommon not to have leftover wallpaper after a project. Here are some inventive ways to make use of those extras.

  1. Picture frame mats: Cut the wallpaper into sizes suitable for picture frame mats to add a pop of color or pattern to your wall art.
  2. Book covers: Wrap books with leftover wallpaper to create unique and colorful covers that add interest to your bookshelves.
  3. Gift wrap: Use the wallpaper as an alternative to traditional gift wrap for presents, adding a personal touch to your gifts.
  4. Coasters: Cut the wallpaper into coaster-sized pieces and laminate them to create custom coasters for your home.
  5. Wall decals: Cut out shapes or designs from the wallpaper and adhere them to your walls as temporary wall decals for a quick decor update.
  6. Lampshade covering: Use the wallpaper to cover lampshades, creating custom lamp designs that complement your decor.
  7. Backing for artwork: Use the wallpaper as backing for framed artwork or photographs to add visual interest to your walls.
  8. Decorative accents: Use leftover wallpaper to create decorative accents such as bookmarks, greeting cards, or even origami projects.
  9. Furniture accents: Use small pieces of wallpaper to add accents to furniture pieces such as table edges, drawer fronts, or cabinet doors for a unique look.
  10. Drawer liners: Use leftover wallpaper to line drawers and shelves, adding a stylish touch to your storage spaces.
drawer liners

These creative ideas can help you repurpose leftover wallpaper and add style to various aspects of your home decor.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wallpaper Decor Ideas

What are some creative ways to use wallpaper in my home?

Wallpaper offers a multitude of creative possibilities beyond traditional wall coverings. Consider using it to revitalize old furniture pieces such as coffee tables or side tables, adding a touch of personality and flair to your living space. Additionally, wallpaper can be utilized to create stunning wall art, whether through framing smaller sections as individual pieces or covering an entire wall to make a bold statement.

How can wallpaper transform a small room or space?

Wallpaper is a powerful tool for transforming small rooms or spaces, offering the opportunity to visually expand and enhance the area. By strategically selecting the right wallpaper with geometric patterns or optical illusions, you can create the illusion of depth and openness, making the space feel larger and more inviting. Additionally, using lighter colors or white wallpaper can reflect light and brighten up the room, further enhancing the sense of spaciousness.

What are some considerations when choosing the right wallpaper for my space?

When selecting wallpaper for your space, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure the perfect fit. Take into account the color scheme of your current home decor and choose wallpaper that complements or adds contrast to existing elements. Consider the size and scale of the space, opting for smaller-scale patterns in smaller rooms to avoid overwhelming the area. Additionally, think about the desired aesthetic and ambiance you wish to achieve, whether it’s a modern twist, an elegant look, or a splash of color to liven up the space.

Can wallpaper be used to create a gallery wall or accentuate wall hangings?

Absolutely! Wallpaper serves as an excellent backdrop for creating gallery walls or accentuating wall hangings, allowing you to showcase your personal style and elevate the overall aesthetic of the room. Whether you choose bold wallpaper with geometric designs or subtle floral patterns, it provides the perfect canvas to highlight your favorite artwork or photographs. By incorporating wallpaper into your gallery wall design, you can add depth, texture, and visual interest to the space, making it a focal point of the room.

How can wallpaper be utilized in open-plan offices or work areas?

In open-plan offices or work areas, wallpaper can be used creatively to define different zones and enhance the overall functionality and aesthetics of the space. Consider using wallpaper to delineate specific work areas or zones within the larger space, such as individual workstations or collaborative areas. By selecting wallpaper with cohesive designs or complementary colors, you can create a sense of unity and coherence throughout the space while allowing each area to maintain its unique identity. Additionally, incorporating wallpaper into the design can help to inspire creativity, boost productivity, and create a more pleasant and inviting work environment for employees.

Can wallpaper be applied over textured walls or wood paneling?

Yes, wallpaper can indeed be applied over textured walls or wood paneling, offering a versatile solution for transforming even the most challenging surfaces. When dealing with textured walls, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly by smoothing out any rough areas and filling in any holes or imperfections. Using a high-quality wallpaper adhesive can help ensure proper adhesion to the textured surface, allowing the wallpaper to lay flat and adhere securely. Similarly, when applying wallpaper over wood paneling, it’s crucial to clean and prime the surface beforehand to ensure optimal adhesion and a smooth finish. By choosing the right wallpaper and following proper installation techniques, you can effectively cover textured walls or wood paneling, giving your space a fresh new look and feel.

If you’re wondering about the power of wallpaper to transform a drab space and turn it into something spectacular, check out the before and after of our laundry room below.

Explore the myriad possibilities of wallpaper opening doors to creativity and personal expression within your living space. I hope these ideas have sparked your imagination and inspired you to embark on a fun one-day project with wallpaper in your own home. Let your walls become the canvas for your unique style and transform your space with just a roll of wallpaper.

Happy decorating Friends!

My signature - a drawing of me holding a coffee cup that says Create.

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