Wallpaper has had many incarnations.
The decorative wall covering gained popularity during Renaissance Europe amongst the social elite. It was a natural evolution of the large tapestries the gentry used to hang on their walls during the Middle Ages. Not only did these tapestries and later rolls of paper add visual interest, but they acted as insulating layer between the cold, stone walls and the interior of the room.
While many of the first wallpapers depicted nature scenes or was flocked ( a velvet-like pattern on paper), today the myriad of patterns and colors will fit any space or style of home.
And while many may think that wallpaper is limited to just that...the wall, I think some of it's most clever and impactful examples can be found on shelves, lamps, and many other places that the 14th-century Europeans would've never dreamed of.
Remember to play with scale and think outside the roll when decorating with wallpaper. I hope you enjoy these inspired ideas and projects.
1 I love this idea. Wallpapering a door really makes a bright touch. (marthastewart.com)
2 Adelphi Paper Hangings in Sharon Springs, NY crafts incredible wallpapers by hand. Here is a shot of one of their showrooms.
3 Wallpaper borders can be used for more than trimming walls. You can make unique furniture accents like the treatment on this chest. (Martha Stewart Living, April 2006)
4 Here is another way to utilize a wallpaper border. It looks like this border was made for this lamp! (Martha Stewart Living, April 2006)
5 Detailed wallpaper borders make beautiful window valences. (Martha Stewart Living, April 2006)
6 Some wallpapers stand well on their own as art. (Martha Stewart Living, September 2000)
7 Instead of using a traditional wallpaper border, use a regular roll for a bold visual impact along your molding. (marthastewart.com)
8 Wallpaper can dress up areas that are often underconsidered, like the closet. (marthastewart.com)
9 Dress up plain wastebaskets and umbrella stands with a covering of wallpaper. (marthastewart.com)
10 A wallpaper headboard is a more affordable and less bulky option for beds. (marthastewart.com)
11 Pretty wallpaper patterns can be cut out to make these easy sconces. (marthastewart.com)
12 Bring some pattern to your switchplates with wallpaper. (marthastewart.com)
13 Covering an old table with wallpaper is a great way to disguise scratches. (marthastewart.com)
14 Even the most common items (the clipboard) can have a sophisticated air with the help of wallpaper. It's a great idea for small, leftover scraps. (marthastewart.com)
15 Rebecca Robertson and family sit in front of a wall -- covered in the "Cactus Paisley" paper from Neisha Crosland. (Martha Stewart Living)
16 Inexpensive magazine holders get a romantic upgrade with a pretty floral paper. (Martha Stewart Living)
17 Want to create your own view? Attach a beautiful wallpaper sheet to a roller shade. (Martha Stewart Living)
18 The flowers in this paper create the perfect spot for antique hooks. Voila, an entryway is created. (Blueprint Magazine)
19 Muted color keeps these two wallpapers from competing. (Blueprint Magazine)
20 A instant chair rail is created with dramatic floral border paper. (Blueprint Magazine)
21 Add a splash of personality to a lackluster work space by covering plain floating bookshelves with wallpaper.
I found some wallpaper products that are fun, chic, and best of all...available for order online.
1 An elegant pattern on a Mylar base makes this design a modern twist. walnutwallpaper.com)
2 A graphic pattern is perfect for an accent wall or small space. (dwellstudio.com)
3 This damask wallpaper is paintable, so you can customize the color to work with your decor. (Martha Stewart Living, homedepot.com)
4 A herringbone pattern is inspired by men's suiting -- making it ideal for a library or office. It can also be painted a bespoke color. (Martha Stewart Living, homedepot.com)
5 Don't be afraid to use a bold color and pattern simultaneously. This one works well because the pattern is not too intense. (kremelife.com)
6 This dot pattern also comes in a neutral taupe color. (dwellstudio.com)
7 This is a fun take on a malachite pattern. (walnutwallpaper.com)
8 If an ornate pattern is too much for your entire room, consider using it on an accent piece. You can line a bookshelf or drawer for a surprise kick of pattern. (kremelife.com)
9 I think this paper would be so pretty on a dining-room ceiling. (kremelife.com)
10 The flowing pattern on this paper is so soothing -- perfect for any bedroom or bathroom. (kremelife.com)
11 The whimsy and color palette of this pattern don't take away from its sophisticated look. (anthropologie.com)
12 Here's a close up. (anthropologie.com)
13 A trellis pattern with a Moroccan twist. (kremelife.com)
14 This color is so beautiful, subtle, and neutral. (walnutwallpaper.com)
15 Wainscoting is so classic. This wallpaper version is a more affordable option and can also be painted any color you like. (Martha Stewart Living, homedepot.com)
16 Vintage wallpapers are always a great option. Isn't this tufted pattern clever? (secondhandrose.com)
17 A simple and elegant trellis pattern always looks chic. (ballarddesigns.com)