Why yes, Wallpaper is the new buzzword in decorating. And it’s not your grandmas geese border or you moms exploding mauve and blue Santa Fe print . Feature walls are all the rage… They add so much character to a room and can spotlight an otherwise boring space. If you’re unsure about how to incorporate it in to your home, follow along for some fun and easy ideas and tips. I bet I’ll have you convinced once you’re done reading…..
So what exactly is a “feature wall” anyway you ask? Well it’s a wall in any space that you can define as a different and focal area of the rest of the room to bring more character and texture to an area that is lacking in style or interest. There are so many ways you can achieve various looks and one of them is with wallpaper.
Wallpaper can be very intimidating and expensive, but if you do your research you can find many simple and fairly easy options to choose from. I’ve wallpapered many many spaces over the years and yes, I believe I’ve had some pretty ugly things happening..However at the time they were very trendy. I think what I like the most about the newest trends is that they are more classic in design and natural so they can become more timeless.
I also admit there was a time for about 10 years where I got ride of every inch of wallpaper in my house! But I’m glad to say it’s making a big comeback and I’m completely sold. However, I believe gone are the days of completely covering an entire room in a print and one can only hope that “borders” don’t return. I think the point of the new trend is to add the feature piece but to also stay reserved and avoid “overdoing” a room and cover it completely.
There are several options to the type of wall papers out there. You can buy prepasted, peel and stick or paste to the wall. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
So where do you start with a feature wall? Usually its the main focal point of the room. For instance in this bathroom I chose the first wall that you see as you enter the room around the vanity. I loved this wallpaper, but because of its expense, I wanted to limit the amount I needed to cut back on the cost. Also, the print is busy so doing an entire room in it would be overkill. One thing I’m loving about the style this time around is that the prints in most cases are more neutral and soft, not the multicolored mix of patterns and colors. Also, this wallpaper was the traditional pre-pasted kind.
Pre-pasted already had the paste added to the back of the paper. After measuring and cutting your strips, you submerge it in water, then fold or “book” the pasted sides together to activate the paste. Then you open it up and lay the paper on your wall and smooth it out. There are many tutorials out there with tips and tricks to applying it. Everyone has their own thoughts so be sure to do your research before you start.
Another option is the peel and stick paper. This is similar to contact paper where peel off a backing then place it on your wall and smooth it out. Personally, I felt it was a bit more difficult to maneuver than pre-pasted. the more you lay it on then peel it back to work with it, the less tacky it becomes. I love it for small spaces like the back of cabinets, or a small feature wall space. But for a large area, I felt it was a little more challenging ( at least for just one person to do) The best part about the peel and stick is that it’s very temporary. So if you don’t want to commit or live in an apartment, you can decorate with it, then remove it easily if you move or tire of it.
Here are a few spaces where I used peel and stick wall paper. The first is our laundry room. I love adding a little character to a laundry space. I mean we spend so much time there so why not make it pretty too. This large buffalo check is so fun and with its neutral color pallet it’s not too overwhelming for the space. I purchased this paper from Target.
Another place I used the peel and stick was in the back of my little pantry. Why not make your pantry space pretty too? For this area, I used a faux shiplap style I purchased from Target as well. Target has a fabulous like of peel and stick papers in a variety of styles and colors.
In this tiny bathroom, I added a faux brick look to a small area around the toilet. Look how much character it adds to this otherwise boring space. Since the floors are so bold, I still wanted a bit more texture, so this brick is perfect to achieve that look. And it’s textured which makes it look even more realistic.
For this space my friend really needed to add some texture and life to her large entertainment center, but was not wanting to commit to a huge transformation or project. So I added a faux wood look to the back of the cabinets and it brought the whole space to life. Because of its neutral and soft color pallet we were still able to add accessories without making it look cluttered.
Placing the peel and stick papers around an island, or the back of open cabinets is another fun and simple way to add more character and texture to the look of the room without having to spend much money or start a huge, labor intensive project. Definitely the way to go if you are just trying to get your feet wet a little.
My most recent wallpaper project was my most favorite so far. I have a landing in my very open concept living area that is awkward and needed a little “somethin somethin” I decided to do a fun neutral print to bring some life to the space without having to add a lot of clutter or work to the area. Because the room is so open, I had to be careful to find something that would tie the entire floor together. Also, that would look good from whatever angle you were seeing it from.
I selected this fun, very neutral Scandinavian tulip print from D. Marie Interiors. But what I loved most about it was that it was a “paste to the wall” paper. I have never worked with it before…and y’all I’m hooked!! It was such a breeze to work with, very easy for one person and hardly any mess. No wet, dripping paper all over the place. You can actually visit my Instagram page highlights for a live tutorial on how I applied it.
You essentially just brush the paste right onto the wall, and then start at the top of the roll ( once you get your plumb line determined) and roll in down smoothing as you go. Once you hit the bottom, you cut with your sharp edge. Then find where your pattern meets up for the next strip, paste the wall and repeat. You don’t even need to pre cut all the pieces. I mean I was doing the happy dance with this project. However…be sure to measure and measure again then use the charts the wallpaper stores offer to determine how much you’ll need… I ran out by 2 feet!!! yes I was short i tiny bit!!! uggh but it turned out ok because I was able to use it in another space as well.
Next, I’m going to be doing a feature wall in my bedroom. I’m still working on a few ideas that I have, so stay tuned for that project coming soon. So have I convinced you to try it yet? I hope so, at least maybe try a few small areas with the non-committal peel and stick then once you get the bug, you can branch out to the big time. Anyway, I hope you are inspired to jump on the wallpaper train and try out this fun, and creative trend that is hopefully here to stay for a while…..