New York This spring, Oprah Winfrey declared that wallpaper is back.
But is it really? That depends on what you want to do in your home and, to a lesser degree, how much you’re willing to spend.
If rock bottom is your bottom line, then a simple paint job is probably the way to go. But if you were planning on spending a little more to get a really nice paint job — perhaps one with murals, borders or faux finishes — then you might want to consider wallpaper.
That’s because in the cyclical world of fashion and home furnishings, wallpaper is hot again.
Designers John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, who recently hosted an open house at their Brooklyn townhouse with a wallpaper trade association, offer some tips on how to decorate with their favorite wall covering:
1. Create a “jewel box” in a tiny space like a foyer by covering the walls and ceiling with a single pattern, then jazzing it up with paste-on rhinestones or pearls. An entryway is also a good place for a pricey paper that may be too expensive in a larger room.
2. Use complementary patterns in rooms that open into each other, like a dining room to a kitchen to a pantry. Unify by using different shades of the same color.
3. Pick two separate but complementary patterns for the walls and ceiling in a bedroom, like a curving vine pattern on the wall that draws the eye to a floral pattern above. It will create visual interest, which Loecke and Nixon note promotes contemplation — and perhaps sleep.
4. Tropical designs are hot. Loecke and Nixon papered a pink-tiled bathroom with a banana leaf pattern in contrasting shades of green. The bold design is famously associated with the Beverly Hills Hotel.
5. Consider dramatic wallpapers for halls and passageways.
6. Use a rare, expensive or powerful pattern on a “feature” wall in a room, where it can serve the same function as art.
7. Woven and grasscloth papers are good for unifying wall space along a multi-story staircase and can also serve as a neutral backdrop for a diverse art collection. A tight sisal weave has the added attraction of hiding nail holes.
8. Wallpaper can help divide open spaces into zones, such as in a bathroom where you might want to distinguish between the shower area and the sink.
9. Celebrate an asymmetrical wall with a bold pattern instead of trying to disguise it.
10. Don’t forget the closet: A great wallpaper could even inspire you to be a better dresser.