Top Wallpaper Tips & Tricks
Wallpaper. We can’t get enough of the stuff here at Divine Savages and we often get asked many questions about it…like how best to use wallpaper, can you use wallpaper in a bathroom, and how to create a feature wall. So, we sat down with interior designer and stylist Emily Rickard to answer some of your most pressing questions which you sent in via our Instagram. You can catch the full conversation on our IGTV, and we’ve written up some of the highlights below. We hope you find it insightful and useful, and perhaps you’ll find some inspiration to get wallpapering soon too!
Our Zsa Zsa wallpaper in Bottle Green brings her trademark sass to this bold bathroom designed by Porcupine Rocks.
Qu 1 - Can you use wallpaper in a bathroom?
This is something we’re asked all the time. People often get scared about using wallpaper in a bathroom, and let’s be fair, the idea of paper and lots of water and steam doesn’t sound like the best plan, but there’s actually no need to panic, in fact we think wallpaper in a bathroom is a great idea! Here’s why…
* Maximum impact in what is likely the smallest room in your house
* It's the room all guests will definitely see when they pop over
* The bathroom is a space you can definitely have a bit of fun with & experiment in
* Embracing pattern in a small room is good and can actually make it seem bigger
We always say to look at restaurants and hotel bathrooms as examples, as if it's done right you should come back from the toilet and be like "you have to go and see the loos”!
There’s plenty of tips on how to install wallpaper in a bathroom on our previous blog post here – you can pair wallpaper with tiling or panelling below to avoid 'danger/splash zones', plus you can always grab some Decorator’s Varnish and seal it all in for a perfect finish. We’d recommend the matt vernish which dries pretty much invisible.
Gorgeous Art Deco inspired bathroom with our Deco Martini print wallpaper. Interior design by Cherie Lee Interiors.
Qu 2 - What do you think about wallpaper on the ceiling?
Oooo, embrace the 'fifth wall'…we love wallpaper on the ceiling! People always say always look up – this is your chance to add the unexpected to your interior scheme. It’s also good if you don’t want to wallpaper all the walls, as you can still add impact through pattern by using the ceiling as a canvas, or go with a big pattern on the walls and make it more about a subtler, complimentary pattern or even just textural for the ceiling.
We particularly love the idea of wallpaper on the ceiling in bedrooms – great for when you’re laying in bed as you'll see it, and it delivers much more visual interest than a plain old white painted ceiling! It’s also good in entrance halls too, adding that statement and splash of your personality through pattern.
We may think this is a new trend, but textured wallpapers have been used on ceilings for decades – Anaglypta for example is a great product for adding extra interest - but pattern works better for making a statement!
Our top tip here is to make sure you get a good installer as it’s obviously much tricker to wallpaper upside down!
We’ve seen some great examples of wallpaper on a ceiling – Ariana Danielson used our Deco Martini Arsenic on her kitchen ceiling which looks awesome, and we’ve also seen people use our Geometric Aviary print on a hallway ceiling – what an entrance! Most recently we saw a beautifully moody bathroom with our Gershwing Gold on the ceiling – wow!
So, we encourage you to look up at your ceiling, what do you see? Plain? Time to have a think about getting some wallpaper up there!
Gershwing Gold on the ceiling!
Qu 3 - What other ways are there to use wallpaper beside the usual walls and feature walls?
A feature wall often sparks great debate amongst designers and decorators, but there’s no right or wrong way to do it – as long as you like it! For us, we like to think about taking your feature wall round a corner for a little more interest, if your space allows. It’s something we’ve done in our living room, and this really helps to zone the space.
Zoning a room using patterned wallpaper is a really simple trick, especially now as our homes need to work harder than ever before - wallpaper can be your tool to define different areas, perhaps a dining area if you’re open plan, or even a workspace as we work from home more. For us it was about creating a flexible space that can be used for breakfast or lunch, working, and cocktail hour! It’s why we chose our Deco Martini wallpaper no less!
Our living room glow up; we zoned this space with wallpaper to be a flexible, multi-function nook.
There are so many other great ways you can use wallpaper – and remember, it’s not just for walls! One trick we love seeing more of is framing wallpaper in panels - @thebrickbox used our Forbidden Bloom wallpaper using this trick and it looks all kinds of awesome!
Using wooden panelling on the lower half of the wall is also great – wallpaper doesn't need to be floor to ceiling if you don't want it to be. You can also use it behind Perspex or glass in a kitchen as a splash back,
and use it on furniture for decoupage to embrace pattern and start layering wallpaper in your room on different surfaces.
We also love Kyla Herbes’ idea of using wallpaper in your closet or wardrobe – this way you get a punch of positive pattern when you open the cupboard doors, what’s not to like?!
There really are so many options with wallpaper, take a look at our previous blog here for some more inspo!
Qu 4 - Where is the best place to get wallpaper inspo?
Of course Instagram and Pinterest are great places to find inspo – we use the save function on Insta all the time to bookmark things we see and love, if you don’t already, get using this trick to keep tabs on the things that inspire you as you’re scrolling.
We also recommend you start thinking of the places you've enjoyed staying at, visiting, eating at – what particularly stands out in terms of design and décor and what elements could you take home with you? Hotels, bars, restaurants are a great place to start when thinking about design, and even more so these days. We definitely saw an increase in 2020 for wallpaper - a shift to staying in more and glamming it up at home! We think this mindset will stay with us all for some time now - the pleasure of having more friends and family round to our homes, and our interior design should reflect our personalities – and wallpaper is a huge part of getting that just right.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these wallpaper tips and tricks, if you have any questions let us know, or if you have some more creative ideas on how to use wallpaper then let us know!
Jamie & Tom, with help from Emily Rickard!