Wallpaper for the Win

Wallpaper is having a moment right now and I have recently embraced it in several ways. When we moved into our new house about a year and a half ago, it was gloriously empty and blank with  light gray walls and white trim throughout. I’ve loved having such a bright and clean space, but  I felt like we could add some personal touches without taking away from the fresh clean look. Instead of jumping right in and painting accent walls, I’ve been incorporating touches of wallpaper and I’ve really liked the results… enough to blog about it. Here are four different ways I’ve used wallpaper in our house.

First place was our kitchen. Here is the before:

That island was pretty much begging for a makeover. So I followed my heart and added distressed wood wallpaper to Joe’s Amazon cart and got after it.

It made such a difference. Now when you walk into the living room/kitchen, the island is actually a really cool focal point that stands out instead of just a blank spot where the kids kick their feet while sitting at the counter.

I was so happy with how the island turned out, I wanted to keep working on our kitchen. As you can see in the top photos, we didn’t have any kind of tile backsplash behind our counters. So if food ever splattered there, it was really hard to wipe off the flat paint and it drove me kind of crazy. However, Joe and I were both undecided on the type of backsplash we want. I found this textured white subway tile wallpaper at Target that I intended on using for our laundry room, but just for fun I tried out some pieces in our kitchen and I ended up loving the result.

So here is the finished product with both the island redone and the faux backsplash incorporated. I kind of wish I had cleared off the counters before taking these pictures, but you get the idea of how the space got brightened up and more interesting! And even though subway tile and distressed wood have been trendy as of late, this is a fun way to try out the look, but not invest a lot of money or be very committed. It’ll also be easy to change out once farmhouse chic isn’t all the rage anymore (like that’s going to happen, haha)

I also used the distressed wood wall paper on the small wall in our entry hallway. This one was the easiest and quickest project because there was no complicated cutting or measuring, The surface was also large and flat. Getting everything smoothed down toward the ceiling was more difficult because of my shortness, but that’s what counter stools are for. I actually completed this project one morning before the kids were awake. For not taking up  much time and effort, this tiny accent wall has made me so happy!

View from our dining room.

Again, this was a very forgettable space pre-wall paper and now it’s a cool accent.


Another place I wanted to wave my wallpaper wand was our laundry room. It’s a very small room, but conveniently located upstairs next to our master. It also has two windows in it, so it’s not dark and gloomy. But it also was pretty boring and messy.


And after:


Again, even though the wall was already light gray, the white wall paper really brightened up the space. To fill the wall out, I bought the sign, flower vase, and ceramic jar from Hobby Lobby. The floating pine shelf came from Target (which Joe kindly installed for me) and those awesome woven baskets with the chalkboard labels came from Aldi! For as much as I dislike doing laundry, I seriously now love our laundry room. When the space was first completed, I kept finding excuses to go upstairs and peek at it! I think I just need to add an additional  ceramic jar on that shelf and it’ll be finito!


I could not be more pro-wallpaper than I already am. I love that it’s fairly inexpensive and also removable, so you aren’t in a long-term commitment. My tips for using wall paper are this:

  • Use a smoothing tool and an Xacto knife. This will make for cleaner lines and a smooth/less bubbled finished project.
  • Use small sections. Although it’s tempting to apply one big, ol’ seamless sheet, you will save yourself a headache by not wrestling with a big sheet and then accidentally getting it stuck to itself. (This I learned by doing the kitchen island)
  • Take your time and go slowly to match up seams and measure correctly. I rushed and didn’t really take my time because I kept trying to do these projects when the kids were sleeping, so these are not done perfectly. But if you don’t rush, they definitely can be!
  • Go bold! This stuff is removable! I have all sorts of wallpaper ideas now for the rest of our house and I’d love to do some fun patterns and colors. Stay tuned.

So there you have all my knowledge about wallpaper. Thanks for reading and happy peeling and sticking!