6 Bold Ways to Use Wallpaper You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

wallpaper in inlet

The Spruce / Photo Illustration by Amy Sheehan / @houseofchais

Wallpaper is one of those decor choices that can go one of two ways — you can cover the four walls, or you can use it sparingly to create fun pops of color and print throughout your space. The latter method is the best way to create a bold and trendy look with wallpaper in your home. You can use it to create an accent wall, frame out an inlet, and even use it on the floor. Wallpaper is super versatile and comes in so many different patterns and designs that no matter what your aesthetic, you’ll be able to find something that works for you and your home. 

Read on for ways to use wallpaper in a bold way in your home, plus our best installation tips and more.

Ways to Use Wallpaper at Home

In an Inlet

Wallpaper Inlet

@houseofchais / Instagram

Spaces that have inlets can be really interesting to decorate, since your choices can make them recede into or pop out from the wall. A lot of people choose to paint them to make them stick out. Another thing you could do is use wallpaper to add a bold pop of color. This kitchen nook is an excellent example of using color and pattern to create a focal point.

On the Ceiling

ceiling wallpaper

Noelle Ryan Interiors

Instead of having to wallpaper four walls, why not wallpaper the ceiling? It’s a really cool way to add a statement to your room (and yes, you can add wallpaper to the bathroom). There are so many different wallpaper designs to choose from, you're sure to find one for a space as unique as a ceiling that might be competing with the walls for attention.

As a Headboard

wallpaper headboard

Design by Michelle Boudreau / Photo by Jasmine Park

Bring a room together by weaving one or two colors throughout the space. Make it clear which color you value most by including it in a wallpaper behind your bed so it creates a focal point and feature wall. The wallpaper can be an extension of your headboard or serve as a headboard if you don't have one.

On the Hearth

wallpaper fireplace

LA Designer Affair

Adding something bold to a room can be daunting — what if competes with another focal point? Instead of boldly wallpapering an entire wall, you can layer it on top of your fireplace hearth, which is likely already the focal point in the room. Doubling down on an existing focal point lets you choose something cool without it overwhelming your room. 

On the Floor

wallpaper floor


If you can’t change your flooring or have laminate that’s looking a bit worse for wear, you can easily change things up by using a durable wallpaper on the floor. It can be cleaned the same way you’d clean any other wallpaper. Wallpaper on the floor will last longest when installed in an area that isn't especially high traffic.

On the Fridge

wallpaper fridge

Design and Photo by SC Portraits / Featured on Grillo Designs

If you have a boring fridge or one that looks dated, why not spruce it up by adding some wallpaper to it? Peel and stick wallpaper is the best kind to use for this so you can remove it if you need to.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper

Before choosing a wallpaper, decide where you want to put it. If the room is already decorated, this will inform the ideal colors and patterns, as well as texture. But you can also choose the wallpaper for a room before you do any other decorating and then pull colors out of the pattern you’ve chosen. 

And then you have to decide whether you want non-pasted, pre-pasted, or self-adhesive wallpaper. That will really depend on how much work you want to put into your wallpaper project. 

Preparing the Room For Wallpaper Installation

If you’re going to be wallpapering a room, there are a few things you need to do before you start putting it up. Make sure that you smooth the wall out and remove any flaky paint or nails. If you have to remove nails, make sure you fill the holes with spackle. Remove any old wallpaper and wash the wall. You may need to apply a primer to seal the paint so your wallpaper doesn’t peel. And then you’ll need to wipe it down again before hanging your paper. It can be a tedious process, but you want to ensure you’re doing it correctly! 

If you’re looking to wallpaper the floor or a piece of furniture, make sure it’s smooth and clean.

Installing Wallpaper

Learning how to properly hang wallpaper is important so it looks great when you're done. If you’re using non-pasted wallpaper you should use a roller to put the paste on the wall. Make sure your wallpaper is cut to the correct size and then carefully place the wallpaper on the wall and use a wallpaper smoother to smooth it out from the center so you can get rid of any air bubbles.

If you’re using pre-pasted or self-adhesive (peel and stick) wallpaper, the process is similar, just skip the paste. In fact, if you're looking for the easiest way to hang wallpaper, use peel and stick. The two most important things are making sure it’s straight and making sure you get all the air bubbles out!

Finishing Touches

Now that you’ve wallpapered your room or floor, or maybe a piece of furniture, it’s time to put the finishing touches together. Pick out one or two colors from the wallpaper print or pattern and find ways to repeat those elsewhere in the room. Adding small touches around your space will make that bold addition feel like a cohesive design.