Using wallpaper in a kitchen is a daring style move that might feel intimidating to the uninitiated. But it's a powerful way to brighten things up by adding some color and pattern, and to personalize a space that can sometimes feel a little bit too utilitarian, under-decorated, or simply boring.
While installing wallpaper in a room prone to spills and spatters might seem like a high-maintenance, high-risk endeavor, wallpaper can be cleaned like any other surface in the house. If you're a renter and don't have the budget or the permission to add traditional wallpaper, there are a multitude of easy-to-install temporary and removable wallpaper options on the market that can make your place feel more like home, and won't cause you to lose your security deposit when you move out.
Let these fun and unexpected ideas for using wallpaper in the kitchen inspire you to try it yourself.
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Channel Vintage Vibes
Interior designer Anne De Wolf from Portland, OR-based firm Arciform chose Egrets wallpaper by Florence Broadhurst for the kitchen remodel of a 1909 cottage-style bungalow that was inspired by her client's "eclectic, cosmopolitan style and the industrial 1920s." The wallpaper is the perfect complement to a room bursting with charm and vintage details, like a farm-style sink, a French gas range in Delft Blue by LaCanche, and antique furniture pieces repurposed as prep spaces and storage.Continue to 2 of 21 below.
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This sweet kitchen from NYC-based Megan Pflug Designs has an effortless, laid back charm, with decor details like a lovely antique sink, simple country-style painted wood open shelving, and Cole & Son Hicks' Hexagon Black/G Wallpaper in a peppy graphic pattern that gives the space an extra dose of energy and personality and ties it all together.Continue to 3 of 21 below.
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Embrace Dark Florals
Cecilia Casagrande Interiors papered the dining nook of her eat-in kitchen in Brookline, MA with dramatic large-scale floral wallpaper designed by Ellie Cashman that is inspired by the style of Dutch still life paintings. It gives the corner banquette the feel of a room-within-a-room and creates a sophisticated, stylish focal point that elevates the space.Continue to 4 of 21 below.
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In this stylish eat-in kitchen designed by Manhattan-based Studio DB, groovy wallpaper with a squiggly navy blue pattern is used to define the dining area, creating a sophisticated corner booth aesthetic that works for family dinners or late night drinks once the kids are in bed.Continue to 5 of 21 below.
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Add a Wall Mural
In this delightful eat-in kitchen from U.K.-based deVOL Kitchens, American folk art-inspired wallpaper designed by Andrew Martin functions like a wall mural. The soft powder pink background and fairy-tale scenes of mythical creatures and trees with giant pears adds charm and breathes life into the space, making it feel special and inviting.Continue to 6 of 21 below.
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Add Tropical Flair
This compact Costa Mesa kitchen by KShan Design is enlivened with tropical wallpaper in shades of green and hints of pink that are picked up on the wall of the adjoining space. The busy pattern makes the limited kitchen wall space burst with color and energy without overwhelming, and is toned down by the classic black and white tile floor and simple white hexagonal tile backsplash.Continue to 7 of 21 below.
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Add Faux Marbling
If you love the idea of remodeling your kitchen with classic but expensive materials like marble, wallpaper is a cost-effective way to mimic the effect of pricey stone without spending a fortune. Plus, it's easier to swap out when your tastes change and you find yourself dreaming about exposed brick. In this neutral, streamlined kitchen, marble wallpaper from Rebel Walls adds a sense of luxury and an additional texture without breaking the budget.Continue to 8 of 21 below.
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Add Color and Pattern
An otherwise simple white kitchen is the perfect blank canvas for bold, mesmerizing patterned wallpaper in soothing shades of green from Farrow & Ball.Continue to 9 of 21 below.
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Go Forest Bathing
A plain galley kitchen gets an eye-popping makeover with this large scale wall mural from Rebel Walls that feels like a forest bathing walk in the woods. Covering two walls gives the narrow rectangular room a sense of depth and expands the space while lending an escapist feel to the breakfast nook.Continue to 10 of 21 below.
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Have Some Cake
In this sweet classic English kitchen design by deVOL Kitchens, wallpaper by Thornback & Peel in a pink retro illustrated jelly and cake pattern adds a dose of nostalgic charm that works beautifully with the high-end appliances and fittings and dark green wall paint.Continue to 11 of 21 below.
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Wallpaper the Ceiling
While wallpaper tends to steal the show when used in a kitchen, in this moody space from deVOL Kitchens, embossed paintable wallpaper by Anaglypta is used to create subtle texture on the ceiling, adding interest and dimension with an understated touch.Continue to 12 of 21 below.
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Split It Up
One way to dress up the blank canvas of an all-white, contemporary cookie cutter kitchen is by installing an accent wall of wallpaper in any pattern that strikes your fancy. If you keep the rest of the space neutral, there's no need to worry about coordinating colors or styles, so feel free to go bold like this wallpaper design from Farrow & Ball that occupies the upper half of the wall above the kitchen backsplash.Continue to 13 of 21 below.
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Bring In Some Plant Life
If you love plants but lack a green thumb, why not introduce a wall of pretty painted plant life to your kitchen with wallpaper? This design from Rebel Walls looks like a vintage book of garden illustrations come to life, with a calming gray background and subtle shades of green that create a serene feel.Continue to 14 of 21 below.
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Brighten Up the Pantry
Taking design risks in small spaces is a great way to experiment without a huge investment or commitment. Bloggers Mallory Nikolaus and Savannah Kokalaires at Classy Clutter teamed up on this compact pantry that uses uplifting, colorful floral wallpaper as a backdrop for shelving and storage. Dressing up otherwise utilitarian corners of your home in bright colors and patterns is a small life-affirming act of self-care that we can all get behind.Continue to 15 of 21 below.
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Highlight Architectural Details
Kitchen wallpaper doesn't always have to make a giant statement or dominate the entire room. In this airy English kitchen, deVOL Kitchens added Little Greene Paint Company wallpaper to liven up a recessed arch over what would have been the fireplace in the original room, highlighting part of the room's existing architecture and creating a charming vignette.Continue to 16 of 21 below.
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In this spacious eat-in kitchen in a Victorian terraced house in London, Fornasetti wallpaper adds a touch of color and whimsy that helps take the eye off the freestanding fridge and makes it feel like a room you want to spend time in.Continue to 17 of 21 below.
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Dress Up the Breakfast Nook
Wallpaper can be expensive, but if you choose the right pattern and the right spot, a little can go a long way. Michelle Berwick Design added bold and colorful floral wallpaper above the arched breakfast nook of this shiny white kitchen that makes a huge statement, changing the whole mood of the room without requiring a ton of product.Continue to 18 of 21 below.
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Embellish the Island
There's no reason that wallpaper has to go on the wall. In this kitchen from A Beautiful Mess, graphic black-and-white wallpaper (Hands by Pottok) adorns the front of the kitchen island, complementing by neon yellow industrial-style stools that create a moment in the light and airy space.Continue to 19 of 21 below.
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Glam It Up
Interior designer Jessica Hill-Tompane at J Hill Interiors added bright wallpaper in a large-scale palm print pattern to this vibrant and colorful eat-in kitchen. A blingy gold pendant light and plush upholstered chairs around a small bistro table create a fun place for morning coffees and midnight snacks.Continue to 20 of 21 below.
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Carry It Through
In this petite Parisian kitchen from Neva Interior Design, airy multi-colored wallpaper with hand-painted illustrations of birds and flowers complements the soothing sage green cabinetry, and echoes the colors of the throw pillows scattered on the built-in seating opposite.Continue to 21 of 21 below.
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If you want to create the look of wallpaper without the cost or hassle of putting it up, or are in the mood for a fun DIY project, let this cheerful hand-stamped clementine wall from A Beautiful Mess show you how it's done.