We could say the same thing about wallpaper as that iconic vintage cigarette ad: You’ve come a long way, baby. The wallpaper of today is not your grandmother’s floral chintz. Or maybe it is, but it’s been redone retro-style so that it now looks über cool.
However, finding affordable modern, über cool wallpaper may be a bit harder. With prices often exceeding $50 a roll, and $200 to $300 rolls not uncommon, budget shoppers may find many modern wallpapers out of their pocketbooks' reach.
Below are some great budget-friendly resources for modern wallpapers, as well as tips on saving and stretching your wallpaper budget.
Budget-Friendly Modern Wallpapers
Graham & Brown carries some pricey paper but they offer a 365-day a year clearance section where you can score some of their gorgeous wallpapers at steep discounts, often up to 75-percent off.
Ebay is the clearance house of wallpaper, and if you keep an eye on things regularly (or if you set up a saved search, eBay will email you when new items are posted), you are bound to catch a great deal. I found some amazingly expensive European and vintage papers for under $10 a roll.
Though Anthropologie’s wallpapers aren’t the priciest in the design world, they still fall beyond the budget of many, but keep an eye on their clearance section to score some great deals. For example, at press time their Sliced Limes wallpaper was on clearance for $39.95 a roll, marked down from $148.
Etsy is a vintage and custom wallpaper lover's dream, featuring everything from pieces to samples to multiple rolls of gorgeous goodies. Prices vary from low to high, but you may be able to negotiate with the seller, especially on multiple rolls.
American Blinds has some amazing vintage and contemporary-styled wallpapers at pretty decent prices - many run around $35 a roll.
However, be prepared to scroll through a lot of bad papers to find the diamond in the rough.
Total Wallcovering has some fabulous modern selections for super cheap. (I found a cool contemporary black-on-black Damask for only $14.99 a roll.) However, just like at most major discount retailers, be prepared to scroll through a vast assortment of papers to find the few that may be your style.
Urban Outfitters offers a small selection of hip wallpapers that don't come cheap. However, they do markdowns often so if there is a wallpaper you want and you are willing to wait, then you just may score it on sale.
All Modern offers wallpapers from various makers, but they often offer them on sale, meaning super savings for you!
Modern wallpapers totally beyond your budget? Try these tips to make your walls look fabulous anyway.
- Use a stencil instead.
A stencil is a super-clever way to create a wallpaper effect without purchasing pricey paper. Stencils and paint are very affordable, and stencils can be used over and over again or even resold, maximizing their affordability.
- Create an accent wall.
Instead of covering an entire room in wallpaper, try creating an accent or feature wall instead by covering one wall.
This may actually look better than covering the entire room in a pattern, plus it can save you some serious dough.
- Wallpaper only the ceiling.
Skip wallpapering the four walls and do only the fifth wall instead. This will result in a lot less paper needed, hence a lot less money spent. For some fab ceiling ideas, see our articles on ceiling design.
- Frame your wallpaper.
A great way to add texture and pattern to a wall is to treat wallpaper for what it is – artwork. In fact, some vintage patterns are highly collectible and should be framed. (After all, this could be where the word for framing “prints” comes from!) For more affordable and free DIY art ideas, see our article.
- Purchase samples or sheets.
Many of the pricier wallpaper companies (like Grow House Grow) will also sell their papers in sheets.
The size of the sheet varies, but usually, it is at least 3-4 feet long. This may be enough to cover the back of a bookshelf or create a collage on a wall, or use it in some other ingenious way. Samples are smaller but are often free and look pretty in a frame or used collage-style on a feature wall.