30 Rooms with Dazzling Wallpaper

You won't find a single white wall in these spaces, which celebrate color and texture, with a touch of trompe l'oeil.
Kati Curtis

Aiming for a hip Victorian feel, designer Kati Curtis outfitted this bedroom of a West Village, New York, apartment in pieces and colors, starting with Timorous Beasties floral wallpaper. “At first glance,” Curtis says, “the wallpaper looks like it could be original to the home, but once you take a second look, you realize the motif is actually very edgy and modern. Otherwise, the room would have looked too ‘sweet.’ It really needed to have some kind of edge.” Photo by Eric Piasecki

Brockschmidt & Coleman

To infuse a home in the New Orleans French Quarter with a sense of the past, Brockschmidt & Coleman chose a bold wallpaper from Adelphi Paper Hangings, which specializes in wallcoverings based on historical patterns and printed using traditional methods. “The wallpaper was a quick and effective way to knit together the stair hall, living room and kitchen, all of which open onto each other,” says Courtney Coleman. “It also gives some architectural detail to the space.” Photo by Paul Costello


Fabscarte’s lush wall treatments — which may incorporate silver powder, paint, tissue, coffee and stucco, among other elements — have achieved cult status among designers all over the world. The Italian artists who create them aimed “to create a line of contemporary wallpapers that respected classical heritage and skill,” says Fabscarte cofounder Luigi Scarabelli. “We wanted to express these through our own material and color.” This room is enlivened by the firm’s Alberto paper, a tribute to nature. Photo courtesy of Fabscarte

Billy Cotton

In this bedroom designed for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Billy Cotton employed a mix of patterns, perhaps the most dramatic of which is the Fromental custom wallpaper, with its burnt-orange hue and elaborate tree designs. Cotton’s goal was to convey a sense of “fallen luxury,” he says. “I was inspired to do a room for a formerly fancy, elderly drug addict. Her gay best friends took pity on her and did up her SRO for her.” Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson

Tom Scheerer

Ever the traditionalist, Tom Scheerer opted for a mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings in this East Hampton, New York, powder room. “The walls,” notes Scheerer, “are upholstered in the Aviary, an American toile from Schumacher that camouflages the awkward shape of the space, originally a pantry that we repurposed.” Photo by Francesco Lagnese

Rebekah Caudwell

English designer Rebekah Caudwell wanted a soft and calming bedroom in her Brooklyn home, but she couldn’t help adding a few punchy tones and grounding notes. Easily the most eye-catching is the Brian Yates floral paper backing the bed. “While the wallcovering is very busy, it is only on the wall behind the bed,” Caudwell points out, “so the mind is not troubled by it at night.” Photo by Simon Upton

Nicole Hollis

Nicole Hollis aimed to respect the original Victorian and Italianate character of this 1866 San Francisco townhouse even while adding modern upgrades like a new master bathroom equipped with a custom vanity and sporting a monochrome, mural-like wallpaper extending to the ceiling.

Suzy Hoodless

For a sleek stairwell in London, Suzy Hoodless chose a striking combination of pattern and color. “I drew inspiration from Op art in designing the striped wallpaper, which goes from the kitchen to the basement study and cinema area,” she says.

Timothy Godbold

“I saw this wallpaper used in a house in London to great effect and have always looked for a space in which to use it,” says Timothy Godbold, who finally got to employ Muriva’s Books Faux Effect wallpaper in a Sag Harbor, New York, home. “For this project, we had a small nook which could easily have been full of leftovers,” he explains. “But I wanted it to be a comfy nook you could escape to at the top of the house, read a book quietly or forget you have two screaming children downstairs.” Photo by Rikki Snyder

Ken Fulk

“It’s as if Don Draper and Betsy Bloomingdale had a baby,” Ken Fulk says of Leo’s Oyster Bar, in San Francisco, which earned the firm a James Beard Awards nod as a finalist for best restaurant design. The space features custom tropical wallpaper, capiz-shell pendants and bentwood chairs. Photo by Douglas Friedman

Doug Meyer

“The space was inspired by my favorite room in the world, which I’ve only ever seen in photos: the Zodiac Suite aboard the Andrea Doria, which sank in 1952,” Doug Meyer says of this Miami penthouse living room. “It was designed by Piero Fornasetti and Giò Ponti. What inspired me were the walls — silkscreen images of symbols of the zodiac done in blue and white. I created my version with shells, since the project is on the beach.”

Color also played an important role in the design. “The palette of pink, purple and white is a combination I have loved since I was a kid,” Meyer says. “When I was 10 years old, after much pleading, yelling and pouting, I convinced my mother to have my bedroom painted all pink.” Photo by Mark Roskams

Tamara Eaton

“The sunny yellows work very well to brighten the bedroom, and the black created a modern and bold pop,” Tamara Eaton says of the Osborne and Little wallpaper in this Brooklyn townhouse. “I selected this wallpaper because it is a modern twist on a very traditional silhouette, so for a bedroom it’s a fun mix of styles.” Photo by Francis Dzikowski

Matthew Patrick Smyth

In this Westport, Connecticut, bedroom, Matthew Patrick Smyth adorned the walls with Madras Violet by Cole & Son (Lee Jofa in the United States). “I used it because even though the design dates to the 1860s, it still has a fresh and happy effect,” Smyth says. “It is a great background for the rooms — simple shapes and solid fabrics. It’s a period design that plays well with others!” Photo by John Gruen

Rafael De Cárdenas

In this stairway of a Greenwich Village penthouse, designer Rafael De Cárdenas deployed a bespoke wallpaper by artist collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus to highlight a typically neglected space. Photo by Floto + Warner

Nate Berkus

Nate Berkus chose Martinique’s iconic banana leaf-print wallpaper for this dining room in an apartment in Milan, surrounding the table with a set of black leather Pace Collection chairs. Photo by Simon Upton

Timothy Whealon

This Upper East Side bedroom by Timothy Whealon features wallpaper by Callidus Guild. “I used it because of its zen quality and because it reminded me of a Gerhard Richter painting,” Whealon says. Photo by Max Kim-Bee

Rafael de Cárdenas

Rafael de Cárdenas chose a bespoke de Gournay wallpaper for this London dining room, which also features a Maison Charles Bubble chandelier, a Karl Springer table of lacquered goat skin from Talisman and Grosfeld House klismos chairs from High Style Deco. Photo by Simon Upton

Jayne Design

For a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment, Thomas Jayne, of Jayne Design Studio, gave each room a distinct theme and personality, like those in grand historic houses. In this bedroom, he used densely patterned, Chinese-inflected Gracie Summer Harvest wallpaper to provide richness and depth, which he balanced by deploying furniture with simple lines and soft-textured fabrics. Photo by Pieter Estersohn

Alexandra Loew

“This is my favorite wallpaper of all time,” Alexandra Loew says of the pattern she used in this powder room of an Upper East Side apartment. “It’s called Lascaux, as in the ancient cave drawings discovered in Lascaux, France, but it also feels like a Keith Haring graphic. I love anything that feels like a fusion between primitive and 1980s, and this one really hits that spot. It’s aggressive, rather than cute or playful, but also sedate.” The paper is available through Quadrille, and the design, by Alan Campbell, also comes in a coordinating fabric, which Loew used in the laundry room off this space. Photo by William Waldron

Kelly Behun

“Our client is a world traveler and art collector and patron whose varied collection includes Chinese blue-and-white porcelain,” Kelly Behun says, describing the owner of the Manhattan apartment whose master bedroom is pictured. “She is something of a color expert and wanted this very specific shade of blue, with the scene rendered in silver metallic.” The wallpaper is from Gracie’s series of hand-painted Chinese motifs based on 18th-century paintings. The Duck Feet lamps are by Porta Romana, and the Racket chair is by the Campana Brothers. Photo by Richard Powers

Sheila Bridges

The kitchen of a cottage in New York’s Hudson Valley features Harlem Toile de Jouy wallpaper. “It is my own design,” says designer Sheila Bridges. “I thought it would brighten up the small space with color and pattern — particularly because it had black wood paneling.” Photo by Laura Resen

Timothy Corrigan

When Timothy Corrigan was designing the guest bedrooms of his French home, Château du Grand-Lucé, “the idea was to have at least one that would please every kind of visitor,” he says. Of the space pictured above, he adds, “Chambre des Papillons is one of my guests’ favorite rooms, the couples especially.”

The name alludes to the butterfly motif of the Waverly wallpaper. “Typically, I wouldn’t opt for a decorative wall treatment so strong in a space this big, as it can seem overpowering,” Corrigan explains. “But the room overlooks the garden, and I wanted it to feel like a part of the natural environment.” Photo by Eric Piasecki

Kemble Interiors

Floral wallpaper by Lee Jofa brightens the mudroom of this Long Island, New York, family home by Kemble Interiors. Photo by Ball & Albanese

Sara Story

This Sara Story–designed guest bedroom in a Singapore home features Gracie wallpaper hand-painted with koi and lily pads. The carved four-poster bed is flanked by a pair of 19th-century Chinese lacquered tea tables topped with brass tripod lamps by Remains Lighting. Photo by Masano Kawana

Thad Hayes

Thad Hayes was tasked with updating a 1938 Palm Beach oceanfront estate to reflect the clients’ modern lifestyle while retaining its original look and feel. Here, he used leafy wallpaper, a mirrored Hollywood Regency–style vanity and a Lucite chair to create a posh vintage vibe. Photo by Scott Frances

Reath Design

Working on a Craftsman-style home in the Hollywood Hills, Reath Design owner Frances Merrill didn’t shy away from deploying abundant color and pattern. This bedroom juxtaposes vibrant bird-printed wallpaper with mid-century–style furniture and a large-scale photograph. Photo by Laure Joilet

Kelly Behun

Chevron wallpaper by Schumacher sets a bold tone in this Manhattan family room by Kelly Behun. Gray Malin photographs hang over the custom sectional; the tube chair is by Joe Colombo for Flexform. Photo by Richard Powers

Doug Meyer

“Collage environments have been a hallmark mine for over a decade now,” says Doug Meyer, who designed the custom wallcovering in this Manhattan study. “I love creating a site-specific space in any room. I generally decide on the color theme and then decide on subject matter. This one was all about fashion with black-and-white imagery.” Photo by Mark Roskams

Kemble Interiors

In this Palm Beach, Florida, home by Kemble Interiors, the striped wallpaper outside the dining room is by Farrow & Ball and the blue chinoiserie by de Gournay. Photo courtesy of Kemble Interiors

Nathan Turner

“This is a Michael S. Smith fabric I had done in a custom color and acrylic backed, then put up as wallpaper,” Nathan Turner says of the wallcovering in this bedroom of a 1930s home in Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood. In an effect that is part optical illusion, part exercise in perfectionism, a headboard upholstered in the same fabric seems to disappear into the wall. Photo by Victoria Pearson

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