Room Ideas: One Very Guilty Pleasure

Published: April 15th, 2013

When considering room ideas for interior design, we usually think of smart furnishings, fabulous color schemes, and amazing art.  I go there as well, but it doesn’t take much to get me thinking about … wait for it… WALLPAPER!  Yes, that little afterthought for some is a delightfully guilty pleasure for me.  After all, wallpaper can add as much character and depth to a room as music can to a great film, both doing their critical work in the background.

Wallpaper, of course, was once looked upon as a lowly and undesirable member of the decorative arts family, a mere imitation of the fine and durable tapestries filling the walls of great homes and castles.   It wasn’t until the English Arts and Crafts movement that William Morris introduced, both in tapestry and wallpaper, those exquisite and sumptuous patterns we’ve come to associate with him. “Whatever you have in your rooms,” said Morris, “think first of the walls for they are that which makes your house and home…”

Room Ideas:  William Morris wallpaper
Room Ideas: William Morris wallpaper


That may be even truer today, for contemporary wallpaper design is both glorious and fashionable (read HOT!).   Wallpaper can accomplish so much. It can not only enhance the architecture, but even become it.   Take a look at the Brise Soleil architecture of the IBM building in Honolulu (designed by Vladimir Ossipoff), for example, and see how this wonderful wallpaper from Cole and Sons provides a similar architectural feel:

Briese Soleil architecture images
Room Ideas: Briese Soleil architecture
Cole and Sons Hicks Hexagon small 95-3016
Room Ideas: Cole and Sons Hicks Hexagon

Sometimes, wallpaper adds wit and humor to a space.  Here’s a little something from Romo that tickled me with its pop art and architectural qualities.  I’m planning to use a version of it in a current project:

Romo_Scala Collection
Room Ideas: Romo Scala Collection

Of course, wallpaper isn’t always about pattern.  Some of my favorite wallpapers add texture and warmth to a space.  You can find so many varieties of textured wallpaper at such great dealers as Donghia, Maya Romanoff, and Phillip Jeffries.  Here’s a grass cloth I used from Phillip Jeffries for a cozy den I designed:

Room Ideas: Grasscloth Wallcovering – Phillip Jeffries

Makes you long for a good read and an afternoon nap, right?

Now that I’ve revealed my guilty pleasure, I’ll gladly blog more about it.  Just don’t tell anyone!