The peel and stick removable wallpaper taken from the archives are historical, but they are far from outdated. Follow our tips to make a traditional archival print wallpaper work perfectly in your home.
You don’t have to live in an old house for these wallpapers to work, but for the best effect, choose a design that fits the scale of your home. For example, the typical small flowers of the 1930s can seem lost in a room with high ceilings, while Victorian prints with many patterns can overwhelm a small or low-ceilinged space.
To make a beautiful wall covering the centerpiece of the room, choose key design colors and repeat them on plain fabrics and painted woodwork.
Not so long ago, striped peel and stick removable wallpaper lovers had to make peace with big compromises with their design projects. Once the strong chemical glue was dry, starting over meant scraping debris off the wall with a razor blade and possibly repainting, depending on how badly the removal process damaged the wall surface. The only alternative was to cover the adhesive and tape the wallpaper sheets to the wall, then pray for the invisibility of the deck and proper humidity levels from season to season.
Decorating with temporary wallpaper doesn’t have to be much more difficult than applying and fixing removable wall stickers. If you’re wondering where to start your room redesign project, start with these five ways to decorate with temporary wallpaper:
Create a focal wall
When painting a room just isn’t enough, choose a wall, any wall. It could be the one with the window, the one in front of the window, the largest, or the one with the least amount of furniture nearby. Once you’ve selected your chosen wall, dress it up with temporary patterned wallpaper to bring out the color you’ve spent so much time choosing. If you are using peel-and-stick wallpaper, start in a corner near the ceiling and smooth as you paste. Set aside a little more time to step back and admire the difference an accent wall can make.
Renovate a closet
Cumulatively, you probably spend a significant amount of time storing and organizing the pieces that make up your wardrobe and rummaging in an overlooked corner looking for something to wear every day. Why not make your closet a more pleasant place to spend a couple of hours a month? Pick a stylish temporary wallpaper pattern and cover all three walls to create a cuter closet that may make you want to keep your closet door wide open.
Fix blank wall space under kitchen cabinets
A host of visible gadgets and gizmos can divert attention from the beautiful wall color that you spent hours carefully applying on your kitchen walls. Adding temporary wallpaper in a complementary pattern to the backsplash between your cabinets and countertops is one way to take the casual look away from all that electronic volume. If the kitchen has long been your decorative white whale, pay attention to the forgotten spaces in between – it’s the first step to experiencing the elusive nirvana of design.
Cover the bruises
My 4-year-old’s enthusiastic transitions from the basement to our kitchen eventually led to a knob-sized hole in the wall slightly to the left of the door. Repairing the damage included plugging the hole and heading to the hardware store to find dozens of paint swatches for one that matched our current wall color.
Replace missing headboards and add emphasis to shelves and drawers
Take the time to redesign the spaces that are normally left to collect dust and trinkets, and you will have mastered the talented designer’s best defense against boring decor. If you have scraps of temporary wallpaper left over, use them to line shelves or dresser drawers, or carve a sticky headboard for the wall blank at the top of the bed. Complement an eye-level shelf or monochromatic captain’s bed with a striped wallpaper background and bring an aesthetic new life to your treasured book collection and cozy bedrooms.
To mix other prints without overshadowing the wallpaper, stick to a limited color palette. They are grouped together for coordination, so the hard work is already done for you.
You can combine an archival wallpaper with modern furniture but echo the design; for example, a pattern with smooth curves will look best with curved furniture.
If you want to find a paint that matches the shades used in an archival wallpaper, check out the collections of traditional and vintage paintings.