Wallpaper: Not just for fashionistas

There's something about a good wallpaper that makes me melt, like butter in an ooey-gooey pile on the floor. I know you've waited FOREVER for me to give you free license to wallpaper your kitchen. Well, that day is here. Wallpaper  began to take off in the Mid to Late Renaissance (14th - 17th century) when printmaking became really popular with the guilds. Originally hung as tapestry on the walls in the Medieval to Early Renaissance, the middle class began to decorate their rooms with the more economical approach of woodcut printed paper. Today's wallpaper is produced in large scale, graphic prints and patterns that you wouldn't expect. It is mostly used as an accent wall, but can be used appropriately in a whole room as long as it's the only major pattern.

Friend Linda at Surroundings says:

"I love how the addition of whimsical wallpaper into a contemporary kitchen really warms up what could become a cold feeling space. There is defintely a new wave of wallpapers and decals that are great for use in the kitchen - without feeling old and stodgy. Since kitchens often only have one wall that has any kind of open space, it can be a great opportunity to experiment with bolder and larger patterns to create a focal wall that balances the heaviness caused by appliances and cabinetry."

As do I, Linda. We really need to be bolder with our choices. Take, for example, the three images below:

living space eclectic home office

kitchen with small saarinen table asian kitchen

August, 2009 eclectic bathroom

You'll notice that the choice of paper is one of careful consideration when coming up with your scheme. Colour is the biggest factor, followed by type of print (traditional, geometric, floral, etc.), then the overall size of the print.

Okay, so now you've looked at these images and thought "They're so awesome, but too expensive." Nay, my friend, wallpaper can be yours and you don't need a lot of it. If you want a hit of exclusivity, head over to Flavor Paper for some USD$300/roll of handmade pretty things. Or what about Wallpaper by the yard for the non-committal types? Yes, even that's available at Hygge and West. Even local designer Kelly Deck hit up the wallpaper goddess with a custom design of a poem by Rollout.ca for her Millionaire Designer Home:

Watch out, kids, because wallpaper shows up in the strangest of places with the strangest of designs. Be open to it.