Wallpaper’s well-overdue recent resurrection in the interior design world isn’t just a trend—it is here to stay. More and more people are papering their walls to add dimension, design, and texture to a room. However, in recent months we’ve seen a major uptick (literally) in wallpaper usage, as designers have been using it to cover ceilings.
According to Aimee Lagos, co-founder of Hygge & West, wallpapered ceilings have definitely been gaining popularity recently. “Now that wallpaper is more common, it’s a new way to create a more unique, unexpected décor scheme,” she points out. “It started with a shift from wallpapered accent walls to wallpapering all four walls. The next step was to look at the ceiling as a fifth wall. It is a perfect surface for adding the pattern to a room and certainly creates a wow moment. Based on the installations we’ve seen, we think the trend is here to stay.”
It started with a shift from wallpapered accent walls to wallpapering all four walls. The next step was to look at the ceiling as a fifth wall. It is a perfect surface for adding the pattern to a room and certainly creates a wow moment.
“Adding flair on the ceilings is an age-old art form. From quaint tin ceilings to the Sistine Chapel, getting creative up above lifts the eye and gives a feeling of grandeur…even in small spaces,” explains interior designer Noel Gatts, founder of beam&bloom interiors.
“I love to wallpaper the ceiling in rooms where I may not have a lot of other options for a pattern or strong color,” adds Los Angeles interior designer Mark Cutler. “Two rooms that come immediately to mind are dining rooms and bedrooms—both for different reasons.”
Before you order your wallpaper though, Gatts explains that the process of covering your ceiling isn’t as easy as adhering wallpaper to it with glue. “The first thing to note about wallpaper application is that a wallpaper primer is absolutely required for proper adhesion and removal of traditional fine papers without surface damage,” she points out. She also suggests hiring a professional, as wallpaper is not only super expensive but applying wallpaper to a ceiling can be a little more tricky than a wall. “It’s just not worth the costly mistake of doing it wrong,” she explains. Of course, you could also go the temporary route and choose and peel and stick option too.
Ready to add a little extra visual interest to your space? These 10 rooms with a wallpapered ceiling are sure to inspire.
01 – Peel and Stick Perfection
Wallpaper is expensive and paired with installation costs can be budget restrictive. Gatts suggests that a great way to try the trend is by using affordable and removable peel and stick paper in a small area.
02 – Ethereal Sky Theme
Hygge and West’s iconic Daydream wallpaper, designed by Julia Rothman, (also available in peel-and-stick) features a whimsical pattern of birds and clouds—both of which will be in their natural habitat on your ceiling. “We love using patterns with an ethereal theme, like our Daydream or Stardust wallpapers,” says Lagos. “They keep the room from feeling heavy and just make sense when you look up.”
03 – Unapologetically Bold
Don’t be afraid of pairing a bold wall with an attention-grabbing wallpaper pattern. “If you’re a lover of color, go bold and paint your wall something bright with an intense pattern on your ceiling,” suggests Gatts.
04 – Cozy and Complementary
Just because you’ve added wallpaper to your ceiling doesn’t mean the rest of the space has to be boring—just remember to keep cohesion in mind. “Our favorite applications in larger spaces are to have the ceiling wallpapered with the walls in either a complementary pattern or paint color,” explains Christiana Coop, Hygge & West’s other founder. And don’t neglect your trim! “Pull colors from the wallpaper for your walls and your trim to create an interesting yet cohesive space.”
05 – All About Pattern
You can really create a dramatic look in a small space by going all out with wallpaper. “One classic design trick is to match the wallpaper on the ceiling to the walls,” explains Modsy VP of Style Alessandra Wood. “This creates a space that is all about the pattern with the comfort of traditional vibes.”
06 – The Bigger the Better
Think big when it comes to wallpaper print—especially for open spaces. “We recently designed a large entryway with the ceiling papered in a modernized large scale print of a classic pattern with lots of bright negative space by Thibaut,” says Gatts.
07 – No Color, No Problem
Wallpaper doesn’t have to be colorful or intensely patterned to make a major statement. The stark contrast of this powder room, designed by Lisa Walters Interiors and featuring Thibaut’s Tanzania black and white animal spotted wallpaper, makes a major case for ditching hues.
08 – Divine Dining Room
Your formal dining room is a great place for a statement-making wallpapered ceiling, suggests Cutler. “A dining room is only used occasionally, so you can really push the envelope here a bit, maybe introduce something with texture as well as color,” he says.
09 – Dreamy Bedroom Ceiling
Considering you spend more time staring at the ceiling in your bedroom than anywhere else in your home, it’s the perfect place for wallpaper. “Why miss that chance to bring in a fun design element?” says Cutler. “It will be the first thing you see in the morning and last at night!”
10 – Awesome Angles
Why should flat ceilings have all the fun when it comes to wallpaper. Already dramatic angles can be exaggerated even more with the help of some gorgeous paper.