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Move Over, Paint—Wallcoverings Transcend Trends

These four wall-covered spaces embody the unlimited potential of thinking beyond the paint can.



Photos by David O. Marlow Photography

When it comes to the walls of a space—which not only separate the space from other rooms but also anchor the eye as the backdrop—wallcoverings bring a richness and warmth that paint just cannot accomplish. To simply paint the walls leaves a flat, cold surface, which is only a great option if the homeowner wishes to display a museum-quality art collection. Whether it’s a showstopping ultra-suede or a textured neutral, wallcoverings add so much more dimension and interest to a space. Not to mention: They break the minimal, all-white mold of current cookie-cutter trends.

These four wall-covered spaces embody the unlimited potential of thinking beyond the paint can.

The antique Swedish cupboard is the central player in this vignette, and a small, hand-blocked wallcovering creates the perfect complementary backdrop. A good rule of thumb is to limit the use of boldly patterned wallcoverings to the least architecturally interesting spaces of a home—like laundry rooms, powder rooms, small guest bathrooms, etc.

This master bathroom boasted some vertical volume, which created a great opportunity to use an Aspen-tree-inspired wallcovering. This choice not only infused the room with life but also concealed its many ceiling transitions.

In this game room and bar space, the owners desired a “clubby” (and a little Scottish) atmosphere—a look achieved with a tartan plaid wall fabric.

This gallery hall acts as a central spine that connects many of the home’s entertainment spaces. It was important to introduce a wallcovering below the elevated display ledge so that there would be a warm texture and background for the collected paintings. Voila!

Whether you want to make a bold statement or incorporate nuanced texture, wallcoverings beat paint in almost every category—adding your unique personality and aesthetic to your home.

Marybeth Norton is the Design Principal of Norton Design Approach, a full-service interior design firm with offices across the country. View their website or contact them at 760.902.6759.

Content for this article provided by Norton Design Approach.

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