Living Room Wallpaper Ideas That Make a Statement

Add color, pattern, and texture to your home’s living spaces.

Hector Sanchez

Hector Sanchez

Wallpaper in bedrooms, powder rooms, and even mudrooms has become a popular choice for adding interest and visual appeal. But what about swathing your main living space in wallpaper? If it feels like a commitment, that’s because it can be—though that shouldn’t keep you from giving it a try. If you’re in a rental or simply don’t want the ‘til-death-do-us-part feeling that comes with more traditional wallpaper installation methods, consider peel-and-stick or self-adhesive varieties that come with the same style but are more easily removed.

Wallpaper choices are many and varied, so you can easily find a style, pattern, and material that works for you and your price point. For a subtle design that brings loads of texture, consider grass cloth. If you love the effect of vinyl wallcoverings but want a more elevated material, consider fabric wallpaper. Whatever material, style, and pattern you choose, you’re bound to bring a unique look to your living room. Take a look through our top tips for using wallpaper in your living room for all the inspiration you need.

<p>Stacey Brandford</p>

1. Feature Wallpaper as a Focal Point

If you have a focal point in your living room, particularly if you’re working with an open layout, consider giving it a wallpaper makeover. Here, a traditional fireplace receives an updated look with a medallion-patterned paper that draws the eye. If your living room doesn’t have an architectural focal point, consider creating a focal wall with the use of wallpaper. Much in the same way that wallpaper achieves a gaze-grasping effect on this fireplace surround, it can just as easily have the same effect on an otherwise unassuming wall.

<p>Brian McWeeney</p>

2. Pair Wallpaper with Bookshelves

One way to make your shelfies really pop? Wallpaper. Line the back of bookshelves with wallpaper to give them depth and style galore. This living room wallpaper idea spotlights favorite knickknacks. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any damage to your shelves if you choose to use peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Select a wallpaper that complements the color story you are trying to tell with your shelves, but also doesn’t see them camouflaging into the background. Here, a soft pink with a subtle design allows beige, gold, blue, and pink shades to shine without competing for all the glory.


<p>Richard Johnson</p>

3. Add Texture with Wallpaper

In this living room that’s open to the home’s entry, wallpaper is used to add texture and warmth. It creates an inviting cocoon that welcomes guests and family members in cozy elegance. Keeping the trim white creates crisp, clean lines and lends a more traditional feel. With textured grass-cloth wallpaper, the pattern acts in a supporting role, still delivering plenty of interest without monopolizing all the attention. This allows art and wall decor to shine. Just remember, less is more.


<p>Peter Rymwid</p>

4. Highlight Architectural Features

Calling on wallpaper to accent wainscoting isn’t new when it comes to the dining room, though it might be a slightly more unexpected choice in large living rooms. A soothing, neutral shade of grass cloth within wainscoting gives an elegant, eye-catching feel. Consider how everything from light fixtures to art will work with the backdrop.

<p>Hector Sanchez</p>

5. Use Wallpaper as Art

So, you’re not an art person—or maybe you are but you’re looking to bring something unexpected to the table. Consider using wallpaper as an art installation. Here, wall molding frames a black-and-white wallpaper mural. Get the look at a fraction of the cost of a professionally framed art piece by creating your own DIY frame.


<p>John Bessler</p>

6. Bring Character to a Room

Whether your living room is a new build and lacks architectural character or you want to give your walls an unexpected material finish without knocking down walls, consider wallpaper with a faux brick finish. Here, it gives a modern, more utilitarian finish. On one side of the angled roofline, a whimsical wallpaper creates the perfect counterpoint for a softer look. 

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