For years, wallpaper had a reputation as the ugly duckling of wall coverings. Not long ago, wallpaper brought to mind homes that are outdated, somewhere you could find an old spinster with 6 cats who holds meetings for her knitting club. Wallpaper meant thick vinyl with flowery ceiling borders, sun-faded gingham checks and dancing vegetables. Or…outhouses, as the case may be. Even interior designers who once appreciated wallpaper for its decorative qualities had declared it antiquated (even though this doggie border is still available).


Well, no more! To say that wallpaper has been making a comeback is an understatement. In recent years, innovative design trends have made wallpaper cool again. Modern graphic prints, shimmery metallics, and textured designs are bringing wallpaper out of the past, and turning that ugly duckling into a swan. In fact, these days, wallpaper is often the focal point of a room, the statement piece that gives a room its unique personality.

Small Spaces with Big Impact

Wallpaper is perfect for jazzing up small spaces, so why not start with the powder room? Let’s face it: bold prints look exciting in a swatch book, but sometimes they can become overwhelming. But a powder room’s minimal wall space can handle patterns in large scale, with lots of color. With such a small room, you can easily ensconce yourself in a strong pattern or full-scale mural. And paint just can’t compete with the touchable dimension added by textured wallpaper, found in natural styles like linen, faux bois, suede, grasscloth. Or glam it up with something crystal studded, snakeskin or metallic.

We especially love Jill Malek’s entire collection; her mighty Aphrodite in Goldendust is whimsical and classy. And you just can’t get quirkier than the Best in Show dog parade by Osborne & Little. That is, unless you look closely at the Power Plant pattern by the always exciting Flavor Paper–that’s not your grandmother’s floral. Designed by Brooklyn-based artist Dan Funderburgh, this playful wallpaper looks traditional at first glance, but is actually illustrated with images of light bulbs and power plugs–awesome!

Wallpaper is a quick and easy way to completely change the look of your powder room. Check out the photos below to see how stylish new wallpapers and being used to create big impact in a small space.


source: Architectural Digest, via Lark & Linen | wallpaper: Arches by Phillip Jeffries


source: Eskayel | wallpaper: The Dance by Eskayel


source: Thibaut | wallpaper: Coral Gables by Thibaut


source: Thibaut | wallpaper: Chinese Laundry by Thibaut