(Left) Sonoma Charcoal Spanish Tile Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/sonoma-charcoal-spanish-tile-wallpaper-45482.aspx and (Right) Hoppet Folk Multicolor Scandinavian Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/hoppet-folk-multicolor-scandinavian-wallpaper-45493.aspx Images from Wallpaper Boulevard
Given the number and variety of surfaces within a modern kitchen, options for wallpaper rather than paint abound. Peel and stick wallpapers can be used either contact paper or a wall covering, allowing the homeowner or renter to remaster functional space and elements for a more personal, thematically appropriate aesthetic. Recent trends have inspired decorators and designers to refurbish refrigerators, brighten backsplashes, decorate drawer, cabinet, and shelving interiors, and update the overall appearance of a kitchen or breakfast nook solely with wallpaper. Peel and stick wallpapers are a loose-commitment way to add pattern, depth, excitement, and themed elements to your kitchen without overspending.
A posting by K!tchen explains that wallpaper is versatile and simple to work with…a super alternative for people who want to move away from conventional wall applications.” The article does recommend leaving behind an overly textured, true fabric, or very thin wallpaper, as “dirt can build up in the detail of the embossing.” Wallpaper designers have introduced a number of options in recent years that allow for easy wiping or washing with common household cleaners without affecting the color or luster of the covering.
Adding to a Theme
(Left) Saltwater Light Pink Wave Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/saltwater-light-pink-wave-wallpaper-46160.aspx and (Right) Albion Taupe Geometric Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/albion-taupe-geometric-wallpaper-45573.aspx, Images from Wallpaper Bouelvard
To accentuate an existing theme, try a faux-shipboard wallpaper for a coastal breakfast nook, a country floral for a rustic kitchen, a mix of metals for industrial, pink and gold patterning for a glamorous feel, or deep faux-wood wallpaper for a Mediterranean look. Consider Wallpaper Boulevard’s Saltwater Light Pink Wave Wallpaper (above left) for a glamorous breakfast nook, paired as pictured above with gold and glossy white accents. To achieve an industrial or art deco theme in the kitchen, add Albion Taupe Geometric Wallpaper by Fresh Start Kitchen & Bath to the walls (above right).
As Small Touches
Adding a classically patterned or faux-textured wallpaper to a drawer or backsplash, or even beneath a glass tabletop, allows the decorator to try a bold or trendy print without papering the entire room.
(Left) Image from @suvaalbuquerque on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/CBEVp4nBJro/, (Center) Green Botanical Damask Wallpaper, Image from Wallpaper Boulevard, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/green-botanical-damask-43950.aspx (Right) Dark Green Persimmon Leaf Wallpaper, Image from Wallpaper Boulevard, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/dark-green-persimmon-leaf-wallpaper-45775.aspx
Add interest to an outdated kitchen table with a fresh patterned wallpaper in a gingham or floral design; place a sheet of plexiglass or true glass atop the table for a beautiful finish without the inconvenience of a tablecloth. A wallpapered table will create the perfect base for entertaining in a dining room too, as the pattern, be it bold or muted, will augment table settings, floral arrangements, and more. Try one of the graphic floral prints by Wallpaper Boulevard (center and right) to achieve the look of the emerald foliage-printed tablecloth featured above on the left.
Adding a Kitchen Backsplash
(Left) Easton Off-White Subway Tile Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/easton-offwhite-subway-tile-wallpaper-45512.aspx and (Right) Cecelia Light Grey Faux Tile Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/cecelia-light-grey-faux-tile-wallpaper-45539.aspx, Images from Wallpaper Boulevard
A natural hesitancy may arise when considering whether to choose a tile, wallpaper, or painted backsplash for a kitchen. One might assume that wallpaper would become dirtied too quickly from residues and splatter caused by the stove or sink. However, adding a sheet of heat resistant glass or plexi behind the sink or stove as a vitrine will allow the homeowner to choose any pattern or texture of wallpaper, paint, tile, or other covering without worrying about stains, burns, or other marring. For the appearance of tile without the cost, try a traditional subway tile design wallpaper; a faux-tile backsplash will add character without expense. For a splash of color or dash of quirk, try an animal print or fun cartoon.
As a Major Design Feature
The less skittish homeowner or renter may be willing to take the plunge into bold color, punchy prints, and exciting contrast in the design of their kitchen. In a recent article for Elle Décor, interiors writer Lucia Tonelli compiled a list of the “kitchen trends that [will] reign supreme in 2020,” many of them based in color-blocking. Quoting designer Ariel Okin of Ariel Okin Interiors, Tonelli offers navy as a major kitchen trend for this year, especially when intermixed with “marble and brass” touches. Julie Massucco Kleiner and Melissa Warner Rothblum, of Masucco Warner, offer “unexpected color pops” as another exciting trend for 2020 kitchens, noting that “using color in unexpected places like appliances…is a fun way to incorporate [color] and make a regular appliance feel special and custom.”
(Left) Image from @ms.jasminelau on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/CBA08yoBbwO/ and (Right) Oxford Rust Brick Faux Wallpaper, Image from Wallpaper Boulevard, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/oxford-rust-brick-5106.aspx
Whether you plan to refresh your kitchen or its neighboring breakfast nook, adding wallpaper to one wall as a feature or every wall in the room for a big statement will update and modernize, contributing to a cozy or cool atmosphere depending on the preference of the homeowner. Homes & Gardens lists “new Chintz,” “bold palettes,” “references to bringing the outside in,” and graphic patterned wallpapers as “the key looks to update your walls” in 2020. Consider brick (unfinished or painted) to change the atmosphere of your breakfast nook; achieve the look above with a wallpaper from Wallpaper Boulevard (right).
(Left) Triangle Rocks Beige Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/triangle-rocks-beige-17810.aspx and (Right) Anais Charcoal Floral Trails Wallpaper, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/anais-charcoal-floral-trails-40980.aspx, Images from Wallpaper Boulevard
For a graphic look, try Wallpaper Boulevard’s Triangle Rocks Wallpaper (above left), available in beige, gray, tan, and black and gray, pictured above in beige. For “new chintz,” try a floral wallpaper with larger scale flowers in bold colors with an elevated, illustrative feel. Leave behind washed out or single-color chintz wallpaper. Consider Wallpaper Boulevard’s Anais Charcoal Floral Trails Wallpaper (above right) for a contemporary floral that will wow visitors while adding calm to any kitchen or nook.
Wallpapering Appliances and Furniture Bases
Figure 2(Left) Image from @mary_erker_signorelli on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl9KSXQnc_T/ and (Right) Banbury Emblem Black Wallpaper, Image from Wallpaper Boulevard, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/banbury-emblem-black-11247.aspx
Try papering over a junky refrigerator whose vinyl or plastic outer-layer may have yellowed over time; appliance makeovers contribute an enormous amount to the freshness of an older kitchen without spending an exorbitant amount for well-working pieces. Adding a pattern to the base of a kitchen island or banquet seating in a breakfast nook will allow the decorator to update older furniture that may still be in excellent structural condition but losing aesthetic value. Try Wallpaper Boulevard’s Banbury Emblem wallpaper in black to achieve a similar style pictured on the kitchen island in the photo above on the left.
When wallpapering an appliance, the DIY Network, in their article “How to Cover a Refrigerator with Removable Wallpaper,” recommends first scrubbing down the exterior of the appliance as “paper adheres more evenly when it’s sticking to a clean, smooth surface. Measure the paper and surfaces of the appliance several times before cutting to ensure that as little product is wasted as is possible, allowing for a single piece to cross from the front to the sides of a fridge, microwave, or piece of furniture. Be sure to cut around handles, hinges, openings, fans or vents, and other hardware.
Covering Cabinets and Shelving
(Left) Image from @_owl_and_the_willow on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/CAfTuurjDa8/ and (Right) Graceful Garden Wallpaper, Image from Wallpaper Boulevard, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/graceful-garden-5202.aspx
In the aforementioned Elle Décor article, Lucia Tonelli also notes that open shelving is expected to become a popular design choice this year. You can achieve the look without sacrificing security by inserting glass panels into cabinet doors and papering the shelves within. If earthquakes are of no concern to the homeowner or renter, consider papering exposed shelves, open cubbies, or mounted hook racks. Plain plastic shelving or cubbies can be updated to reflect an industrial, glamorous, or rustic kitchen style with faux marble, faux wood, or faux metal wallpaper without breaking the bank. Try covering the interior of cabinets instead of the shelves (as pictured above) for an unexpected look.
(Left) Image from @annetiainenharris on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/CAS2JZZHmB4/ and (Right) Caladesi Teal Faux Textured Linen Wallpaper, Image from Wallpaper Boulevard, https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/product/caladesi-teal-faux-textured-linen-wallpaper-46163.aspx
Consider elevating existing cabinets by covering recessed portions of carved doors or the entire exteriors of uncarved doors. “The Best Custom Fronts for Ikea Cabinets,” a May 2020 article for House Beautiful, recommends making your cabinets “your own with specially designed fronts in the colors, materials and finishes of your choosing.” Color-blocking, patterning, and contrast can all be achieved by applying wallpaper to the exteriors “at a fraction of the cost” involved in purchasing custom cabinets. HGTV offers dark or black, muted colors, walnut wood, and marble as a few of 2020’s “hottest kitchen cabinet trends.” Achieve the look pictured above (left) while adding some interest by wallpapering your cabinets with Wallpaper Boulevard’s Caladesi Teal Faux Textured Linen Wallpaper (above right).
Whichever element of your kitchen you choose to makeover, wallpaper will add an element of flair, fun, and modern sophistication without added stress for you or strain on your wallet.