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Hip interior design trends: Innovative wallpaper

The return of wallpaper

If the thought of wallpaper brings to mind the fussy floral patterns on grandma’s walls -- think again. The world of modern wallpaper is infused with innovations that have designers clamoring to incorporate the chic wall treatments into their sleek interiors.

Wide world of wallpaper

While you might find an appealing pattern flipping through standard sample books at your local hardware store, independent vendors carry specialty wallpaper beautiful enough to replace artwork on walls. These specialty stores have popped up all over the country, selling designer or hand-painted wallpaper that can be ordered and shipped online.

Shoppers with difficult to match furniture can select personalized colors and patterns -- or even have their own photos turned into wallpaper -- by customized wallpaper dealers. For chronic redecorators afraid to commit to a color scheme, paintable wallpaper has a texturized pattern that can be repainted multiple times.

Wide world of wallpaper

1. Cynthia Rowley custom designer wallpaper (Flavor Paper), 2. Hand-painted wallpaper (de Gournay), 3. Paintable wallpaper (Graham & Brown)

Ways to paper walls

Where you hang your wallpaper is just as important as the look of the paper itself. While papering an entire room has become more popular, a more restrained application can sometimes make a greater impact.

Papering just one wall creates a focal point, letting the wallpaper shine as a work of art rather than a backdrop for other pieces in the room. Strangely-shaped spaces with mid-room columns or oddly-angled walls can be transformed by wallpapering the eye-sore architecture with a bold design, as if it were an art installation.

Ways to paper walls

1. Focal point wall (Walnut Wallpaper), 2. Accenting odd architecture (Walnut Wallpaper), 3. Wallpaper stairs (Walnut Wallpaper)

Where else wallpaper

For renters without permission to hang wallpaper and designers afraid to commit to a paper design, wallpaper doesn't have to taken off the table. Creative decorators can find all sorts of way to incorporate their favorite wallpapers in a room without the permanency that comes with pasting it all the walls.

Some designers use wallpaper to dress up furniture by using it to line the interior of bookcases. It can also be applied to cabinet doors and the fronts of dresser drawers for a custom look that's much crisper than hand-painting a design on the furniture. Wrap a framed canvas in designer wallpaper and it can be hung on the wall as a stand-alone work of art. For another art option, mount wallpaper behind a black & white photo as a decorative substitute for a plain matte frame.

Where else wallpaper

1. Wallpapered furniture (Bryonie Porter), 2. Wallpaper art (Walnut Wallpaper)

Watch: How to hang wallpaper

Watch this video to learn how to cut, book, seam and apply the wallpaper.

More on wallpaper

Wallpaper revival
Jillian Harris: Fall wallpaper trends
Decorating with mural wallpaper

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