It used to be that if a homeowner was looking to make a splash, they did so by painting a room or part of a room with a vibrant or striking paint color. There is a new trend in wall décor, however, as wallpaper is making a comeback. It should be noted that this is not the crazy patterned wallpaper of yesteryear that at times was so busy that one’s eyes went cross staring at it. Selections today are bold, beautiful, unique, and jaw-dropping. 

Joe Garcia, owner of G&G Custom Homes, recently completed a home that has several amazing rooms, each of which was elevated to next-level design thanks, in part, to the chosen wallpaper. For instance, instead of shoving kids’ toys in totes beneath the stairs, a homeowner asked Garcia to install a barn door under the stairs and produce a mineshaft theme. Garcia fashioned rolling wooden carts to hold toys that look like mining cars and at the far end of the storage space hung wallpaper that make it appear as if the tunnel travels far into the distance, creating an insanely cool optical illusion. 

In a home Garcia built for last year’s Home-a-Rama, the powder room was a huge hit as the walls were covered in black textured wallpaper that everyone initially mistook for tile. 

“The wallpaper gave the room another dimension,” says Garcia, noting that when they posted the photo on Instagram, followers were eager to learn more about the tile and were shocked to learn it was actually wallpaper. 

“We’ve even installed textured wallpaper on a coffered ceiling in a study,” says Garcia, who suspects that people are drawn to wallpaper when they want to make a statement in a particular room. He points to an exercise room in one of his client’s homes that features windows on one side of the room, a giant mirror hanging on a brick wall on the opposite side, and the far wall is covered in wallpaper of a bridge, creating a hip, urban, artsy feel. 

“It’s definitely a ‘wow’ factor as that wallpaper stands out in a good way,” says Garcia. 

If a homeowner wants to craft a cool vibe in a relatively small space, they often do so in a powder room. It’s the perfect room to grab attention because guests are always using it. Builders are even seeing wallpaper patterns as a substitute for tile backsplash, especially in master baths. 

Wallpaper, with its varied textures, colors, and patterns, can evoke emotion in a way that paint simply can’t. For instance, one of Garcia’s homeowners has a son who is a huge Chicago Cubs fan so they opted to hang wallpaper of Wrigley Field that covers one full wall of his bedroom. The blueprints show the field’s southwest elevation as well as the hand-operated scoreboard detail and other facts & figures.  

Garcia is not surprised to see wall design heading in this direction. 

“For the same reason we do walls where some are trimmed out or we create a featured wall made out of wood, now we have featured walls covered in cool wallpaper because it’s something to talk about and appreciate,” says Garcia. 

Connect with G&G to learn more about some of their incredible projects or get started on your own custom “wow” home.  

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