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While we’ll never tire of heralding the perfect shade of paint for your walls, who says that walls should have all the fun? Lately, we’ve been spotting wallpapered ceilings everywhere, from Emily Ward’s just-completed family home (hint: check out the nursery) to Chairish Design Insider Sarah Wittenbraker’s glamorous Austin pad. While a definite switch-up from the norm, wallpapered ceilings have serious pros. They have the ability to give a design a bit of edge, or tie a room with competing elements together. Not to mention, they’re just plain mesmerizing! Ahead, discover three ways wallpaper can be used to different effects on your ceiling, from neutral unifier to total statement-maker.

Design by Lindsey Coral Harper, Photo by Francesco Lagnese

Low-Impact: A Textural Topper

Contrary to what you might expect, a wallpapered ceiling doesn’t have to result in a riotous room. As Lindsey Coral Harper’s living room above shows us, a solid, textural wallpaper on the ceiling can actually produce a sedate room that feels masterfully pulled together. Keep your room’s color story in mind when looking to keep a a wallpapered ceiling feeling low-key. The more your ceiling’s color is repeats in your space, the less like an anomaly it will seem. Worth noting is that grasscloth paper (used above) can be painted, so you can nail your desired shade with ease.

Design by Ashley Whittaker, Photo by Darien Read McKendree

Mid-Impact: The Continuous Roll

To up the drama of a wallpapered ceiling a bit more, simply extend your wall’s wallpaper onto the ceiling. Similar to a monochromatic moment, a room with matching walls and ceiling will take on a sophisticated cocoon feeling. If you’re hesitant about going all out with a single pattern, try papering a half ceiling. Above, designer Ashley Whittaker wallpapered just the bay window bump-out in a dining room. The effect feels all-consuming, but isn’t as chaotic. A bedroom is also a great place to paper the walls and the ceilings in tandem. It will lend the space a cozy feel, perfect for ushering in sleep.

Design by Summer Thornton, Photo by Josh Thornton

High-Impact: Statement Ceiling

If understated just isn’t you, consider leaving your walls bare and rolling out a statement paper on just the ceiling. The effect will instantly draw your eye up, rendering wall art a virtual non-necessity. In the living room above, Chicago-based designer Summer Thornton selected a Piet Mondrain-inspired wallpaper. Look closely and you’ll see its square-shaped graphics echoed in the room’s velvet Parsons chairs, parquet hutch, and marble fireplace hearth. Summer also added picture molding to the walls (again, quadrilaterals!) to give them interest without detracting from the ceiling. The final touch? A turquoise bowl on the game table mirrors the blots of turquoise in the paper above.

April 9, 2019

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