One of the trendiest ways to use wallpaper is to take individual panels, frame them, and display them as art. I have worked with framed wallpaper panels on two Dallas projects recently. Here are some reasons why designers like myself recommend them:
1. They are less of a commitment. It’s much easier to remove framed panels than to remove wallpaper from the wall itself.
2. They are more affordable. They’re a smart way to add wallpaper to large voids, like in a high-ceilinged room or a staircase.
3. Using panels can help break up bold patterns. Sometimes a dramatic wallpaper would be too much for your room. But the same pattern divided into visual blocks could fit better into your design.
4. You can take them with you to your next home. Framed wallpaper panels can come with you when you move, making them a wise investment.
5. They are less hassle. Even if you’re planning on framing the panels yourself, this will still be an easier project than putting up wallpaper.
6. They can add some much-needed interest to plain walls. For example, framed wallpaper panels are great for homes without many architectural details.
Sounds appealing, right? If you’re sold on the idea but don’t have much experience with wallpaper, here are some pointers to help you get started.
Before you even pick a pattern, measure your wall space carefully so that you can figure out how many panels you need and what their dimensions should be. The dominant color in your wallpaper pattern should be based on at least one other color from the surrounding room.
Your choice of frame can have a significant impact on the wallpaper’s presentation, so pick a complementary one. For example, one-inch gold bamboo frames are the perfect match for chinoiserie wallpaper. Your frames should always be small to make them lightweight and keep the focus on the wallpaper. Adding glass or plexiglass will create glare and make your wallpaper panels heavier and more challenging to hang, so I don’t advise it at all.
I believe that this is one of those occasional design trends that is classically beautiful enough to stand the test of time.
Margaret Chambers, a registered interior designer (RID) and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), leads Chambers Interiors and Associates. Her colleague Caitlin Crowley helped edit this column. Find more design advice at chambersinteriors.com/blog.