Perhaps owing to less-than-pleasant memories from the ’80s of growing up in homes full of chintzy florals and duck borders, Americans have been shy about wallpaper for a long, long time. Recently the pendulum has swung back a bit, helped in no small part by the appearance of some very badass prints. But wallpaper in the kitchen is still a bit of a tall order, because I think we tend to be a bit more conservative with the design of a kitchen than say, a powder room. It is, after all, the heart of the home.
If you’ve been longing to bring a little pattern into your kitchen, but are feeling a bit cautious, then this post is for you. Fortunately, adding wallpaper in the kitchen doesn’t have to begin with covering every wall. It can begin with baby steps, even with adding wallpaper in a place that nobody will ever see but you. Here, we take you through 11 different ways to add wallpaper to your kitchen, from a little to a lot.
Above: In this charming kitchen from Lonny, wallpaper covers the inside of a cabinet. With the door open, it sets dishes and glassware off to perfection: with the door closed, you wouldn’t even know it was there.
This kitchen from Ivory Lane takes things up a (tiny) notch with wallpaper covering the inside of a glass-front cabinet. Anyone just glancing into the kitchen will get just a peek.
Kimberly from Swoon Worthy added wallpaper to the back of her open kitchen shelves, for an extra dose of pattern.
If you’re ready to take things a step further, try wallpaper on the backsplash. At first glance, paper may seem like an odd choice for a space that’s ground zero for food preparation, but the key is to add a protective layer of plexiglass, like in this petite kitchen from Nooks.
A wallpapered backsplash makes an even bigger statement in a kitchen with no upper cabinets, like this one from Good on Paper.
Limiting wallpaper to the side of the island, like in this kitchen from Stadshem, is a great way to add a defining dose of pattern to a kitchen without worrying about grease and splashes. (If you have seating at the bar, you should probably still get a pretty heavy duty paper, to hold up to the occasional dirty foot.)
In this kitchen from The D Pages, a distinctive Fornasetti wallpaper makes a dramatic backdrop to a wall of dishes. (Taking the subway tile up to the bottom shelf ensures that the wallpaper is out of the splash zone.)
In the kitchen of her home in Japan, Kathy applied removable wallpaper directly to the cabinets, for an unexpected but very impactful look.
This kitchen from Inside Out has an unusual treatment — wallpaper on the ceiling. This, combined with the black-painted display space above the cabinets, sets this almost-all-white kitchen apart.
This small kitchen from My Scandinavian Home gets a boost with the addition of a wallpapered accent wall.
And finally there’s this kitchen from Historiska Hem, via Planete Deco, which really goes for broke with bold botanicals. It’s not a look for everyone, but it definitely is a look, and a way to turn your cookie-cutter, all-white kitchen into something different entirely.