This ain’t your grandmother’s wallpaper

Alison Sheffield, owner of Sheffield Interiors in Boston, shows off her Back Bay library — which is covered in a toile wallpaper.

Forget everything you already know about wallpaper, because it’s no longer a stuffy, dated eyesore from the ’70s.

Top designers, including Back Bay interior designer Allison Sheffield, are using it in creative new ways to breathe fresh life into the historically staid wall covering.

Sheffield spoke with us about new trends, the best rooms to use wallpaper in and how to decorate without breaking the bank.

1. The first step in using wallpaper in your home is realizing it doesn’t have to be a permanent commitment, says Sheffield.

“I grew up with a mom who knew how to wallpaper. I never saw it as permanent.”  

2. Ease yourself into it by focusing on a small room, such as a powder room, or an accent wall.  
“Doing one wall seems less daunting, or using it in a powder room is [very impactful]. It doesn’t take a lot of expensive paper to make a big impact.”

Wallpapering an accent wall can take the place of an expensive piece of art to draw the eye to a focal point in the room, says Sheffield. Wallpapering a ceiling is also an option, she says.

“Wallpapering the ceiling in a powder room makes it seem like you are walking into a jewel box.”

3. Scraps of wallpaper can be used to line bookshelves or to highlight moldings or woodwork.

If you’re still not convinced, many reputable companies are now selling removable wallpaper people can easily hang themselves without the help of a professional.

“If you are renting or don’t have the budget to spend a lot on nice paper, it is perfect,” says Sheffield.



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