Decorating + Inspiration

How to Use Wallpaper in the Nursery, According to Our Color Expert

When designing a nursery or refreshing a kids bedroom, the first place you often turn is the walls. Sure, a fresh coat of paint will always work, but we are inspired to tap into our bolder design side by adding wallpaper into the fold! Gone are the days when fussy wallpaper designs were relegated to the seldom-used parlor or formal living room. Today’s wallpaper options are stylish, modern and beautifully textured without any hints of its dreary past. Inspired by this wallpaper revitalization, we asked, Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams for tips on incorporating wallpaper prints when decorating for babies and children.

Design by Monogram Decor for Homepolish / Photography by Lauren Edith Anderson

Wallpaper can be intimidating to the average home decorator. What are some good beginner tips when selecting and installing wallpaper?

It’s helpful to find a wallpaper book that coordinates with the style of the home, well beyond the nursery. For example, if you like a mid-century vibe, select a wallpaper pattern that has great geometric patterns and simple shapes. If your style is more traditional, a great stripe or floral might be the right pattern. The key is to make the design of your children’s spaces consistent with the themes throughout the rest of your home.

What are some new trends in wallpaper?
Natural texture wallpaper, think wood, stone, and brick. Retro geometrics are big, with 1970’s influence in pattern and style. Metallic and Matte shine with traditional, oversized pattern or sweet and unexpected patterns in pretty pastels with Scandinavian restraint. Decals and removable digital wallpapers are still really popular for nurseries because they are so easy to put up and change out as kids grow up.  

Photography by Danielle Poff for Inspired By This

What are a few typical ways to use wallpaper? Would you wallpaper an entire room? One wall? Just above the wainscotting? Ceiling only?

All of these options are great for wallpaper. Use the scale and proportion of the pattern to help guide. For instance, small, uniform pattern looks great on all 4 walls. Oversized geometric pattern might work great on an accent wall behind the crib. A large, intricate decal would look amazing on the ceiling. Wallpaper really does open up the opportunity for creative design in the nursery.

Photo from Carver’s World

How should you approach both painting and wallpapering a room at once?
Paint first, then wallpaper.

Design by PS Interiors Group; Photo via Project Nursery

Are there any common wallpapers mistakes or headaches you should look out for?

Preparation is the most important factor when tackling paint and wallpapering. Make sure you have the right materials on hand. Measure twice and cut once. The right tools and instruction make projects so much easier and limit the amount of frustration that even the most experienced DIY’ers face.


Did your incorporate wallpaper into your nursery or kids room? Share the final product with us by tagging your photo #lovemypbk on Instagram! We love to see your style.

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