Best Recipes for Kitchen Wallpaper

By: Sarah Vates

Wallpaper is making a comeback. Wallpaper’s bad reputation of being dated and stuffy has disappeared with the increase of wallpaper collection releases that are modern and timely and won’t remind you of a 1980s living room. Why not move this wallpaper party into the kitchen? Whether cooking, entertaining, or snacking, the kitchen is a hub of activity. Considering all the time we spend in the kitchen, shouldn’t the space be as beautiful and unique as the memories made there?

“Wallpaper is my favorite way to add pattern to a room whether its a fabric wall covering or traditional paper,” says interior designer Lonni Paul. “I love what wall coverings do to a room! No matter what kind of feeling you’re trying to evoke in the room—moody and sexy or playful and bright—wallpaper can bring that feeling to life.”

Here are our six favorite design ideas for using kitchen wallpaper and some tips and tricks to ensure that your wallpaper stays fresh and clean.

Image via West Elm

Mimic materials

Of the most popular kitchen design trends, two elements have stood the test of time: marble and granite. Incorporating these natural materials has long been a style staple in kitchens. High-quality marble countertops, however, can be expensive. Using wallpaper to add a taste of classic natural materials is a way to infuse these elements into your space without breaking the bank. This West Elm Marble Wallpaper is a unique marble pattern that makes a great alternative to a marble backsplash.

Continue color scheme

Many kitchens fall in the same color scheme of grays, whites, and usually blues. This color palette can get repetitive and mundane when every other kitchen is using the same colors and even materials, but all it takes is a little invention to set it apart.  Kitchen wallpaper that continues a pre-existing color scheme will “shake up” your kitchen design. 

Image via Behang Fabriek

Contrast white

White is a great color for kitchens because it can make any space seem bigger and more open—no one wants a dark, unwelcoming kitchen. But beware of the kitchen that is “too white,” which come across as sterile. Using wallpaper to contrast the white in the kitchen is an excellent way to infuse some texture while also staying true to the intention of the design. We love this Olivia and Poppy White Origami wallpaper. Using wallpaper in this way won’t close off the space but will make the kitchen seem a bit more organic and natural.

Image via West Elm

Contrast color

On the opposite spectrum, some kitchens are full of color. Using a subtle wallpaper in a busy kitchen is a great way to infuse simplicity and sophistication into your design. We are obsessed with this West Elm Wilshire removable wallpaper. The muted green and natural design is the perfect balancing addition to a kitchen saturated with shapes and colors.

Image via Behang Fabriek
Image via Behang Fabriek

Make a statement

Keeping with the theme of never doing anything halfway in the kitchen (it’s either takeout or a seven-course meal in my home) why not make a statement with your wallpaper? Using wallpaper to make a statement wall is a great way to break the mold when it comes to “statement walls.” Bold geometrics and loud patterns are a great way to make a personal statement with your kitchen walls.

Image via Olivia and Poppy

Add metallics

Whether it’s stainless steel or copper, metallics have always played a significant role in kitchen design. Stainless steel appliances and fixtures and copper mule cups are not the only way to introduce metallics in your kitchen space. We love this Olivia and Poppy Graphic Quartz wallpaper. If you’re feeling extra saucy, we suggest these West Elm Chasing Paper Polka Dots, which make a great flourish on your kitchen walls.

Tips for maintaining and cleaning your kitchen wallpaper

If you wallpaper your kitchen backsplash, consider installing a layer of clear plexiglass to defend your wallpaper from grease and make kitchen clean-up easy.

Second, if you’re the non-committal type, temporary or removable wallpaper may be an avenue to explore. Brands like Tempaper and Walls Need Love make temporary wallpaper for all kinds of design sensibilities, making it easy to change your design as your inspiration and interests change.

How to clean wallpaper

Most wallpaper manufacturers will provide cleaning instructions on their websites, and always follow those when possible.

  • Most wallpaper is waterproof vinyl and can be wiped down with a damp, non-abrasive cloth. Avoid using any household cleaners, which can discolor the material, and do no scrub the wallpaper.
  • If you’ve got a particularly tough stain or grease, you can wipe it with a non-abrasive cloth dampened with water and dish soap.
  • If your wallpaper has a texture, like groves and nooks, you can gently vacuum it with a soft brush attachment to remove dust.
  • To remove a stain from delicate paper, you can try wallpaper dough, which you roll across the stain to remove.

Looking for more wallpaper inspiration? Check out House Method’s best uses of wallpaper.

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