Kardashians’ Designer Top Tips for Decorating with Wallpaper

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Martyn Lawrence Bullard is here to help when decorating with Wallpaper, from choosing a pattern to finding the right place for it in your home

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Wallpaper is currently experiencing a renaissance. What once was considered a sign of dated decor now has homeowners skipping a standard coat of paint for cheeky patterns and colors that lift a room’s energy. No one understands the transformative power of wallpaper better than Los Angeles-based interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who has a penchant for using paper, ranging from reflective to printed, to craft surprising statements in nearly every one of his clients’ homes. “I think wallpaper is one of the most maximum-impact moments you can create in decorating today,” he says. “It really converts a blah room into something magical.” Read on to find Bullard’s advice on everything from purchasing your first roll to deciding where to apply it.

Test before you buy

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“If you are a little worried about wallpaper and can’t make up your mind, make a $50 or $100 investment and buy one roll to pin up in the room,” suggests Bullard. “See how it makes you feel and whether you can commit to it in the different lights of the day. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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Start small

“A great introduction to wallpaper is to put it in a powder room,” says Bullard. “It looks beautiful and reassures you that you can move forward with papering other rooms. Another space to start with is the closet as it’s a very personal and private space. For instance, in Khloé Kardashian’s dressing room, we wallpapered her ceiling in this tone-on-tone Schumacher paper, which gave the space this wonderful subtle moment.”

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But don’t be afraid to commit

“If you’re going to commit to wallpapering a room, then you need to go for it and wallpaper the whole space in order to create a cohesive, glamorous interior,” explains Bullard. “I don’t like the accent wall. I think it’s very dated. And never be scared of big pattern. A patterned wall can actually make a small space feel larger. It breathes new energy into the room.”

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Wallpaper works in modern homes, too

“Different wallpapers work with different types of architecture,” says Bullard. “In very contemporary homes, I love to use wallpapers that have texture, like natural fiber and woven papers. Since there are more windows than walls in these modern structures, you use it rather sparingly, but the texture adds so much warmth.”

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Natura feathers wallpapers by KOKET

Walls are just the beginning

“I like to make real ceiling statements,” says Bullard. “I think the ceiling is one of the most ignored regions of modern-day decor. If you look at any sophisticated interiors of the past, they always have highly decorated ceilings with plaster, gilding, and painted frescos. But since the 1920s, no one has done anything with the ceiling. The joy of wallpaper is that you can put the most amazing pattern on your ceilings very easily, creating an unbelievable new way to decorate a room.

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Mix and match to get the exact look you want

“In the entry of my office, I created a complete decoupage with eight different wallpapers,” says Bullard. “I mixed them all together in the same color palette, and it’s utterly amazing. I also love wallpapers that have borders or shapes that you can cut out. By literally just cutting and pasting wallpaper borders over a paint color, you can make a beautiful statement.”

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There’s such a thing as too much pattern

“The only place where I think a painted wall looks better than wallpaper is in a room where you have a lot of pattern already,” says Bullard. “If you have a printed sofa or curtains, then a wallpaper with too strong of a print will more than likely clash. You should let one or the other be the star of the space.”

You can DIY—but it’s not always a good idea

“We tend to use professional installers for all of our wallpaper projects, but if you’re looking to do it yourself, you should look into the easiest option,” says Bullard. “My niece in England recently wallpapered her bedroom with ready-pasted paper. There are papers on the market now that come with an adhesive back. You just wet the paper and then attach it to the wall very easily. However, if you have a very expensive paper and you don’t have experience installing, the best advice is to find a professional who can do it for you.”

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