Kitchen Wallpaper Ideas - 15 Designs To Inspire A New Look

Thursday, 20 January 2022

It may not be the most obvious room in the house to feature it, but kitchen wallpaper ideas are on the up and up, and it’s easy to see why. While traditionally a kitchen might just be decorated with paint or perhaps a colourful splashback, adding wallpaper to your kitchen, could just be the smartest design idea you’ve had all year!

A great way to add pattern, design and colour to your space, choose to wallpaper the entire room, or just a feature wall, to compliment your cabinetry. Even small kitchens can benefit from wow wallpaper, so there’s no excuse not to get your DIY on and give your space the lift it needs.

Kitchen wallpaper ideas

Fabric and wallpaper are important parts of any decorating scheme, yet they’re often an afterthought in the kitchen. But, as larger spaces increasingly incorporate living and dining elements, a new approach is needed.

One of the biggest trends when it comes to kitchen ideas is the addition of personality and character to what has always been a purely functional space.

It’s common to see living room-style furniture, statement kitchen lighting ideas and wall art used, as well as fabrics and wallpapers. With kitchens required to function as three rooms in one, careful thought should be given to the scheme as a whole.

1. Choose a large-scale design

In a home clearly owned by a retro lover, a large-scale floral wallpaper creates the wow-factor in the kitchen. Large-scale patterns can be quite punchy, so using it on half a wall is a clever idea, so that it doesn’t become too overbearing. They have also painted the adjoining wall in a shade to match the wallpaper (even painting the inside of the window alcove a third shade of vibrant yellow) which combine to create a contemporary, colourful kitchen.

Buy now: Giant Abacus Flower wallpaper, £67 per roll, Orla Kiely range, WallpaperDirect

2. Pick a fresh floral

If your kitchen has high ceilings, you might need to be careful choosing a wallpaper design that doesn’t make the room feel smaller. Opting instead for a bright, light and fresh-floral wallpaper like this one, will add the pattern your kitchen needs, but still make the room feel spacious.

Pick a design that compliments your cabinets, or if you have a wallpaper in mind that doesn’t, perhaps giving your cabinet fronts a new lick of paint is the answer instead.

3. Use wallpaper to zone your space

In an open-plan kitchen where the room serves several purposes, use wallpaper to zone the space into specific areas. Wallpapering the walls inline with your cabinets, but going no further, creates a clear zone where the kitchen ends, and the rest of the room begins. Here, the homeowner has hung a floating shelf along the entire wall across tow zones which ties the whole room together.

Buy now: Restore Midnight wallpaper, £65 per roll, Graham & Brown

4. Bring the outside in

Bring touches of nature from the outside, into your home through your wallpaper. Natural textures like wood work particularly well in an otherwise featureless room, as they add depth, interest and a sense of texture. The rustic, warm tones of wood also works well with neutrals such as white and grey, and will compliment a both a country-style and contemporary kitchen.

5. Make a feature of an alcove

Make a feature of a cosy corner or alcove in your kitchen with a wallpaper that reflects your style. You won’t need more than one roll, so it’s a cost effective way to add pattern, plus you might even be able to pick up a roll for a bargain on sites such as Gumtree, Ebay or Facebook Marketplace, making it a cheap and easy afternoons work. Here the homeowner has even matched her bin to the paper, plus chosen to add black chalkboard paint to a cupboard door on the next wall, making a fun space full of personality.

Buy now: Linear stem wallpaper, £67 per roll, Orla Kiely range, Fashion Wallpaper

6. Choose a design that will grow with your home

Although wallpaper is fairly easy to remove and replace, if you’re going to invest in a design that you LOVE but makes your eyes water slightly at the price, you want to know it’s going to stand the test of time. Choose classic designs and ones you know you will love for years to come. While ‘fashion’ designs are great for some areas of your home, you want your kitchen to remain practical but beautiful so stripes, florals and designs that reflect nature are good places to start.

Buy now: Woods wallpaper, £107 per roll, Cole & Son

7. Theme it

Take inspiration from holiday cottages and days at the beach to create a fresh and relaxed look in your home. Set a nostalgic feel with vintage-inspired, watercolour-effect wallpaper and some simple white-painted wooden furniture.

Order a sample of the wallpaper before buying so you can test it out in your chosen room. Like paint, the colour of a wallpaper can vary greatly depending on the lighting and may look different in a small kitchen as opposed to a larger space, so make sure you look at it at different points during the day.

8. Think outside the box

While the feature wall has fallen out of favour elsewhere in the home, it’s still a popular option for a multi-function space, such as an open-plan kitchen where it can be used to define zones such as a dining area.

Wallpaper can help tie the scheme together and create a visual focus in the room, taking your eye away from the mechanical gadgetry on display.

The busy environment of the home kitchen also allows for the choice of wallpapers to be more bold, energetic and fun than in other areas of the home. In this Scandi kitchen, the colours on the walls have been cleverly picked up by the soft furnishings and accessories for a harmonious appearance.

9. Go for bold

Wallpaper can prevent a kitchen from feeling hard and clinical. Use it to either subtly complement your kitchen colour scheme or to take on a more central design role, drawing the eye and adding impact with a bold colour or design.

This wallpaper will leave people in no doubt to your style credentials. Pure white fittings keep the focus clearly on the print, while creating a modern scheme that is very much suited to a design such as this.

Avoid wallpaper in a wet or cooking area unless well-protected behind glass or acrylic. That doesn’t mean you should steer clear. Some wallpapers are wipeable, making them suitable for dining areas and living spaces, even in family homes.

10. Fake it

Wallpaper isn’t all about pattern and colour – you can achieve some cool trompe-l’oeil-style effects with it instead. This design looks just like exposed brickwork, but it’s actually a wallpaper.

Very fashionable at the moment, exposed bricks are great for adding an industrial edge to your space and this is the easiest way to get the look.

11. Paper a splashback or alcove

Wallpaper can be used to striking effect in other ways. If you fall in love with a wallpaper design, you can use it as a splashback provided it is covered with a glass, acrylic or specially lacquered coating. And lining the back of bookshelves or a cupboard gives an enticing glimpse of colour and pattern.

You can be quite bold without the danger of it becoming overpowering. Here, wallpaper frames an alcove for an eye-catching effect.

Glass has been added behind the cooker to catch any inevitable splashes – it’s a good example of how to protect your wallpaper so that it doesn’t start to look worse for wear in the demanding environment of the kitchen.

12. Make mine a mural

The kitchen is traditionally considered a ‘high splash’ zone, so vinyl or washable wallpaper is advisable to ensure that walls look fresh and can be wiped down at ease.

If you love murals, take it to the kitchen to provide an interesting display as you sip your coffee. To provide a harmonious canvas, choose neutral tonal colours for your decorating scheme and mix with a number of different textures and finishes for an overall casual and rustic kitchen look.

13. Match to mid-century

Choose a paper that echoes the original style of your home, like this homeowner has done. A mid-century style print adorns the walls surrounding a fireplace of a similar era.

Kitchen wallpaper is also very helpful in creating different zones and moods in an open-plan room. Feature walls are still a popular option for a multifunctional space, such as in an open-plan kitchen.

The busy environment of the home kitchen also allows for the choice of kitchen wallpapers to be more bold, energetic and fun than in other areas of the home.

14. Brave it with bricks

As mentioned above, bare brick walls are super fashionable, especially for homes trying to achieve an industrial feel. This rustic brick effect gives the kitchen space a cool, contemporary feel and has cleverly been taken from floor to ceiling for an immersive affect. Keeping to the industrial look, cafe-style metal chairs have been chosen which ties the whole look together.

15. Opt to paper half the wall

If you’re worried about getting your lovely wallpaper wet or stained, why not paper just half (or maybe two-thirds) of the wall instead? A shelf hung along the wall to house crockery and accessories, also provides a clear divide between the painted wall below and the papered wall above.

Buy now: Great Ormond Street, Signature wallpaper, £110 per roll, Little Greene

What wallpaper is best for kitchens?

You can pretty much use any wallpaper in a kitchen, just like you would in other room in your home. While there might be a worry about getting it wet if near the sink, or stained if near the cooker, these problems can both easily be solved. Firstly you could place a slim panel of glass over the top of the bottom third of your wall (where the paper meets the work surfaces), to create a bespoke splashback; secondly you could choose to paper the top two thirds of your wall and leave the bottom third painted; and thirdly you could choose the paper the walls on the opposite side of your kitchen, rather than the ones where the washing up and cooking will be happening.

Paula Taylor, Head Stylist and Trend Specialist at Graham & Brown advises, ‘Floral and natural wallpaper prints have recently seen a resurgence in popularity for kitchen decoration as a result of the ‘cottagecore’ trend, which references natural materials and heritage prints to capture a feeling of comfort and rural simplicity.’

‘Opt for a rich colour palette such as ochre or terracotta when choosing wallpaper for this room to inject a joyful splash of colour. This will add warmth to a cold north-facing kitchen or radiate a dazzling glow when bathed in natural sunlight. Pair with unbleached wood for a rustic style which evokes a homely country cottage.’

Is kitchen wallpaper a good idea?

IH opinion is yes! It’s an easy way to add colour and pattern to the space, and it’s a reasonably cost effective way to bring the wow factor to your space too. Paula agrees,’ Yes, wallpaper in the kitchen, particularly countryside/biophilic themed motifs, can prevent a kitchen from feeling purely functional by breathing life and vitality into the space.’

While paint alone can certainly bring in colour, is the rich pattern and energy that wallpaper posses that has it lighting our fires.

How do you hang wallpaper in a kitchen?

Hanging wallpaper in a kitchen is done just the same way as you would hang wallpaper in any other room of your home. Be sure to give your walls a good clean with a damp cloth first, to remove any grease or dust and let it dry completely before beginning. If you’re papering a lot of half-height walls and find you have a few off cuts left over, use them to make artwork, line the back of cupboards or paper the inside of a dresser.








































































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