Wallpaper Vs. Paint

With paint techniques always evolving, wallpaper is never far behind in new designs.  So how does one choose between paint and wallpaper? Paint’s advantages are many – it is typically more cost effective, its colors can be controlled, there are no seams, and paint is so much easier and less expensive to change!  If the desired effect on a wall or ceiling is a very small pattern with lots of colors and shadings, then wallpaper is probably the best.  I’ve found that many designers like a mix in a home.  If I am asked – smile- paint is best, but then again, I’m a painter.  Below are some great examples of using paint.


Gosh this dining room is wonderful!  I wold love to be invited to dinner in this room with its luscious textures, soothing colors and a bit of elegant whimsy!  Designer Nicole Zarr did an amazing job creating a sophisticated room with the colors and textures adored by the homeowner.   Notice in the corner, the bit of ceiling step up detail.  Rather than using a wallpaper boarder, this custom paint design was stenciled to go with the drapery fabrics.


The walls and the inset ceiling are plastered.  The small sheetrock detail surrounding the inset ceiling is painted a solid color base and then stenciled.  To give this stencil a uniquely custom look, it has been hand embelleshed for more depth and dimension, and on the whole, created a hand-painted effect.  Finding a wallpaper border this exact size and color would have been very difficult.




I remember that this particular scene was hard to photograph because it was such a sunny day!  And I love this hallway. It leads from the kitchen to the back playroom and garage.   Nicole wanted to use a fabric upolstering on the walls to achieve this look, but because the price was very expensive and the homeowner has children who pass through this hallway so much, they were worried about the longevity of the fabric.  Nicole wanted another option so she gave us the fabric and this airy cherry blossom design is the result.


This finish ended up being much less expensive, plus, it’s washable!  I love the look of it near the brick with the outside windows.  It really brings the outside in!!! I used this concept as well – different colors, different trees – in my home’s back entrance and I love the inviting feeling it creates when guests walk in the door.

My back entrance.  It is a hallway between my den and the offices and game room.



These were the fabrics that Nicole gave me for the homeowner’s daughter’s room.  They are so, so cute!  I love the combination of these two!  Once again, the desire to avoid the expense of wallpaper in this room led to the creation of this whimsical and fun painted design on the walls.

What do you think?  I think it is so fun!

Wow! I love this unexpected hand-stenciled design in the master bedroom’s walk-through area.  This home has his and her bathrooms.  (I should have taken photos of those so you could see.)  They flank this hallway (to the right) and their walls are dressed with beautiful bright white tiles.  And, oh the bath tub – ooh lala – to die for.  Wanting some interest between the two spaces, she showed me a fabric she liked, which complemented the fabrics in the bedroom.  Above is the final pattern with beautiful warm color tones. Paint is a great way to blend fabrics and surfaces from different rooms.  The fabrics used in the bedroom were a slightly different tone than the tile surfaces in the bathroom.  This transition hallway made it all work.  Notice the blue ceiling as well – it really opens up this small space.


I had the best time working on this project with Nicole.  She did such a wonderful job mixing paint, plaster, decorative painting designs, and yes even some wallpaper.  She made her choices based on the look she wanted to achieve within a certain price range, knowing durability and low upkeep were important to the homeowner.  Below is a view of the wonderful living room which is plastered in a blue gray color.

Nicole is so talented!

I hope you enoyed this beautiful home.


A Dining Room with the Wow Factor!!!
Creating Art for Home Design