Wallcoverings to Define Your Interior Design

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Coordination is key when it comes to creating a great design, whether you prefer to display a gently matched palette or to boldly contrast colors and textures. No matter the overall style, you have to consider your background and foreground just like you would with any other art. Think about the floor and walls as the backdrop to your interior and imagine what you could do if you played them up some more. We tend to default to paint in our homes, and while of course we love its versatility and it’s definitely not going away anytime soon, there are other materials you can apply to your walls to give them a more complex personality of their own. You can use almost any kind of material as a wallcovering to make a statement, but here are a few great ideas to help get you started!

Oceanside Glasstile Fireplace

For a touch of iridescence to expand the glow of this fireplace, strips of Extrados dimensional field tile were applied to accent the wall. Oceanside Glasstile® has a wide array of tile styles and colors that can make any fireplace pop while still remaining true to the ambiance of the room.

A New Calling for Tile

You’ve seen it in kitchens and bathrooms, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see it on walls behind a stove or sink, or in the shower, but you can take advantage of tile’s beauty without also taking advantage of its waterproof nature. Tile is beautiful on its own and is extremely adaptable, so you can find pieces that work with your design whether you want to create a subdued environment or invigorate a plain space with bright and shimmery inlays. A huge diversity of styles gives you the power to mix and match, to make everything from simple patterns to complex mosaics, so you can really make it your own.

While tile is finding use beyond its traditional scenes, it generally sticks to a supporting role because a little goes a long way! Think of any place you might include stone accents, and imagine how the versatility of tile could redefine it. The area immediately around the fireplace is a fairly common application, but many people choose to expand and cover the entire wall to draw the eye. Tile is perfect for this use because it naturally shines in light, and it helps even a small fireplace produce a grand radiance. Whether you have a traditional setting or a contemporary one, you’ll find great complements to bring out the best in your fireplace.

And of course, if you want to take advantage of its water resistance, tile can help you refurbish your mudroom. You won’t have to worry about raindrops splattering on your walls as coats get hung up, or dirt seeping anywhere it shouldn’t. So let the outside come in—tile makes it easy to wipe it all away. And you can give the room a design you wouldn’t dream of investing in otherwise!

Stikwood Reclaimed Weathered Wood

Dressing up the wall and supporting pieces of art simultaneously, this application of Reclaimed Weathered Wood from Stikwood shows how beautiful designs can also be resourceful in origin. Thin sheets of real wood apply easily to walls to instantly give them personality, and it’s eco-friendly, too!

Modern Rustic Use for Natural Wood

Everybody loves wood—everything from its color to its grain pattern. We all know the value of a hardwood floor, but we have moved toward newer materials and board walls are but a thing of the past, only seen in very old homesteads. Now you can easily get the natural color and texture of real wood on your walls without a major overhaul, and all you have to do is peel some adhesive tape and press panels into place!

Homeowners are finding uses for wood planks just about everywhere. They make great accent walls, so think about placing them behind a bed or on any wall in a room to keep it from being too uniform. For smaller accents, the area under the counter of island bar seating is popular, and you can even apply panels around most fireplaces so long as they aren't exposed to flickering flames. The planks can be arranged any way you like—horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or staggered—and you can cut them yourself to make them fit your space and your vision.

If you think this is something your home could use, check out all of the possibilities. Reclaimed wood comes in many shades and even includes pieces of formally finished surfaces like sport courts! You can get it naturally worn for rustic appeal or choose a more refined wood species and finish for a classic vibe. If you love wood grains, you’ll love exploring the possibilities!

Wilsonart Bronze Age Laminate

Providing a rich color with flecks of metallic sheen, this Bronze Age laminate from Wilsonart’s® Decorative Metals collection gives homeowners the opportunity to impart something novel onto their designs. Its mottled texture and unique luster are just the beginning of its attractive qualities—it also has a GREENGUARD Gold Certificate!

Virtually Limitless Laminates

Combine digital printing with manufactured durability and you can get just about any look you want for every surface in your home. Laminates come in all sorts of patterns and textures—wood grains, stones, metallics, solids, and a huge range of prints, just to start—and you can do some pretty incredible things using them on counters or to dress up old, tired cabinets. But we’re not here to discuss their regular applications; you can also incorporate them on a larger scale and make the best use of their practical and artistic characteristics.

Laminate gives you the chance to do something extra for your space without undergoing a costly renovation. Use what surfaces you already have and give them a new skin—the results will surprise you! Anywhere you might wallpaper can be laminated, and now this option gives you even more benefits. You can install a simple, refined pattern or even a blackboard or whiteboard surface you can write on, and there are some varieties with protection against mold and bacteria built right into the material. Laminate is a very no fuss, no muss choice for today’s busy families, and it repays with years of hard-wearing use.

Some people are wary of manufactured products and the chemicals used to produce them, so be sure to check what you’re buying. There are certifications for air quality and recycled content that can help you select a healthy laminate for your family and the environment. With just a little research, you can be confident that you’re installing a great wallcovering in your home.

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