Renters Be Brave! How To Use Wallpaper Without Wrecking The Walls

What’s the single most annoying thing about being a renter? The fact that you can’t change the bones of your house. Side note to London renters: the most annoying thing for us is obviously the extortionate rent, but we can all agree that the décor restrictions are also pretty stifling! We don’t wanna live in a home that feels like it belongs to someone else. We want to come home and feel at home. Plus, research on wellbeing shows that it’s SO important for our home design to bring us comfort, calm and happiness. So what’s one of the best way to implement this? Create a home that reflects your personality to make your home feel like it’s a bit of you. Yes, applying wallpaper is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to injecting personal style into your home. And who better to turn to than wallpaper guru’s Graham & Brown for some unique designs. But, these four tips we’ve come up with show a whole new way of doing it. Easy, affordable, and most importantly, it won’t wreck the walls! Renters, you’re in luck.


Tip One: Ask Your Landlord What The Deal Is

Perhaps you’ve thought about wallpapering your walls but you don’t want to ask your landlord as you’re certain that the answer will be no. Well, it’s not necessarily the case. You’d be surprised at how many landlords are lenient when it comes to good décor choices. Especially now, since public interest in interiors is growing and an ‘instagrammable’ home is a priority. Check what your landlord is cool with. If they’re not keen on wallpaper on multiple walls, ask them if they wouldn’t mind you wallpapering just a feature wall. Or perhaps inside an alcove or just on the ceiling of a room. Find a compromise that works for both of you. Remember that wallpapering one wall or ceiling will still bring your personality into the space. A tip from us: remember to check with your landlord whether you’ll have to remove it when you leave or whether you can leave it there. Hopefully the latter!


Terrazzo Blue Wallpaper, , large

Wallpaper is ‘Terrazzo Blue’ by Graham & Brown


Tip Two: If You Can’t Put It On The Walls, Put It In A Frame

That’s right, who said wallpaper needs to be applied directly to the wall? I mean, that’s so unoriginal. If it turns out that your landlord is wallpaper’s nemesis, we urge renters to instead put wallpaper into multiple frames. It sounds very crafty and maybe a little weird, but trust us when we say that the result is really effective. Framing wallpaper still means that the majority of your wall space is covered in the wallpaper pattern, yet you achieve the ‘look’ of a wallpaper without even touching the walls. The key is to source good frames. Scour charity shops for large ones. Look for nice frames with horrid artwork inside and simply remove the artwork and replace it with wallpaper. Go for different shaped and sized frames and treat the method of hanging them like creating a gallery wall, except on a larger scale. A tip from us if you have an extra strict landlord: instead of nails in the wall, use command strips to hang the frames. They leave zero marks, so perfect for renters!


Botanical Powder Wallpaper, , large

Wallpapers are ‘Botanical Powder‘ and ‘Dots Black And White’, both by Graham & Brown. 


Tip Three: Upscale Furniture Using Wallpaper

Ok, this is another cheat way for us renters to use wallpaper without giving our landlords a heart attack. Upscaling furniture with wallpaper is simple yet effective. If you have a paneled wardrobe, upscale it by filling the inside rectangle with wallpaper. The same goes for other furniture – try applying wallpaper to the sides of chests of drawers or a wall cabinet. Just be sure to take extra care cutting the strips of wallpaper so that they’re neat and evenly shaped. We suggest measuring the area you want to cover first, then flattening out your wallpaper strip face-down on a surface and marking out the shape on the non-patterned side before you cut it. Top tip from us: when smoothing down the wallpaper onto the surface of the furniture, be sure to smooth down any bumps or bubbles. Start by smoothing down the middle area and then work towards the edges.


Ubud Mayhem Wallpaper, , large

Wallpaper is ‘Ubud Mayhem’ by Graham & Brown


So that’s it for now! If you’d like to check out more, here’s our #WallpaperWeek info and wallpaper tips. Renters, we urge you to embrace your personality in your home by using wallpaper in the clever ways we described. If you have any photos of your results, send them over – we’d love to see them!


This post has been sponsored by Graham & Brown but we always work with brands we admire and recommend to our clients so you know our articles are genuine.


Featured Image Source: Good Homes Magazine