5 Wall Coverings that Aren’t Wallpaper

Wallpaper has come a long way, but it still has its drawbacks. It goes out of style quickly, is hard to hang by yourself and difficult to repair when damaged. On the other hand, it can be a useful way to hide imperfections in your walls. After all, there are some blemishes that paint will only exaggerate.

But some of us are just not wallpaper people. Just thinking about that sticky paper makes you feel frustrated. If you identify with that last statement, you’ll be happy to hear that you have plenty of options. Enough alternative wall coverings exist to suit any taste. From cork tiles to DIY map wallpaper, there’s something for everyone, so read on to find your next look!

a map as wallpaper
Via dustymars.net

Bamboo Paneling

It’s not just for the tiki bar anymore! When done right, bamboo paneling can make for a chic and sophisticated statement wall—or any kind of wall, really. And bamboo is especially forgiving on uneven walls and damaged surfaces. You can also use engineered bamboo planks (read: bamboo flooring) for walls as well, which allows for any number of stains, dyes and patterns. And because bamboo grows quickly, it’s a lot more eco-friendly than wood!

Cork Tiles

Of course, when you decide not to use conventional wall coverings, you’re probably looking for something just a little bit quirky. Cork wall tiles have beautiful, warm geometric patterns that allow you to appreciate the beauty of natural wood. And like bamboo, they’re much gentler on the world’s forests than wood planks. Try them in a room that could use some soundproofing—the soft texture of cork gives it great insulating qualities.

Maps

A space shouldn’t just feel comfortable—ideally, it should be an expression of who you are as a person. And there’s nothing more personal than your travel memories—whether they’re ones from past trips or ones you hope to make in the future! This tutorial from Yankee Magazine teaches you everything you need to know to DIY your own.

Book Pages

If you’re more into armchair traveling than anything that requires actually leaving your home, you might appreciate this next idea. Buy an extra copy of your favorite book, and use the pages to paper your walls. It works just like the map idea—except you’ll get read an excerpt of your favorite novel every night before drifting off to bed. Try with an older book for that extra vintage look.

Starched Fabric

Every browsed through a fabric store and thought, “gee, I really wish I could have that on my walls”? Well, now you can. Liquid starch and fabric is a great solution for getting any lightweight cotton fabric on the walls—Apartment Therapy walks you through the full technique here. Best of all, it’s a lot less permanent than wallpaper. In fact, you can remove it just by wetting the wall and peeling the fabric off. It’s basically commitment-free! Decorating won’t have you climbing the walls anymore!

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