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October 16, 2019

Not Your Grandma’s Wallpaper! Step Into a New Century with Modern Wallpaper Style

“It reminds me of my grandmother’s house”

As an interior designer who loves to work with wallpaper, I often hear misconceptions surrounding the use of wallpaper in home decor. People assume that wallpaper only comes in outdated motifs and that if you use it on one wall, you have to use it throughout the room. (Tip: you certainly don’t)

I invite my Denver interior design clients to be open to new possibilities — to bring their beginner’s mind to the process — allowing the wallpaper selection to be a wonderful opportunity for creative expression. Because these days, wallpaper is art.

Here are some wallpaper styles and motifs that should help expand your mind on the wonders of this medium.


Wallpapers can add a lot of excitement and create a dramatic focal point in a room. If your home is bathed in neutral hues, consider covering a wall with geometric, abstract, colorful wallpaper. Here’s an example of how we used a bold, geometric print in a modern powder room.

From abstract shapes and color swatches to intricate geometric styles, there are a variety of bold prints you can choose from. Listed below are some of my favorites:

Arty Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Arty by Pierre Frey
Indomptee Elitis Wallpaper
Indomptée By Élitis
Expressionist Pattern Arte
Expressionist Pattern by Arte


Neutral colors evoke a sense of calm and I try to infuse neutral hues to add balance to my eclectic designs. For example, I used a neutral-hued, artisanal, hand-made wallpaper in this Denver living room to add contrast to the dramatic, textured, custom Italian-tile fireplace. The simplicity of this wallpaper is its beauty — the creamy color can work across palettes and design styles.

This dining room is another example of how neutral wallpaper can add sophistication to a space:

Neutral wallpaper isn’t restricted to single hues. At times, I use wallpapers that are neutral yet monochromatic. Here are my picks:

Paillotte Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Paillotte by Pierre Frey
Java Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Java by Pierre Frey
Gong Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Gong by Pierre Frey
Romney Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Romney by Pierre Frey
Indus Tise Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Indus Tise by Pierre Frey


Floral wallpaper motifs are no longer restricted to pinks and whites. Modern wallpaper comes in botanical prints in every imaginable color and shape. From deep-hued tropical prints with large florals to subtle, minimal leaf motifs drawn against a neutral background, wallpaper with botanical motifs can enliven and add warmth to a space. 

The room shown below flaunts a bright-green, foliage-printed wallpaper — our Denver team used it to add a tropical, fresh touch to the room. Below it, are some of my recommendations for botanical wallpapers:

Le Paravent Chinois Irise Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Le Paravent Chinois Irise by Pierre Frey
La Pannonie Pierre Frey Wallpaper
La Pannonie by Pierre Frey
Arte Wallpaper
Etoile De Minuit Elitis Wallpaper
Etoile de minuit by Élitis
Lost Plantation Elitis Wallpaper
Lost in plantation by Élitis


I enjoy layering my Denver homes with textured wallpaper as it adds an interesting dimension to a room. There are many textures that you can choose from, and our Denver design team will be happy to guide your selection. 

In the entryway featured below, our Denver team used a printed wallpaper with a neutral, grey background. We love how the print adds a textural dimension to the decor.

Observatory Park Entry Way Wallpaper Decor
View Project

Textured wallpapers add a unique touch to a room, especially if the rest of the decor has a smooth finish. The ones shown below are on my wish-list:

Marronnier Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Marronnier by Pierre Frey
Parfum Pierre Frey Wallpaper
Parfum D’antan by Pierre Frey
Feathers Wallpaper
Feathers by Schumacher
3d Arte Wallpaper
Twirl 3D Velveteen by Arte

Keep in mind that wallpaper selection is just part of the process. Wallpaper needs to be professionally installed in order to have the polished look that you desire. And, sometimes during the installation process, blemishes or inconsistency are found. That is exactly what happened as we went through one such process for a Denver client. See how we resolved the issue without compromising the look of the room here in this video.

Have Conversation

I’m hoping I’ve inspired you to consider using wallpaper in your next home renovation. Whether you seek modest or bold wallpaper integrated into your home, I’d love to discuss the possibilities with you.

Call me today at 720.735.7533 to start the conversation.

Margarita Bravo Green Interior Designer

Margarita Bravo

Denver’s Best Interior Designer

Margarita is a luxury interior designer and decorator, remodeler, furniture curator, and creator of experiences. Margarita’s unique skill set has evolved from her strong educational background and European and Latin American sources of inspiration. Now with design studios in Denver, Miami, Montecito, Aspen And Barcelona.