Need a little inspiration as you prepare to tackle a redesign project and consider wallcovering options? Peek at these celebrated establishments that boldly incorporate wallcoverings into their interior themes. From retro to nostalgic to lavish, these examples demonstrate the dramatic as well as delightful difference wallcoverings can make.
1. Leo’s Oyster Bar — San Francisco
Flora meets fresh and funky in Leo’s Oyster Bar and its appropriately named cocktail lounge, The Hideway. Who wouldn't want to hide away and sip champagne cocktails amid a visual symphony of shimmering tin ceilings, rich botanical wallpaper, terracotta tile, rattan accents, and live ferns and palms? Co-designer Ken Fulk describes it as "1950's Beverly Hills meets Manhattan club." The tropical motif is perfectly executed thanks to a bold and beautiful floral-and-palm-print wallpaper that adorns The Hideaway walls. Its retro-glam appeal and equally tasteful menu has captured the hearts and appetites of Bay-area locals and visitors alike.
2. Hotel Saint James Paris — Paris
Once upon a time in 18th century France, a vast green plot of land inside Paris city limits was known as the “aerodrome” — a landing field for the hot-air balloons that floated among Parisian clouds and gave promise to those who dreamed of human flight. Today, that grassy expanse is the site of the Saint James Paris, a luxury chateau-hotel. Each of its rooms boasts a different theme carried out with exceptional décor and finishes that pay homage to the hotel’s montgolfière — that’s French for hot-air balloon — heritage. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring space, however, is the hotel’s winding central staircase that, floor by floor, is highlighted by a whimsical, vintage wallpaper depicting the basket-toting balloons of yesteryear. Ascend the red-carpeted steps and experience the illusion of a gentle lift-off among the softly colored sky and parade of hot-air balloons. C’est magnifique!
3. Chopt — New York
Anyone who’s ever accused a salad of being boring needs to grab their greens at one of Chopt’s East Coast locations. The New York-based chain’s commitment to creativity shines in its restaurants’ quirky wallcoverings. In its Manhattan location, for example, it’s like someone drew their bizarre dream right on Chopt’s walls. Vegetables vrooming through the air, piloted by people wearing 70's-style motorcycle stunt suits. And we’re not talking average vegetables: They include everything from airborne artichokes to flying fennel and also flaming hot peppers. The whole concept is a fun example of out-of-the-box thinking, and Chopt’s wallpaper vividly reflects it.
4. Finca — Salt Lake City
Feminine yet powerful. Simple yet opulent. Finca, a Spanish-inspired eatery specializing in farm-to-table tapas, is a stunning example of how contrast, not color, can make a bold and beautiful statement. Finca’s interior is highlighted by dark, richly colored woods. Wrapping the columns and half walls that lend dimension as well as depth to its intimate dining spaces. What really grabs the eye and commands one’s attention is Finca’s lavish floral wallcovering: Voluptuous white blooms set against a deep grey-black backdrop gives a multi-dimensional illusion, as if the petals are popping off the paper just begging to be picked. Finca proves that, when used correctly, floral prints are timeless. They can seamlessly bridge vintage charm with modern elegance.
5. Urban Cowboy — Nashville, Tennessee
Step aside, partner. Today’s Urban Cowboy is in East Nashville, and guests from far and wide are relishing in its impeccable Southwestern Deco motif. A boutique hotel in an eight-suite Queen Anne Victorian mansion, the Urban Cowboy prides itself on flawlessly fusing color, texture, and also shape to bring new life to the Old West. Materials like shimmering copper, hand-hewn woods, brick, as well as geometrical wood mosaics are, room by room, complemented by carefully selected wallcoverings. Some wallcoverings add a specific splash of color while others balance out bold geometric patterns. Each provides a hip backdrop for the Urban Cowboy’s tufted leather couches, antler chandeliers and weathered cow skulls. One night in this Music City gem will no doubt have you singing its designers’ praises.
6. Bazaar Mar by José Andrés — Miami
While celebrated chef José Andrés dishes up tails of the sea, his restaurant’s walls, ceilings and floors delight diners with undersea tales. Using a mix of wallpaper and painted tiles, the navy blue-on-white designs depict elaborate seascapes. Comprising mermaids as well as mermen, scuba divers, sea horses, crab-clawed sailors, and other imaginative marine life. It’s a tastefully amusing setting for Miami diners. Many who come to Bazaar Mar for its fresh seafood, creative cuisine, as well as signature cocktails. Bazaar Mar by José Andrés is a visual treat as well as a reminder that walls really can talk!
From San Francisco to Paris and New York, from Salt Lake to Nashville and Miami, wallcovering design as well as inspiration is everywhere. Wallcoverings can be art and so much more. They can create environments, set moods, evoke nostalgia, tell stories, and also generate buzz. Embrace unique wallcovering designs in your space. Also, don’t be afraid to try something bold and different!