Wallpaper has made a huge comeback over the past few years. From floral to geometric, wallpaper has been instrumental in creating the unique spaces we love and (these days) spend all our time in.
But sometimes, wallpaper—and the people who hang it—can seriously miss the mark. After scouring the delightful world of #wallpaperfails on Instagram, we bring you a few of our favorites, along with some snarky thoughts from our panel of design experts.
Here are nine wallpaper fails to avoid the next time you’re feeling inspired to switch things up.
1. This very matchy-matchy wallpaper
While matching might seem like a good strategy, this design clearly took things too far.
“The first rule of thumb is if your Aunt Ethel had matching drapes and wallpaper when you were growing up, it’s not a good idea now,” says Michelle Harrison-McAllister of Michelle Harrison Design. “Having a well-styled home doesn’t mean everything needs to match. Pick something with the same color scheme and a different pattern—that way you can avoid the ‘Stepford’ wife home design.”
2. This wallpaper that’s perfect for Carole Baskin
“While most of us have seen ‘Tiger King,’ that doesn’t mean we need to channel this cat pattern in the bathroom,” says Harrison-McAllister.
If you love animal prints, use a vinyl paper that has a more subtle leopard tone, she says. It’ll be a much more suitable and timeless option.
3. This wallpaper that gives the wrong message
We all love a good artsy paper giving out positive vibes—unless, of course, some poor planning drastically changes the message.
“Wallpapers with messages are especially interesting when messages are lost due to improper placement,” says Bryan Stoddard of Homewares Insider. “This example is witty, but also instructive: Leave the installation to experts in order to avoid such gaffes.”
4. This wallpaper that looks like a middle school art project
Floral wallpapers can instantly elevate a home’s design. Unless it’s this one.
Please, not this one.
“This is just tacky and old—in age and school,” says Sara Queen of Lisa Queen Design. “I’ve seen many beautiful modern floral papers that would be much more tasteful for today. Tear it out!”
5. This attempt to camouflage the toilet
“Talk about a cleaning issue,” says Haylie Lapinskas of HaylieRead Design. “Would not want to know how grimy the back of that toilet is.
“In all seriousness, one should never install wall covering on a toilet,” she adds. “There are condensation issues and cleaning issues. I give this one a month before it starts to peel up and mold.”
6. This very ‘triggering’ retro wallpaper
Animated wallpapers can be cute, unless they evoke horrifying flashbacks, like this one.
“As a child of the ’70s, I feel fully triggered,” says Barri Branker of Beyond the Box Interiors. “This kind of wallpaper was a nightmare even then.”
Bold geometrics are a fun and funky alternative for someone with this kind of whimsical spirit, Branker adds.
7. This red room of (eye) pain
“Liberace called and reminded us that he is the only one who can get away with crushed-velvet wall covering and matching carpeting,” says Harrison-McAllister. “Not to mention, dare we say, a boudoir-style bedroom in red is never for sleeping.”
Especially because it would be impossible to sleep in something that looked like this.
8. This wallpaper that has all eyes on you
“We love this Fornasetti wallpaper, but not when it’s installed on a restroom ceiling with a sea of eyes looking down on you,” says Harrison-McAllister. “This pattern would be much better installed on the walls as an art piece.”
9. This peel-and-stick epic fail
This one is for all those people who ask, “But how hard can it be?”
Apparently, peel-and-stick wallpaper isn’t a project meant for everyone—especially whoever got to work on this faux-wood wall applique.
“Looks like it’s time to call in the professionals,” says Queen.
We agree, but also: Would the professionals really recommend a gray faux-wood paper? The answer, my friends, is no.