This post is part of Hard Refresh, a soothing weekly column where we try to cleanse your brain of whatever terrible thing you just witnessed on Twitter.
When I was in middle school I begged my mom to let me redecorate my room. I wanted light blue walls, realistic-looking clouds painted on the ceiling, and adhesive glow-in-the-dark star decals scattered around so that when I went to sleep at night it would feel like I was looking up at the sky.
My design plans were admittedly a bit ambitious — I only ended up with the blue walls. But I did have a formative conversation with my mom about wallpaper along the way.
When deciding on a paint color, I asked my mom if anyone still used wallpaper. She explained that while some people still liked it, she personally thought it was a bit dated. After she reminded me of the hideous yellow-and-burnt-orange-patterned paper that used to be in our kitchen, I, too, decided I was anti-wallpaper.
Nearly every piece of wallpaper I’ve seen since then has been a real eyesore, so for most of my adult life I’ve remained confident in my opinion. Until the day I was scrolling through Instagram and a bold floral print atop a subtle blush background caught my eye. In an instant, everything changed.
The photo of the Instagram-worthy wall above was shared by my friend Danielle Tullo, who had recently redecorated her apartment after enlisting the help of Jessica McCarthy, a Decorist interior designer.
“I wanted my rental to feel like mine, regardless of the fact that I don’t own it,” Tullo said. She now finds “nothing more tranquil than returning home to a space that’s as vibrant yet relaxing” as her new, wallpapered living room.
Tullo’s living room glow up was so undeniably gorgeous that it sent me down an Instagram rabbit hole. After scouring the site for other patterned accent walls, my negative opinions about wallpaper began to peel away — and I started to feel compelled to give my rooms some extra sprucing.
As I explored hashtags like #temporarywallpaper, #removablewallpaper, and #peelandstickwallpaper, I became increasingly soothed. Those colorful patterns, flecks of gold, and illusions of marble or wood can entirely transform a room and really leave it with a newfound sophistication or sense of warmth.
The colorful patterns, flecks of gold, and illusions of marble or wood can entirely transform a room.
It wasn’t long until Temporary Wallpaper Instagram became one of my favorite social media havens. Now, I turn to the aesthetically pleasing home designs whenever my eyes need a break from consuming news (like, always).
Tullo suggests anyone who plans on living in a rental unit for more than a year try out temporary wallpaper. If you’re going to splurge on a redesign and aren’t the most handy person in the world, she also recommends hiring someone to apply the paper. She got some help from TaskRabbit and though it cost a bit more, she feels it was “absolutely worth it” to ensure her bubble-free peace of mind.
“It just really made the space feel like a home,” Tullo said of the temporary wallpaper. “It’s low-lift, affordable, and transforms a space. I genuinely feel happier and more relaxed since installing [it].”
One day I plan on taking the plunge and investing in some temporary wallpaper myself. Until then I intend to live vicariously through the Instagram community like any other resourceful, social media-dependent human being would. Happy scrolling!