Why Every Workspace Needs a Little Bit of Wallpaper

Next Wave designer Dani Arps explains how a jolt of pattern can take your office to the next level.

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Francesco Lagnese

Whether Next Wave designer Dani Arps is dreaming up a home office or a 4,000-square-foot company headquarters, there's a good chance you'll find wallpaper somewhere in the project. "It's such a chic and vibrant way to add interest and depth!" she says. "I like to use it sparingly to create impact and call attention to certain areas, or just go for it and maybe carry it across two or three conference rooms."

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Aaron Thompson

One of her favorite tricks is to use wallpaper in small privacy rooms. At Day One Agency in New York, she worked with the client to design a custom wallpaper pattern with images of old-school telephones, which she also had printed on canvas to cover acoustic foam boards for extra noise absorption. For another New York startup, she used faux library wallpaper to help disguise a "secret" room. (Books suspended from the ceiling make the space feel extra playful.)

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Mariel Tyler

Wallpaper is also a great way to demarcate smaller areas within an open space, Arps says. In the large kitchen-slash-lounge room at Day One, Arps took a recessed corner and turned it into a seating area with stadium-style cushioned rows and an oversized botanical wall mural. "The previous space I did for them had actual planters filled with snake plants that the team there lovingly named 'the jungle,' so we thought this was a nice ode to the old space while still keeping it fresh," she explains.

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Francesco Lagnese

If you're not ready to commit to fully wallpapered space (or you're in a rental), think about using a favorite print to line the back of a bookshelf or the inside of a cabinet. "I love the idea of using it in an unexpected way, so it's like a little hidden gem," says Arps.

Need help choosing the right pattern? Check out a few of Arps's office-friendly picks below!


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