This designer’s wallpaper placement creates the perfect pop of color

Photos courtesy Shane Griffin.

The idea of covering a good, clean wall with a bold swath of wallpaper can be scary, especially when memories of grandmother’s kitchen or the overly orange 1970s strike. But this is 2021, and the time has come to reimagine the possibilities of colors and patterns that wallpapers can bring to the table. Shane Griffin of Shane Griffin Designs certainly hasn’t shied away from hyacinth hues or funky fractals, and offers several ways to bring the fun into any space.

For starters, Griffin stresses the importance of finding the right spot for taking a dull space and making it more exciting, referring to the kitchen nook pictured above. “I just thought that wall was the perfect focal point—you see it when you walk in the front door,” says Griffin.

Pairing the Amanda Talley wallpaper with a complementary Roman shade above the sink in Griffin’s project was crucial for tying the kitchen together. “We worked off that wallpaper, then selected the fabric I thought would pull in some of those color pops throughout the house without being too obnoxious,” he says.

Still, however bold the patterns may be, continuity is essential. Adventurous colors and patterns are more digestible and doable in the everyday home when placed on a simple crisp backdrop of white and clean rooms. Some of Griffin’s favorite designs for these purposes come from brands like Cole & Son Wallpaper, Thibaut and Timorous Beasties.

When deciding on a print to bring people out of their comfort zone, Griffin says to go bold, but always have a backup plan just in case you need to tone it down or take a step back. “Usually I’ll wallpaper a small space, or a powder room, or sometimes I’ve even put paper on the ceiling and painted the trim a fun color, and that gives people a good introduction if someone’s kind of scared or timid,” he says.


To learn more about Shane Griffin, check out his Instagram page, as well as that time his expertise found its way to the White House’s Christmas décor.