Cool wallpaper / wall treatment ideas for a small entryway?
May 12, 2009 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Our new house has a very small entry way with way ugly wallpaper. Since it's such small, easily-overlooked area, we'd like to do something fun and unexpected to the walls. Wanna help?

We were thinking of getting some interesting (read: funny, confusing, vintage, irreverent, trippy, subversive, puzzle-based) wallpaper along the lines of those available at from Flavor Paper or the designs you see a lot of things cut from on Etsy. What other interesting wallpaper vendors/designers do you know of? Since its such a small area, price isn't much of an issue (I say that now...).

House is a mid-20s bungalow version; the entry way is about 4' x 3', with a glass-paned interior door and a partially glass exterior door. We have mostly mid-centuryish furnishings, save for a late-70s onslaught in the kitchen.

Bonus question: any other cool wall treatment ideas for such a space?

Style note:we are not interested in any sort of faux-finish painting.
posted by activitystory to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I have a similar space in my bungalow. I painted it bright red, put up a circular mirror and used blu-tack to attach tonnes of small circular mirrors sized between 5 cm and 15 cm all over the walls. I had hoped to put a disco ball up too. One wall also has a huge map of Ontario which I refer to on a regular basis.
posted by saucysault at 7:24 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like the hand-torn papers at Vahallan but they may not be offbeat enough for you.
posted by Ostara at 7:26 AM on May 12, 2009

I've always thought this was a lovely idea - book pages as wallpaper - but couldn't imagine doing a large room.
posted by librarianamy at 7:30 AM on May 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

Since it's a small space, I think I'd want to do something to bounce around some of the light coming in through your door.

How about pasting up aluminum foil? Maybe alternating the shiny side with the dull side in wide horizontal stripes to help make the space look a bit bigger?

I think I'd probably crinkle up the foil and then smooth it out before pasting each piece on the wall -- the crinkles will give it some extra interesting texture.

Cheap and very cool-looking!
posted by rhartong at 7:48 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you aren't opposed to shopping there, Anthropologie has some interesting wallpapers. As for smaller designers, I really dig some of the stuff at growhousegrow. I saw a writeup of some neat clear, patterned wallpaper that is applied over a painted wall in the New York Times recently, and the company that supplies that stuff carries a wide variety of other neat-o papers.
posted by amelioration at 8:03 AM on May 12, 2009

Maps. Road maps, old maps, grammar school maps, National Geographic maps...
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:06 AM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

A collage of pictures from old Life magazines, with mirrors about the same size and some of the pictures placed at random.

Or beadboard panels, with each 2 inch board painted a different color from the neighbors.

Or mirrors in the corners, at 90 degrees to each other, to return a reflection where ever the subject is.

Or mirror the ceiling.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 8:18 AM on May 12, 2009

Wall decals - there are some large artsy ones.
posted by lakeroon at 8:31 AM on May 12, 2009

I've seen wine bottle labels used as wall paper before, and really liked it!
posted by cestmoi15 at 8:31 AM on May 12, 2009

Hot glue sticks and twigs and Spanish moss and general woodsy things to the walls and ceiling to give it a picking your way into the forest feel?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:32 AM on May 12, 2009

Best answer: depending on how irreverent you're willing to get, this spam wallpaper might be awesome.
posted by dizziest at 8:41 AM on May 12, 2009

My parents were big time skiiers and in one smallish room in our old house, they plastered the walls with a whole manner of skiing info. Trail maps, advertisements for skis, and a log of other stuff. It looked great.

You could use that space to express your love for a shared hobby.
posted by Diskeater at 8:54 AM on May 12, 2009

I once heard about a bathroom wallpapered in cartoons from the New Yorker. It seems like it would work in your foyer.
posted by Lycaste at 8:57 AM on May 12, 2009

Best answer: I love this paint strip wall, it would be easy to do in a small area.
posted by clearlydemon at 8:59 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Can you start with a blank space and give markers or something to everyone who visits and ask them to write on it? Over a period of time, you'd have an interesting record of everyone who visited your home.
posted by lpsguy at 8:59 AM on May 12, 2009

Turn the room into the inside of a turkish tent, like these large examples. A small chandelier from a consignment shop, richly colored fabric (reds, purples shot through with gold) festooned from the centerpoint to the walls, rich colors, a mirror and a tiny console table for mail, gloves, etc., a brass spittoon for umbrellas and you're done.
posted by carmicha at 9:11 AM on May 12, 2009

Best answer: Thornback & Peel's pigeon wallpaper? (You did say money was no object...)
posted by patricio at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2009

I have a small entryway. I painted it ivory to look bigger. For a couple of years the light connection was broken, so I put up some plug- in fairy lights (found some cool ones shaped like little glowing flowers). That was lovely, especially with an old gilt-framed mirror I found in a charity shop.

Once I got the light cord fixed, I put up a big shiny gold light fixture to bounce light in all directions. It made some cool reflections on the walls! That's just my experience but I hope it helps.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2009

What I'd love to do is a graffiti wall. Get chalkboard paint or something and let people write on it when they come in.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:02 PM on May 12, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the great ideas and links. We found a couple more cool wallpaper vendors while answers were accumulating, just in case anyone is interested:

Timorous Beasties
Studio Print Works

Now we just have to decide what to do!
posted by activitystory at 6:02 AM on May 13, 2009

New Yorker covers. Lots of people have a stash of New Yorkers; ask on freecycle.

A friend used hand-torn brown paper bags as wallpaper, then varnished over it. It's quite beautiful, and not difficult.

You could get a bunch of used cds, and glue them to the walls.

Pressed tin.
posted by theora55 at 1:38 PM on May 13, 2009

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