Ways to make a wall wondrous

Because she loves pattern and colors, Atlanta’s Vicki Hillsberg has no trouble adding wow to her walls.

In the Vinings-area condo Hillsberg shares with her husband, the bright colors in the couple’s large collection of artwork pack a punch against the neutral walls. Then there’s the powder room.

To complement Hillsberg’s curio cabinet filled with her colorful collection of bathing beauty figurines, the powder room walls had to set the right mood.

Niki Papadopoulos, a designer who has been working with the couple, found a gold and metallic wallpaper with an Art Deco feel to the pattern that made the room bright and fun, said Hillsberg.

“The wallpaper performs as a spectacular backdrop to her collection while still standing out on its own,” said Papadopoulos, a designer with Mark Williams Design Associates in Atlanta.

Wallpaper goes in and out of favor, but it seems to be hot again.

“I think wallpaper has made a resurgence because it can transform a space more than paint can,” said Papadopoulos. “It can add warmth and texture, but also pattern or color. I love to use it everywhere possible, but mostly I use it in bathrooms — and on accent walls.”

Wallpaper is one way to take a room from boring to bold. But there are others.

“The trend of using wall treatments, such as wallpaper, grass cloth and textured wall tiles, has made a huge resurgence in design, said Michael Morris, director of interior design at Monte Hewett Homes. “Many times a bold wall treatment can stand alone and take the place of artwork.”

For help in giving your walls a makeover, consider these wall treatments and tips from various Atlanta-area artists, designers and builders, including Papadopoulos, Morris, Bethany Travis of Penshaw Hill, and BHG.com.

Before you start

- Color. Color can set the mood of a room. It can also make a space appear larger and more dramatic or tranquil. Consider what mood you want to create in one room or your entire house. And incorporate color in stages, rather than all at once.

- Light. In a dark hallway or windowless space, consider a wall covering that will reflect light around the room.

- Where and how: When choosing a wall treatment, consider how the room is used.

- Style. Do you want your dining room to have a formal look? A dramatic color or large-scale pattern can do the trick.

- Hide your flaws. Patterns with real (like grass cloth) or perceived texture can hide or camouflage wall imperfections or architectural eyesores, according to BHG.com. Sometimes existing surfaces can influence the options that are available.

- Budget: Paint can be one of the most inexpensive ways to make over your walls. But the cost of wallpaper (even an expensive one) and the installation will be less for a small room, like a powder room. Of all the rooms in the house, the power room is the place to add some drama and personality if your budget allows.

“Powder rooms are like jewelry boxes,” said Papadopoulos. ‘You can use more expensive or more decorative materials because a little goes a long way.”

Great coverups

- Wallpaper, plus. With all the stylish designs, finishes, colors and easier-than-ever applications, many find wallpaper as versatile as paint. Choose from a dizzying selection of wallpapers that range from vintage or modern to elegant or playful. Some companies have created wallpapers that resemble stone or weathered wood for that beach house look.

You also can customize a wallpaper to suit a room or wall at some online sites, or you can contact Bethany Travis, founder of Penshaw Hill (penshawhill.com.) The Georgia artist creates murals and sophisticated, hand-painted wallpaper. She also makes self-hanging wall panels for clients who don’t want to commit to installing wallpaper.

“The grand effect is much the same, but the panels can be moved or rearranged at any time,” said Travis.

- Brick, concrete, glass and stone can take the place of tile and paint on walls.

- Paint. Expand you concept of color with faux finishes and decorative painting techniques ranging from glitter to chalkboard paint. In the Atlanta area, there are many talented faux and decorative painters, including Tobey Renee Sanders, known for her unusual and custom faux finishes. On March 7-8, she is offering a workshop on faux finishes in Atlanta for beginners (fauxdecoronline.com).

- Tile and multidimensional tiles. These bold, geometric forms add dimension and texture to a room. Running the tile from the kitchen countertop to the ceiling makes a statement. So does running the tile from the floor to ceiling in a small space, like a powder room. But modern, multidimensional tiles can show up in expected places, like on a fireplace surround or on an accent wall in a living or dining room.

- Trellis. An outdoor trellis with climbing roses or trellis-patterned wallpaper in a sunroom is common. But why not bring the real look of white latticework and trellis inside to accent a wall or two?

- Upholstered walls. Fabric-covered headboards are all the rage now, but some designers are taking fabric, such as linen or cotton, up the wall. Consider a rich, embroidered jacquard on a bedroom wall. To help with sound, upholster walls in a media or theater room.

- Wood. Like stone and brick, wood can take the place of tile and paint on walls. Wood, from weathered to walnut, can work in many rooms – even bathrooms.

- Others: Leather tiles, grass cloth, bamboo, stucco, stencils, decals, artwork, framed wall panels/hangings or wall sculptures, like those from Gold Leaf Design Group. Some creative homeowners have used old tin ceiling tiles on walls.