Wallpaper is back, and in a big way. Forget everything you know about damask and chintz. From tropical to modern to mesmerizing and metallic, print's new wave invigorates spaces of all sizes.
Bars, restaurants and cafés nationwide have embraced the trend, transforming interiors with extravagant prints that exuberantly contrast with decades of airy neutrals and understated minimalism. These wallpapers add romance, ambiance and, in some cases, a visceral retreat into another world.
"Restaurants are places that create experiences, and the walls can really set the mood for the chef or direction of the restaurant," Yolande Batteau, an artist in Brooklyn, New York, explains. Batteau's firm, Callidus Guild, created elegant wallpaper for Beige, an Alain Ducasse restaurant inside Tokyo's Chanel, plus many others worldwide. "The texture and pattern becomes embedded into the story of the restaurant."
From Brooklyn to the Bay Area, here are eleven restaurants bringing the designer wallpaper trend to life.
① Leo’s Oyster Bar (San Francisco, CA)
Photo: Douglas Friedman
San Francisco’s latest hot spot is a tropical oasis where patrons can slurp oysters, crack open lobster claws and enjoy cocktails while surrounded by palm fronds, wicker furniture and shimmering mirrors. The pink-and-green botanical wallpaper soars up the double-height space, creating the illusion of a secret urban jungle. Mismatched floral furnishings give the restaurant a cozy, homey vibe.
② Royal Palms (New York, NY)
Photo: Courtesy of Royal Palms
Upon first glance, Brooklyn’s Royal Palms seems relatively minimal—the breezy industrial space is filled with casual bars, food trucks and shuffleboard courts. The bathrooms, however, are a delightful surprise: Walls are covered in textured paper depicting flocks of life-size pink flamingos. The birds' feathers are slightly in relief, adding to the drama. Try not to take a selfie in this bathroom, we dare you.
③ Maple & Ash (Chicago, IL)
Photo: Courtesy of Maple & Ash
The back bar of Chicago’s Maple and Ash features a printed mural of inky smoke floating seductively behind the bartender. The marbleized wallpaper creates an ephemeral feeling behind the bar, juxtaposed with brass shelves, velvet bar seats and rows of backlit bottles.
④ 501 Union (New York, NY)
Photo: Courtesy of 501 Union
The side bar of this Brooklyn events venue is lined with an art deco-inspired, silver-and-black palm frond wallpaper, a modern take on a classic tropical motif. Each palm shimmers beautifully by candlelight, giving the room an intimate, romantic sensibility.
⑤ Lost Lake (Chicago, IL)
Photo: Clayton Hauck
Chicago has some of the country's most brutal winters—and best tiki bars, providing much-needed oases from subzero snowstorms. Newcomer Lost Lake has everything one could want in a tiki bar: strong rummy cocktails, blowfish light fixtures and banana leaf wallpaper. In addition, one wall is lined with paper inspired by the infamous Beverly Hills Hotel, a cheery reminder that, no matter the weather, it’s always paradise inside Lost Lake.
⑥ The Punch Room (Charlotte, VA)
In just a few years, The Punch Room has become Charlotte’s best and most renowned cocktail den. The art deco-inspired bar is located on the top floor of the Ritz-Carlton and has alcoves of bright gold accenting vintage book collections and antique punch bowls. The textured, charcoal-gray wallpaper and sunken gilded cabinets create a sophisticated backdrop for head bartender Bob Peters's exquisite cocktails.
⑦ Broken Shaker (Miami, FL)
Photo: Adrian Gaut
One of Miami’s best cocktail bars is tucked away in the Freehand hotel; it's a tiny room lined with vintage-inspired tropical wallpaper and filled with surfing memorabilia, flickering candles and vintage tiki mugs. The bar seating area spills out onto an expansive poolside patio dotted with lush palms, exotic flowers and swimsuit-clad imbibers.
⑧ Stateside (Seattle, WA)
Photo: Courtesy of Stateside
One room at this Seattle newcomer is lined with understated palm frond wallpaper. The Vietnamese restaurant highlights the crossover of French and Chinese cuisines found in Vietnam, and draws inspiration from Vietnamese cities famous for their tropical aesthetic.
⑨ Coya (Miami, FL)
One of Miami’s newest hot spots, this lushly appointed restaurant features different stylistic influences from Latin America and beyond. The main dining room is particularly decadent, with silver metallic paper lining on the walls and ceiling, as well as colorful velvet seating and decorative iron screens reminiscent of the metalwork found in many Peruvian cities.
⑩ Chopt (New York, NY)
Photo: Courtesy of Chopt
This NYC fleet brings a hip aesthetic to the urban salad bar. At locations throughout Manhattan, walls are lined with whimsical patterns, including the 51 Astor location, which depicts flying fennel, eggplants and leeks ridden by tiny people wearing Evel Knievel-inspired racing suits. If only eating salad gave us mere mortals such otherworldly powers.
⑪ Blue Island Oyster Bar (Denver, CO)
Denver may be landlocked, but the custom wallpaper above the blue banquettes in this Cherry Creek oyster bar make patrons feel like they're in a breezy seaside spot. The black-and-white print features submerged divers and hangs above diners’ heads, so the divers' graphic flippers are almost aligned to eye level. The installation has the effect of making patrons feel as though they are underwater themselves, just moments from breaching the surface after a long dive.