We asked two designers to share rooms they’ve wrapped in paper—and we were not talking a mere accent wall, stairwell, or tucked away powder room. Paper, not paint, transformed the two large spaces into rooms that balance their vitality with an invitation to kick back and relax.

Both designers defied the stereotypes of wallflowers to bring pattern and pulse to their projects.

Here you have it: a Marcelle Guilbeau design for a contemporary master bedroom suite where a large pattern pleases the eye; and, a Dawn D. Totty room transformed from dutiful beige to a room that evokes stars in the night sky.

We are pleased to share their work to inspire you. All that we’re saying is give paper a chance.


Marcelle Guilbeau

“Wallpaper adds sensuality to a space,” said Marcelle Guilbeau, “especially modern spaces.” In the master bedroom suite the Nashville designer uses wallpaper in a large, yet delicate, motif to finish the room. The solid color of the duvet and modern lounge chair balance the design and ground the room.

“Pattern brings the room together in a way a single wall color cannot.” —Marcelle Guilbeau 

“Wallpaper can be the perfect antidote to a large room with an expanse of gallery wall,” said Guilbeau. “Pattern brings the room together in a way a single wall color cannot.”

Rather than seeking a cozy look associated with traditional Victorian floral bedrooms, this modern bedroom is now inviting, offering a peaceful retreat without compromising spaciousness.

View another project by Marcelle in Green Hills that features wallpaper: Bold and Beautiful: Designer Marcelle Guilbeau Goes for Baroque (from Nashville Interiors 2016 print annual). 


Marcelle Guilbeau Interior Design. Photography by Steven Long


Dawn D. Toddy

Dawn D. Totty’s clients hand her the keys and go on vacation, trusting they will return to a very different space. Dawn does not disappoint. Her clients want something that is full of texture, and want to get away from what they call “the generic.” However, that’s sometimes as far as their imagination goes in their busy lives as executives.

In this high-end riverfront condo on Chattanooga’s North Shore, Dawn used wallpaper to add personality and elegance, reflecting the homeowner’s excellent taste. Goodbye taupe.

“Wallpaper can define a space, allowing the homeowner to keep the furniture simple and sparse.” —Dawn D. Toddy

With an open living space, the challenge for the condo room was about how to blend function with a strong design. “I am a problem solver,” said Dawn. She added a stainless steel kick plate along the back of the kitchen island and a changed the cabinetry finish to bridge the two rooms so that the tone is clean, modern, and seamless.

The wallpaper Dawn chose for her client is not simply charcoal and modern, it offers a romantic touch with specs of gold that give it dimension and a fresh feel as day turns to night. Caught in the morning window light the paper is as stunning as in the evening lamplight.

“I love to work with paint, but the layering and dimension that a quality wallpaper offers allows a room to feel complete,” said Dawn. “Wallpaper can define a space, allowing the homeowner to keep the furniture simple and sparse. This is a great technique that takes the pressure off of furniture in a condo where space is at a premium.”


Dawn D. Totty Designs. Photography by Morgan Nowland


View of condo open living space shows how the wallpaper of the open living space blends with a new color for the cabinetry and backsplash. Dawn D. Totty Designs. Photography by Morgan Nowland.