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6 Optical Illusion Wallpaper Ideas

Once seen as an outdated addition to a home, wallpaper is coming back in a huge way. From trendy new ideas like scratch and sniff wallpaper to hyper-modern stylings, wallpaper is no longer the interior design no man’s land it once was. And one of the most unique ways to tap into wallpaper’s full potential is to use optical illusion wallpaper.

Optical illusion wallpaper creates a visual trick to make you think the space is something other than it is. For instance, a realistic wallpaper design might feature a trail stretching into the distance to give the room a more spacious feel. With wallpaper, the possibilities are endless, since you don’t need to hire an expensive artist to create the style with paint. Take a look below to see how designers are using wallpaper to transform rooms.

Get a library feel without the expense of all those books.

purpleperny / Twenty20


The faux library

Have you always wished for one of those fancy libraries with more leather-bound books than you could ever afford? This homeowner had the same idea, but instead of rushing out and buying hundreds of aesthetically pleasing books, they went with wallpaper.

This design provides a convincing illusion of a wall stuffed with old books. The sepia tone also gives it a very classic look. It’s the ultimate easy way to get a high-class library feel. Text on the pillows adds to the literary theme, as do the coffee table books.

Nature inspired wallpaper / Shutterstock

Out in nature

If you love nature, wallpaper could be a great addition to your space when you source prints with a natural mural design. Many wallpapers actually have a realistic print, giving the impression that one wall actually opens into a real forest. However, the style above intentionally goes for a classy, artsy feel.

Wallpaper like the one above is great for people who appreciate both nature and art. And the jute textured rug adds to the natural feel. Meanwhile, the plants complement the art but don’t steal attention from it.

City view wallpaper

Alexilena / Shutterstock

Creating distance

A neat use of modern wallpaper is to get a realistic print that features some sort of pathway or trail. In the example above, the pier shot works to create depth and distance. It’s a great idea for small, narrow spaces that benefit from the feeling of additional space.

This design also demonstrates a sense of humor and playfulness in wallpaper design; the room appears to be sitting right on the window, possibly opening into the city itself. It shows how truly creative you can get with optical illusion wallpaper.

Fairytale Wallpaper

Ellerslie / Sutterstock

Into a fairytale

Perhaps one of the best features of optical illusion wallpaper is its ability to create a whole artistic scene. It can display anything you can imagine. In this case, you enter right into the story of Alice in Wonderland. It’s a wonderful idea for a kid’s bedroom or playroom.

The possibilities here are endless: Wallpaper can bring to life any story or theme. You can play with an artistic collage style, or choose a whole scene to be acted out on the wall.

Geometric Wallpaper

Sharomka / Shutterstock

Geometric depth with optical illusion wallpaper

One popular way to use optical illusions is to create the illusion of depth. The geometric wallpaper above manages it well. The gold sheen and black shading makes the pattern look like it’s literally popping out of the wall. The teal also gives this room plenty of color.

It’s also a great addition to this industrial-themed bathroom, with exposed piping on the ceiling and a stark metal sink. The gold pattern has something of a metallic industrial feel itself, so it fits in with the space. It’s a good example of how optical illusion wallpaper can contribute to the overall design of a room.

Doodle Wallpaper

hannievanbaarle / Twenty20

Drawing on the walls

A more playful idea is to choose wallpaper that uses doodles as design. This makes it look like someone has drawn on the walls, without actually ruining the walls. What results is a free-spirited artistic space.

You also don’t have to limit yourself to doodles. You may also use handwritten lines of poetry or themed word collections. If the room has an academic theme, you might also choose wallpaper that features equations or chemical structure images.

There are many ways to use optical illusion wallpaper in any room in your house. Do any of the above ideas stand out to you?

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