Wallpaper for the Manly Man

January 15, 2013 | Alex

An interest in wallpaper is a fairly new phenomenon for me. Much of my wallpaper-related anxieties stem from its permanency. As a renter, wallpaper never crossed my mind. That is, until I starting reading about the wide array of temporary wallpapers hitting the market (thanks for the hot tip, Apartment Therapy.) Can I get a "Hallelujah" for renter-friendly innovation?

One of my favorite sources for removable wallpaper is Spoonflower. Their self-adhesive, PVC-free wallpaper sticks on to your walls without any additional glue and can be easily peeled off when you tire of the pattern or move out of your apartment. I also love how affordable their pricing is ($5 per liner foot). One word of warning: Their selection is massive, so you practically need a holiday weekend to find the right fit (Hello, MLK day!). Also, since fabric is their bread-and-butter, many of the patterns are scaled according. A tiny repeat might be sweet on a throw pillow, but dizzying on your walls. Fortunately, most designers on Spoonflower will rescale a pattern for you-- just ask!

But even once over the logistical hurdle, heavily wallpapered spaces elicited a big "meh" out of me until recently. Which brings me to my second, more pervasive wallpaper-related anxiety: most wallpaper patterns you see in the design sphere are pretty darn girly. (As discussed ad nauseum in a prior post, I have a mild allergic reaction to overly feminine interiors.) While many textured or graphic patterns have unisex appeal, thematic wallpaper is usually involves some combination of fairies, butterflies, tropical birds, roses, or shepardess with curly-ques.

Nothing against Little Bo Peep, but when she's plastered all over your wall in a 4" repeat, it can be a little cloying. Yet, strangely, over the weekend, I couldn't stop thinking about this aggressively wallpapered loft to which Gilt Editor Chassie Post relocated her husband and son from Atlanta:

The Manhattan loft Chassie Post and Phil Costello share with their 8-year-old son (pictured) | Photography by Matthew Williams, via  Hey Billie

The Manhattan loft Chassie Post and Phil Costello share with their 8-year-old son (pictured) | Photography by Matthew Williams, via Hey Billie

Photography by Matthew Williams, via  Hey Billie

Photography by Matthew Williams, via Hey Billie

It's so visually compelling, but HOLY girliness. I can't imagine my boyfriend feeling at home surrounded by these walls.

So what's the manly man to do? Is there no thematic wallpaper out there for him? I didn't buy it, so I made it my mission to comb Spoonflower's archives for thematic wallpaper with which man and woman can co-exist peacefully, no matter their interests. Granted, some of these get pretty funky-- but, you know, I like my wallpaper weird and I'm not ashamed to say it.




  1. Sawhet Owl - Pen & Ink Pointillism by ravenwoodstudiodesign
  2. Chestnut by ravynka
  3. Shark 1200 by wren_leyland
  4. Birds by brokkoletti
  5. Vintage Minerals by ravynka
  6. Moths by ravynka

The Nautically-Inclined



  1. Mousehole by scrummy
  2. Scatter by forest&sea
  3. Blue Herring
  4. The Deep Deep Depths by ceanirminger
  5. Semper Paratus by bowsprite
  6. Salting Table by donna_kallner

See also Delft OctopusSailing ShipsKnotsSeahorseSloop Clearwater  and Antique Horrors of the Deep.




  1. These Little Piggies by marchhare
  2. Square Roots by weavingmajor
  3. Root Vegetables by countrygarden
  4. Tomato Polka Splat by coggon
  5. Red Onion Pattern by clairecaudwell
  6. Vintage Kitchen on Shortbread by vdyej

See also Bartlett Pears.

Dog People



  1. Bulldog with Teddy Bear by ragan
  2. Le Chien by ragan




  1. A Boy's Own Arrow Collection by rhondadesigns
  2. Forest by arttreedesings

See also Vintage Print-Deers.

Literary Types



  1. Woodtype Alphabet Chalk by pennycandy
  2. Madame FancyPantaloon's Instant Library Bindings - Blue by peacoquettedesings

I hope this proved inspiring. I, for one, am exhausted and I fear I still only scratched the surface of Spoonflower's offerings. Check it out for yourself and drop me a comment with your top finds!