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If you’re looking to change the personality of an entire room, focus on your walls. Changing the design of your walls can freshen up your home and can leave a lasting impression. Most people think in order to achieve a wall with design, wallpaper is the only option. Although wallpaper is still a fabulous choice, if you’ve ever tried applying or removing it yourself, you know it can be a hassle. There are now budget friendly (and hassle-free!) ways to transform your walls without the commitment. We found three wallpaper alternatives that will please both renters and commitment-phobes alike!

Above, wall decals available at Designer Playground

Wall Decals

Stick-on wall decals are not just for kids’ rooms anymore, they are becoming an extremely easy way for anyone to add some interest to a boring wall. They can adhere to pretty much any surface but texture-free areas will yield the best results. Decals are easily removable and in most cases adjustable if you didn’t get the positioning right the first time.

Look for quality vinyl decals before making your purchase and take accurate measurements of your walls to ensure precise, uniform designs. You can choose from stick-on murals, personalized lettering, or multiple smaller decals intended to look like wallpaper. Instant gratification (and no mess!). 

Above, wall decals available at Byrdie Graphics


This isn’t your average grade school stenciling project- it’s even better. That’s because you get to see the final result play out on a larger scale. To begin this project, make sure the walls you are working with are super smooth so that the stencil will lay flat and the paint will stay in place once the stencil is removed. Next, visualize which style you are looking to achieve for the room and which design is the best fit.

There are several companies that sell stencils specifically for walls that are big enough to cover a large area, or you can make your own. Take into account that you may need a few additional ones to adjust for corners or edges.  Finally, you will need paint in the color of your choice, a small foam roller or small paint brush and a paint tray. The best part about stenciling –if you’re itching for a change you can easily paint over your masterpiece – but after seeing the result, why would you?

Roll-On Designs

Although this technique has been around for a long time, its popularity is growing thanks to DIY-enthusiasts (aka us!). Patterned paint rollers are making it even easier to achieve wallpaper-like designs using minimal tools and effort.

The main tool you’ll need is the roller itself which comes in two parts. The first part looks just like your basic foam roller that you use to dip in the paint, and the second part is the roller with a raised embossed design that snaps on in front of it. This creates a wheel system that gets even paint distributed on the design roller and right onto your walls. There are many styles to choose from and the end result will look so intricate, that it will fool anyone into thinking its wallpaper.