9 Dazzling Optical Illusion Wallpaper Ideas

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The first image that may come to your mind when you think of wallpaper is an antiquated room piled high with dusty books and a rotary phone. That was the 50’s and 60’s as we know it. Similar to the vinyl industry, all great inventions don’t wither away after their glory days. Vinyl record sales are at an all-time high and after reading this article, you’ll want to kick the paint buckets to the side and stock up on glue and rollers.

That’s right. This is the resurgence of wallpaper as a temporary way to personalize your home without the mess of paint. The great thing about wallpaper is that you get to think big, and no matter where your imagination takes you, there is a style, design, and concept of wallpaper to bring your ideas to life. Handpicked from the biggest trends in interior design, read on to peel back inspiration with these 10 wallpaper optical illusion ideas perfect for any room in your home.

1. Incorporate an Element of Distance

This technique is perfect to add a sense of more space to smaller rooms like your restroom or closets. The portrayal of distance is captured best when you choose specific scenes that are associated with the ‘off in a distance’ vibe. From a dock extending out over an area of water, an open road winding through the desert to a mountainesque scene there are a variety of ways to add the illusion of distance through a simple installation of wallpaper.

To enhance the visual effect, first consider the vantage point for where people will be located in the room and use that as the basis for how you position the wallpaper. For example, this style of wallpaper blends nicely into restrooms when placed on the wall behind or in front of the toilet. It adds more depth to the room and looks beautiful. Another great location is on the wall in front of the sink. Because the mirror is usually the focal point for sinks, remember to offset the wallpaper so that it does not interfere with the mirror.

2. Bring a Fairytale to Life

On one hand, the fairytale concept can be inspired by a children’s book or famous novel. Think Spider Man, Little Red Riding Hood or Alice In Wonderland. There are a handful of themed wallpaper designs that are perfect for transforming kids rooms into a whole new world. To enhance the visual effect, match the bedroom linens and accessories with the wallpaper. Don’t forget that the ceiling can be outfitted with wallpaper to create a 360 environment.

On the other hand, you can create a calming fairytale scene in the living room or office with designs of a forest. Look for wallpaper which combines botanical elements like flowers and bushes with trees scattered through the landscape. Use trees to create the illusion of height and depth with a wallpaper design that features grey or charcoal colored trees on a white background.

3. Combine Geometric Shapes with Depth

A popular way to use optical illusions is to create the appearance of depth with wallpaper. Look for geometric shapes that feature elements of shading to create a stunning effect that pops on the wall. No matter which type of pattern you choose, the ‘popping effect’ is actually enhanced when an object rests on a solid background.

From copper pipes, rectangles and triangular shapes this optical illusion contributes a unique effect to the overall design of a room. Geometric shapes and patterns give the illusion of a never-ending space in time, adding energy and depth to brighten and expand spaces.

4. Use Subtle Hints of Optical Illusion

The entire wall or space does not actually need to be outfitted with an optical illusion. Subtle hints can be incorporated in certain areas on your wall and this technique is perfect for preventing an overwhelming amount of optical illusion. Instead of being noisy and hypnotic, look for wallpaper designs with spiraling staircases and shaded elements. Spiraling stairwells are a great example that gives off just enough optical illusion that invites the eye, rather than overwhelm it. For a special touch, look for spiraling stairwells that feature decorated handrails.

5. Create a Nature Escape

Natural mural designs open your walls to a world beyond your home and into the wild. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and nature lover, try creating a calm and serene environment with a forest, waterfall or garden design. To make the nature escape look more natural in your home, match the colors of the surrounding walls with the scene of the wallpaper. Earth tones like dark green, beige and shades of brown enhance the overall ambiance, resulting in a real-life effect that resembles the great outdoors.

6. Emphasize an Object on Your Wall with Optical Illusions

This technique requires close attention to detail and perhaps a few rounds of trial and error to make perfect. As you can see, it’s definitely on the hypnotic side of the optical illusion spectrum, but a fantastic way to breath life into the room. The key is to position the wallpaper around electrical fixtures, doors, wall hangings, and windows to distort the visual appearance of the objects. We recommend this option for entertainment spaces in your home like a cocktail lounge, bar or video game room because it promotes energy and movement which set the mood for social gatherings.

7. Try Combining Decals with White or Black Wallpaper

From cityscapes, animals and abstract art the combination of white or black wallpaper with decals makes for eye-catching designs that pop. A black and white panda, for example, is a simple way to execute this concept on a white wall using black decals. The colors of both the wall and decals work together to form the shape and the background negative space completes the looks. To create a stunning cityscape with dark shades of buildings and towers on a white wall, place the darker decals in the foreground and the lighter tones in the background.

8. Make Room for a Window to Anywhere

Window frame wallpaper murals transform an area of wall space into a window to give the illusion of staring at the great outdoors. The best parts of this technique are that it’s simple to install, the murals usually can be repositioned and there are dozens of windows design and scenes to choose. So whether you want to glance out at a giant ocean wave or get mesmerized by city skyscrapers, you never have to open the windows to soak in the view!

9. Simply Recreate the Real World

Similar to an adhesive mural window, you can transform any room into just about any environment with a convincing illusion. For an industrial vibe, transform a wall in the living room with a brick themed wallpaper with white or red bricks. Go classic with a sepia-toned colored wallpaper that gives the illusion of a wall stuffed with books. Major advancements have been made in wallpaper production technology to give the illusion of truly realistic materials. Create a stone wall illusion in your bedroom or living room with textures that match your furniture and style.


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