Ryan Murphy's wallpapered 'fifth wall' envelopes his bedroom in 'curated nostalgia'

This master-suite with wallpapered ceiling is a classic art lovers dream

Ryan Murphy
(Image credit: Getty Images / Kevin Tachman/MG19 / Contributor)

Interior designers are embracing the ceiling wallpaper trend with incredible results, using celebrity client projects to exhibit breathtaking results in bedrooms.

Ceiling wallpaper ideas haven't been part of writer and director, Ryan Murphy's past home renovating projects with interior designer, David Cafiero, until now.

A passion for artists and designers from the 19th-century era, mean layers of biophilic color and pattern are the protagonists of this story on almost every surface including the ceiling.

Wallpapering the 'fifth wall' has been a growing wallpaper trend for a few years. However, enhancing the fifth wall with wallpaper for a dynamic and immersive look is not a new concept within interior design.

Thanks to the revolutionary printing processes of the time and innovative designers, such as William Morris, stylized natural forms became a sought-after decorating theme for a new generation of middle-classes. They wanted to showcase such beauty wherever possible in their homes towards the end of the 19th-century. This led to the wallpapered ceiling being highly fashionable.

Today popularity in trends such as maximalism and dark academia has made the art of papering the ceiling a modern movement once again. The daring yet sophisticated focal point can create an intimate and inviting atmosphere as well as transform the space with well-planned optical illusions.

Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene, says. 'When considering your design scheme, including the ceiling has become increasingly important and has a big impact on how the room will feel.'

'A sure way to elevate and add intrigue to a space, a wallpapered ceiling is a great option when wanting to add an injection of color or pattern to a room. For the ultimate statement, use the same wallpaper from wall to ceiling', agrees Chelsea Clark, head of brand at Lust Home.  

Ryan Murphy's main bedroom has been lovingly restored to portray a nostalgic era using carefully curated layers of texture and pattern.

Juxtaposing the opulent and vibrant upholstery fabric is Brunschwig & Fils Cevennes Print Onyx Toile wall-covering. The 'arts and crafts' style etch print illustrates a repeat pattern of exotic long-tailed birds in amongst large and trailing blooms.

Continuing the foliage-filled wallpaper onto the ceilings fills the space with wistful and elaborate characters.

'All-over foliage patterns and leafy wallpapers are a fantastic choice for taking onto the ceiling or in attic bedrooms, creating an enchanting and enveloping feel that brings the tranquil atmosphere of the forest canopy into the home,' continues Ruth Mottershead.

loft bedroom with wallpapered sloped ceilings

Similar bedroom

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Iconic American realist artists are laced into the groundwork of this primary bedroom as it was once the home of painter, Hans Hofmann. And, the muted base palette of the whole house takes inspiration from an earthy-toned painting by Winslow Homer. 

It is this balance of muted shades on custom-built millwork that allows the papered walls and ceiling to instill a sense of grand warmth that avoids any feeling of claustrophobia.

'To ensure the room ties together, we recommend picking a color from the wallpaper and using it on the adjoining walls to get the full effect... and a seamless finish from wall-to-ceiling,' explains Chelsea Clark.

The bedroom makes the ideal space to experiment when wallpapering a ceiling. This is an intimate zone where you spend a lot of time looking up, so, why not take the plunge? If the feature seems daring, start with a subtle pattern and gentle tone that soothes and calms your well-being. The unusual addition will instantly draw the eye upwards, make an interesting and unique feature as well as encourage a polished and ultra-contemporary finish.

'Don’t be afraid of embracing a small space with a comforting and intimate approach, wallpapering the ceiling will ensure the space feels loved and considered as well as maximizing pattern and color', continues Ruth Mottershead. 'It is a great way to finish off the look of a room and create instant impact.'