Vinyl’s gotten gorgeous—here’s how to use it at home and fool everyone
Easy to look at, easy to clean
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Fact: Vinyl has gotten a bad rap.
Liz Ferguson of Hellofromliz.com, a home optimization blog that focuses on interior design as well as offering tips on living small and sustainably, says, “Vinyl records have always been cool; vinyl as a material for interiors, not so much.”
Vinyl has been historically known as the choice for rough-and-tumble households, for people who don’t care about aesthetics. It is easy to clean and can take a beating, so who cares if it is pretty?
But, these days, washability is a huge bonus rather than a raison d’être, and as for aesthetics, vinyl has come a long way from ugly tiles and cheap seats. You can find everything from high-end faux leather furniture to on-trend wall coverings that collectively put yesteryear’s vinyl vision to shame.
With smaller price tags and less commitment (peel-and-stick decals, we’re looking at you), there’s a temporary vibe to vinyl. It allows you to change up your décor on a whim, something that today’s homeowners love as they’re exiting the pandemic with interior overhauls in the works.
Here are a few top ways to introduce vinyl into your home décor.
Vinyl fabric makes a great faux leather
For a quick and easy makeover, go faux and use vinyl "leather" to reupholster a stool or chair from the thrift store.
Bonus: by using a vinyl fabric, you can situate the piece of furniture either indoors or outdoors.
“Unlike real leather, which you would never put outside, you can get the same look with vinyl and place your new piece wherever you want,” explains Ferguson. “It’s also a more animal-friendly material than leather, and [some] vinyl can even be recycled.”
The pros also have you covered, with several furniture lines adding vinyl fabric to their catalog of pieces.
- Get the Elgin Arm Chair at Wayfair for $149.99
- Get the Modway Regent Modern Tufted Faux Leather Upholstered Dining Chairs, set of 2, at Amazon for $321
Vinyl flooring offers easy-to-clean options
Because of its ease of clean up—i.e., a quick wipe down—your floor is a top place to cover in vinyl. Don’t worry, this is a far cry from the tacky ‘70s tiles you may be imagining from your youth. Today’s vinyl flooring is impressive and trendy, ranging from faux wooden planks to Mexican “ceramic” vinyl floor tiles.
Ferguson recommends, “Vinyl flooring is absolutely the way to go if you’re looking for more bang for your buck and want to upgrade a larger floor space.”
She suggests ensuring you get large enough samples of everything before you commit to a look, and consider how your transitions will flow between rooms and onto steps. Many tiles lock in place, making them an easy DIY project.
If you don’t want to commit to an entire install, vinyl floor cloths can be an alternative and more modifiable addition to your space. These rugs translate to no crying over spilt milk, literally. They wipe clean and are durable for high traffic areas, such as the kitchen, dining room, or kid’s room.
- Get the Geo Collection Astral Gray Perfection Floor Tile at Lowe’s for $4.55 per square foot
- Get Spicher and Company’s I Am Not A Bumblebee Vintage Vinyl Floor Cloths at Rugs Direct starting at $39
- Get Spicher and Company’s 46 Empty Spaces Between the Stars Vintage Vinyl Floor Cloth Mats at Hudson & Vine starting at $58.50
Vinyl wraps aren’t just for cars
Ferguson notes that the floor isn’t the only place in the kitchen where vinyl fits right in.
Using the same technique used to wrap a car with a brand logo, a professional can transform your kitchen appliances using a vinyl wrap or appliqué.
“Reach out to your local custom vinyl shop for appliques for your appliances,” she suggests. “If you've ever wished your fridge matched your cabinets or that your stove was pink instead of plain old stainless steel, they can make it happen.”
And, the best part: It’s completely reversible, should you fancy a change.
Wall vinyl means easy application
Wall vinyl—whether panels, wall coverings, wall tiles, or decals—are the next best thing to a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes, these wall vinyl ideas can even surpass the time-consuming wet work of rolling and painting with easy installation.
When it comes to wall vinyl, you’re certainly not short for options. You can get colorful with patterns, or even fake the real deal with high quality vinyl that simulates grasscloth or linen.
- Get the Bauhaus Records Wallpaper at Spoonflower for $57.60
- Get the Retro Starburst Vinyl Wall Decals, set of 18, at Etsy for $23.50
- Get the Novogratz Constellations Metallic Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper at Wayfair for $1.46 per square foot
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.