Where does one start?
So, you’re interested in decorating your home with wallpaper, but you have absolutely no idea how to go about it. Colour, texture, substrates – these words mean nothing to you. You’ve never lived in a house with wallpaper before, and it’s not something you grew up with, so where do you start?
Right here, of course, with our handy wallpaper tips for beginners! We’re not going to tell you how to install wallpaper but rather give you some tips to help you avoid some simple mistakes.
Why choose wallpaper?
It’s a good question, and the simple answer is that it adds incredible visual impact to any space and can really transform a home. It really helps when your room seems fragmented and isn’t coming together like the Instagram pics you’ve been admiring. There are also such a variety of choices available, from bold patterns, to more subtle designs, to textures, you’ll have a vast array of designs on offer, ideal for every room, every personality and every aesthetic. So no matter what your personal style or preference, you’re sure to find the right type of wallpaper for your needs. Not to mention the fact that wallpaper is easy to clean, install and remove, it’s nothing like the wallpaper your grandma lived with.
Eijffinger's Museum 307411 mural brings a striking feature to this space
What do you want to achieve?
Do you want your wallpaper to create instant visual appeal, or do you want it to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the room? Do you want it to evoke a certain mood or style, or do you want it to act as the background for the other elements in your space? Before choosing your wallpaper, you need to be confident about the role you want it to play, as this will inform your choice of colour and design. It’s here you’ll need to trust your instincts and go with what will make you comfortable or alternatively get some advice from a professional. It’s your home, so make sure it’s one you love living in.
An elegant understated patterned wallpaper by JV Ikat 6435
What kind of space are you working with?
Speaking of living spaces, it’s important to consider the actual room you’ll be decorating as well. Remember that while your wallpaper is key, it’s only one element of the room – which means you’ll need to take the entire look of your space into account when making your wallpaper choice. All of your styling choices need to complement each other, from furnishings to fabrics to accessories, so make sure to bear this in mind.
Eijffinger's Artifact 312401 wallpaper just finishes off this space
What kind of style do you want to create?
The style of your room is another factor to take into consideration. Do you want the room that you’re decorating to be formal, casual, sophisticated or quirky? For rooms with a more formal feel, choose wallpaper that has a more tailored look. If you’d prefer a more casual look, hand-drawn patterns, organic shapes and a freer colour palette will help to achieve the look, creating a relaxed feel in your space. Think about the style of your entire home so that you create a harmonious and consistent look and feel. Always think about how your family lives and uses a room and this should dictate how you decorate the room. It’s all about the mood you’re trying to evoke, so make sure to take this into account when choosing your wallpaper design.
Create plenty of mood with this Eijffinger Posy 316083 wallpaper panel
What’s your colour palette?
This is perhaps one of the most important choices you’ll be making when it comes to your wallpaper. Lighter colours can make a room seem bigger, while darker colours can make a room seem more moody and intimate. Warm colours can set a welcoming tone, while cooler colours can create a soothing, calming effect. Think about the tone you’re trying to set with your living space, and then choose your colours to match. If you’re only adding a new wallpaper to your space, don’t just go with a design you’ve fallen in love with, rather carefully consider all the colours and patterns already in the room and select something that will work with all of them. If you are lucky enough to be doing a total room renovation, it's then much easier to start with the wallpaper selection and work all your other décor choices around it.
Eijffinger's Twist 318032 stylized leafy wallpaper creates a warm welcoming space
What kind of patterns or textures would you like?
When it comes to patterns, textures, murals and more, it’s here where you can really let your personality shine:
- Patterns: If you have a small space that you’d like to open up, smaller patterns can help to make a room seem larger, and, depending on the pattern, can lend a quirky sense of fun as well. Similarly, vertical stripes can help to make ceilings seem higher, while horizontal stripes can help bring the ceiling down, widening the room and giving it a more contemporary feel. Large, bold patterns can help make a big room seem smaller and bring a sense of cosiness, with darker colours helping to achieve this same effect too.
- Textures: If you’re new to wallpaper, then you’ll be new to the huge variety of textures on offer too. Textured wallpaper will always be on trend, and can help add an instant feeling of luxury to your living space, particularly when combined with other elements like rugs, throws, cushions and more. With a variety of different finishes available, you’ll be able to choose from suede and velvet flocking, beading, metallic finishes, glitter, embossing, and natural finishes like grass cloths too. If you choose a vinyl quality, you will get loads of texture and your wallpaper will be easily washable, and you’ll have a home that looks fabulous, and is easy to maintain as well.
- Murals: Whether you want to paper an entire room, or make an impact with a statement wall, murals are always a popular choice. You can achieve a dramatic effect due to the large scale and format of the design, and the visual appeal they can create is second to none. What’s more, with the range available, you’ll be able to transform your walls into artworks on their own, with no need for any additional art or photography. Florals are always a popular choice, as are landscapes and jungle themes, however with the vast selection on offer, you’ll have more than enough designs to choose from, and more than enough ways to wow your family and friends.
A striking jungle mural from Eijffinger Oasis 317408
What type of substrate do you need?
When we say ‘substrate’, we literally mean the type of surface the wallpaper is printed on. Different substrates are suitable for different uses, as you’ll see:
- Non-woven wallpapers are made of the same fibres as your disposable face mask but of course, a lot thicker. These ‘paste-the-wall’ wallcoverings are much quicker and easier to hang than other wallpapers and the process is not as messy as the old method of pasting the wallpaper. They are also very easy to remove when you’re looking for a change in your room, so don’t worry, wallpaper is not forever and stripping and installing a new design is now really easy with non-woven substrates.
- Vinyl wallpapers are non-absorbent – as a result they’re easily washable, making them ideal for wet rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. Vinyl is thick, durable, stain-resistant, and can withstand steam, which means if you’re looking to wallpaper part or all of a kitchen or bathroom, it’s always the best choice. Read our blog post on Wacky Bathroom Wallpapers for more tips on using vinyls in bathrooms.
- If the room you want to wallpaper has a limited amount of natural light, a foil or mylar wallpaper is an excellent choice, as its reflective surface helps to bring light into dark spaces. You’ll need to ensure that the wall or walls you’re choosing to wallpaper are free from any imperfections however, as the wallpaper will highlight these.
- If your walls do have any small imperfections, chunky textural wallpapers like grass cloth or cork are excellent for drawing attention away from these flaws. These can however be difficult to hang, and so one should definitely hire the services of a professional for such an installation.
The magical textures and impact of Natural Wallcoverings