Don’t neglect the idea of wallpaper when you’re looking for a way to add color, pattern or visual interest to a living space. Unlike paint, which is typically applied in a single color – or requires significantly accurate measuring and taping to create a perfect pattern – wallpaper is available in a seemingly infinite array of colors, patterns, styles – and even textures.
Tips for Choosing Just-Right Wallpaper For Your Space
Here are tips for selecting the right paper for your walls.
- Identify your goal. What is your goal for the space? There are so many stunning prints out there these days, that it’s easy to get swept away by all the possibilities when you’re standing amidst the selections. Instead, identify your main goals so you can focus on the right possibilities when you get there. Are you trying to add texture? Depth? Reflective value? Want to set a tone or tell a story? Would you like to add some wow factor? Bring these goals with you as you shop for wallpaper and cull through the samples.
- Did we say paper? Yes, it’s called wallpaper, but we should really use the term wall covering because there are so many different materials out there. Today’s wall coverings are made from a range of materials, like Japanese silk, sisal, cork or grass cloth. They are printed to look like a mural or the finest artistic renderings. You can select wall coverings that are perfectly illustrated and textured to mimic natural stone or wood. Make sure you’ve looked at, felt and imagined all of the above before making your choice.
- Sample, sample, sample. Just like carpet, cabinet doors or tiles, you can get wallpaper samples to try out in your home. I highly recommend you do so, putting the samples in place and living with them for a while so you can see how they feel, whether you love them consistently, and how they are affected by changes in light or by the view from other rooms. That brings us to the next tip…
- Imagine it from other surroundings. Do you have an open floor plan or is a section of your prospective wall-papered space visible from another room or area? If so, consider all of the surroundings. You may find that the wallpaper you’re planning as an accent wall in your dining or living room doesn’t look so hot when viewed from an adjacent room with a different color or pattern scheme. It might clash, appear over-busy or be visually jarring.
- Don’t limit yourself. If you love a busy pattern or a bold color but feel it will be overwhelming, consider creative alternatives. For example, it might make more sense to use the wallpaper on only one wall, as a half wall, or in panels with beautiful wood trim around them. That way you get to have the pattern or color you want, while retaining the ability to tone the effect down a bit using the blank space(s) around it.
- Go professional all the way. One of the reasons wallpaper can feel so daunting is that it isn’t as easy to “do-over” when compared to paint. Yes, you can do it on your own, and if you’ve successfully applied wallpaper in the past, then go for it. I, on the other hand, feel that it’s worth every penny to work with a professional wallpaper installer. First, the installer will know exactly how much paper you’ll need, saving you from wasting money on paper you won’t use, or being just a few inches shy of completing the job. Also, the finished job will be done right – patterns properly aligned, no gaps, wrinkles or crooked spots, and the paper will stay put as it’s meant to.