The Dos and Don’ts of Wallpaper

Wallpaper belongs in another design era, in Grandma’s house and charming old cottages. Doesn’t it?

Not anymore! Wallpaper is making a huge comeback in incredible new colors, textures, and patterns and is showing up just about everywhere. So how do you use wallpaper without transforming your house into a bad ’70s throwback? Read on.

Do:

  • Pick a paper that you truly love. You can’t just paint over it if you get sick of it soon. There are thousands of patterns, colors, and even textures available – you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your space.
traditional dining room The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
modern dining room The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
contemporary wallpaper The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
eclectic wallpaper The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
eclectic wallpaper The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
(Yes… those are really all wallpaper.)
  • Start slow (especially good for the faint of heart) – for a visual pop of interest, paper a small part of your home, like the back of a bookshelf, cabinet, or closet:
eclectic family room The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
A door or piece of furniture in need of a facelift:
eclectic kids The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
On stair risers:
traditional staircase The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
Or in panels, silhouettes, or over one specific area:
eclectic living room The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
eclectic kids The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
eclectic living room The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
  • If you’re a little more adventurous, paper one feature wall or even the ceiling!
beach style entry The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
contemporary bedroom The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
transitional living room The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
eclectic bedroom The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
  • Today’s wallpaper is incredibly versatile. You can opt for a removable paper or decals if you don’t want to commit to a fully papered wall (or walls). This is perfect for a kid’s room (or for the commitment-phobes among us) – when s/he tires of or outgrows the design, just peel it off!
contemporary kids The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
modern kids The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
modern family room The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper

Don’t:

  • Attempt to hang wallpaper yourself unless you are a professional (or you’re hanging a small decal or using very plain paper and know what you’re doing). There’s nothing worse than crooked, seamed, sagging or peeling paper!
  • Paper a textured or angled wall. Wallpaper looks best on a flat, smooth wall without tricky turns or corners.
  • Paper an entire room in a bold pattern or mix busy patterns on walls, ceiling and/or flooring (unless you’re going for the psychedelic acid trip look). Too much of a good thing makes it a bad thing.
contemporary bathroom The Dos and Donts of Wallpaper
  • Paper your entire house. Again, too much of a good thing and all that. A fully wallpapered house is likely to give off that Grandma’s-house vibe.

Tell us about your wallpaper (old and new) in the comments!

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