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.
(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:
A door or piece of furniture in need of a facelift:
On stair risers:
Or in panels, silhouettes, or over one specific area:
  • If you’re a little more adventurous, paper one feature wall or even the ceiling!
  • 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!

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.
  • 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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2 Responses

  1. Emily from Bayswater

    I made the mistake to hang my wallpapers by myself and it was a disaster. A week later I hire professionals to do the job so now everything is perfect. I chose the pattern of the wallpapers very carefully and even discuss it with a designer. Some of the pictures you’ve shared are just amazing and give me inspiration to make some changes at home this summer :) For example I like the idea of stair risers. This will be my new project for sure. Thank you for the article, the pictures and the tips.

    • Thanks, Emily! Glad you enjoyed. Post pictures of your summer updates when you have some!

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