In this guest post, writer and interior enthusiast Susannah Felts shares her tips for picking the perfect wallpaper pattern for your space.
Have you been enchanted by the many gorgeous wallpaper patterns available these days? Can’t stop thinking about adding a pop of pattern to your home? Let’s make that vision a reality.
With a thoughtful approach, the payoff will be a visual delight for years to come, and it’s entirely possible to take things slow, or change course entirely. Covering a single accent wall can add personality and panache to even the coziest space. Here we share our tried and true tips for selecting the right wallpaper for your home.
Consider the size, style, and tone of your space. A delicate floral or textural design can play well in a larger room where it is likely to share the spotlight with artwork and other design elements. (And don’t be shy — designers say they’re seeing more and more full-room treatments these days, even papered ceilings.) By contrast, bold, large designs can provide a fun focal point in close confines, such as a closet, bathroom, or home-office nook.
Bathrooms and powder rooms for the win. Opening a door to reveal a small space splashed with an eye-catching pattern is a pretty delightful surprise. What’s not surprising is that bathrooms are among the most popular locations for wallpaper; it just feels fun and safe to make a statement with this space. Entryways are another especially wallpaper-friendly space. Don’t worry about humidity in the bathroom: a wallpaper primer will do wonders for adhesion, but do avoid papering any area that comes in direct contact with water.
Go bold or go…subtle. A bright, cheerful pattern will bring instant energy to a high-traffic or cozy space, but wallpaper can create soothing and serene, formal and elegant, or chic and modern vibes as well with options like minimalist line-work motifs, geometrics, neutral shades, and textures. Florals and leafy motifs work well in bedrooms, and in 2022 shades of green are having a moment. A formal dining room might call for a shimmery finish or big-statement pattern.
Some walls sing “paper me!” louder than others. An accent wall — a single wall papered or otherwise designed differently than others in a given space — is a great way to put pattern to work in your home. For sight impact, choose a wall across from a doorway. The wall behind a bed is another proven winner. And there’s no problem with papering a wall that contains windows. Consider how the color, tone, and pattern style of your accent wall work with the overall visual flow of your home.
Sample, sample, sample. We all know how different things can look on screen versus in real life. Most wallpaper retailers will happily send you samples, so order up and have fun with this stage of the process. Tape samples on walls you’re considering papering and observe their patterns, colors, and textures at different times of day, even in different seasons, which can affect the natural lighting of your space.
To DIY or call in a professional? : That’s a big question, and there’s no one answer. It is entirely possible to install your own wallpaper, and retailers offer a wealth of helpful instruction videos. If you’re on the fence, ask yourself: Do you have DIY experience? Are you comfortable with the possibility of a few flaws, or do you want a spotless job? How much time and energy do you realistically have to put toward this project? Whatever route you take, a pop of color and pattern will liven up your walls like nothing else.
Above all, let your personal style instinct lead the way and, if you’re drawn to a particular pattern, think about what it shares with existing or other planned design features in your home. A sense of continuity from one space to the next is always a good rule of thumb. Does your home favor warm or cool tones, or neutrals? Considering this before you deep-dive into colors will help with decision-making.
Written by Susannah Felts