Choosing Wallpaper

If you thought choosing a paint color was difficult, wait until you try to pick out a wallpaper!  Not only are you choosing colors – as in more than one – but textures and patterns as well.  

Consider current trends – dated wallpaper will date your house in a heartbeat, so think classic.  The past twenty years have seen patterns every which way throughout the house, then boom, no pattern and practically no color.  But now texture and detail with patterns that aren't quite so busy are hot.  Metallic and texture is in – but will it last?  Metallics, probably not, but texture looks to be a trend with staying power.  Tone-on-tones such as damasks are classics that are timeless.

Try these other helpful hints for choosing wallpaper when redecorating and choosing wallpaper:

  • Stripes are classic, but if you’re considering a DIY project, you may want to skip them.  If you’re in an older house, you know by now that the rooms aren’t perfectly square.  Lining up those stripes and making them look straight is a task better left for professionals if you must have stripes.  Personally, I find it easier to paint stripes on the wall using painter’s tape than hanging striped wall paper.
  • Choose warmer colors in wallpaper for rooms with low natural lighting.
  • For kitchens and baths, choose a durable paper with vinyl, it’s easier to clean.
  • For a child’s room, choose a paper that your child won’t outgrow within the next few years. 
  • Choose larger patterns for larger rooms.  A large pattern in a small room will make the space look even smaller.
  • Take a paint chip or sample from your trim when picking the paper – if you’re going to paint, now’s the time – before the wallpaper goes up.
  • Use samples to live with for a few days and check how they look in various lighting, and how they look with your furnishings.
  • Can’t decide and you’re ready to chicken out, choose a classic damask or toile, they never go out of style.  Faux finish papers are a safe choice as well.

If you’re wavering on wallpaper, consider the room itself – wallpapers work best in rooms with ‘hard’ furnishings, such as kitchens, bathrooms and dining rooms.  Rooms with softer furnishings, the bedroom and living room, tend to do better with paint, a faux finish is a perfectly acceptable substitute!