Choosing the Right Wallpaper for your Space

Wallpaper is often thought to be passè, so most homeowners use paint to spruce up the walls of their home. Don't completely overlook this option, though, as the right kind of wallpaper doesn't have to look outdated or make a room seem small. It is all about choosing the best wallpaper for the space. Here are some tips to help you with your decision:

Types of Wallpaper

Not every type of wallpaper is made of vinyl, which is the default material. Vinyl wallpaper is easy to hang, easy to clean, and easy to remove if you want to change the look of the room. Consider others materials, though, as vinyl isn't the only good option.

  • You can use textiles or textures to create a more modern feel to the walls. Fabric is more difficult to hang and clean, but works well in large rooms that don't have a lot of moisture. You can also use foils or flocks, which give the room a metallic or velvet look, respectively.
  • Natural materials like grass or bamboo can be hard to hang but work well for a more modern look, since they are so different from traditional wallpapers.
  • Consider choosing a wallpaper design that can be painted over for a unique look. You want an embossed texture in this case. Embossed papers are easy to hang and work well on walls that have bumps, grooves, or other texture problems.

Wallpaper Pattern

Although you can find wallpaper that is solid, most wallpaper has a pattern. Patterns can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal (“drop”), and choosing the right pattern can make all the difference in a room.

  • If your walls aren't perfectly square, as is usually the case in older rooms, avoid horizontal and vertical patterns, which will only make this problem more noticeable. Instead, choose a solid color or diagonal pattern.
  • If you're dealing with low ceilings, look for a vertical pattern. This will draw the eye up and make the room seem taller.
  • Avoid patterned wallpaper in spaces where the wallpaper will need to be cut often. It can be hard to match up the patterns perfectly.
  • Think about the size of the pattern. In a large space, oversized, wide stripes might look fine, but in a small space, big patterns will seem overwhelming and close in the room even more.

Consider the Room's Use

Often, choosing a wallpaper design will depend on how the room will be used. Consider the following points.

  • If you're going to use the wallpaper in a bathroom, look for one that is specifically made to be water resistant. Otherwise, it will peel easily in just a few months.
  • You may not always notice it, but the kitchen produces a lot of smells. Avoid wallpaper in this room so that those smells aren't trapped. If you do use wallpaper, chose one with dark colors, as white and cream colors will discolor quickly in a kitchen.
  • For a kid's room or entryway, look for a wallpaper design that is easy to clean, durable, and stain resistant. Otherwise, you'll end up tearing the wallpaper as you try to scrub off dirt and crayon marks.


Wallpaper comes in just about every color and design you can imagine. When you decide to wallpaper a space, it can be frustrating and overwhelming trying to choose the perfect design. Here's how to make sure the color works for your space:

  • Don't use deep, heavy colors in a small room. Dark designs are best used in large rooms that have a lot of windows.

  • Look at the furniture (like the sofas) and textiles (like the bedspreads) being used in the room in question. Find a wallpaper that uses the same color as an accent in the design, but avoid finding a wallpaper design that is primarily the same color.
  • Avoid fads. Like with paint color choices, sometimes it is best to go with neutral than it is to choose a bright color that is in style right now.

Other Considerations

When choosing a wallpaper design, there are two other main features that you have to keep in mind - price and ease of removal. If you have a low budget, paint or vinyl wallpaper might be the only thing you can afford. Instead of compromising on quality, though, consider choosing a more expensive and higher-quality wallpaper, but only using it on one wall or using it just halfway up the wall and installing a chair rail.

Remember, though, there may come a day when you no longer want the wallpaper on your walls. This is especially true if you'll be selling your home in the future - it's usually better to remove wallpaper and apply a neutral paint instead before you make any attempts to put your home on the market. Plan ahead for that day by looking for a wallpaper design that is easy to remove when you want to change the look of your home. You'll thank yourself later.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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