How to Choose the Right Wallpaper for your Space

Wallpaper has made a significant comeback in home design over the last several years, and I love it. From graphic prints to the return of grasscloth (my absolute favourite!) there are plenty of options to choose from, and naturally, that can feel overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider: space, the room’s functionality, your style, and your comfort levels. While bold prints seem to be the most popular for homeowners, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to follow suit. Subtle botanicals or monochrome papers are just as impactful.

Decide on your roll width.

You’re probably thinking: what does that even mean? When estimating how many rolls of wallpaper you need, you have to decide on width first. Many wallpapers tend to either be 27 inches in width or 20.5 inches in width. The best way to estimate the number of rolls needed is to consult a professional paper hanger—they know best!

How will you use the wallpaper in the room?

How do you plan to use the wallpaper in the room? All styles don’t work in the same way. If you’re looking to cover all four walls, then opt for a classic, simple pattern (stripes, perhaps) that can hang horizontally for a simple design that won’t overwhelm the space. Lines and small-scale nature-inspired designs have a timeless appeal and are less likely to date. Larger-scale prints usually date more quickly.

If you’re doing a feature wall, then you can go big! Choose a dramatic, bold pattern to highlight a room area, if that’s behind your couch, bed, or in a small powder room. It’s impactful and stunning!

Grey wallpaper above bathtub

Image courtesy of Interiors Addicts

How’s about the ceiling? For years that was considered a major faux pas, but today it’s making a comeback. If you love the look of tin ceilings, plenty of paints offer a metallic shade that can help easily achieve that coveted Victorian-style tin ceiling look.

Do your due diligence.

Look at a lot of patterns and styles – a lot. With the large variety of designs to consider, you want to make sure you’re taking your time and choosing the right look for you. Pinterest is a beautiful platform for your research: Create a folder or board of images that you love and then imagine them in your own space. Please keep an open mind and have fun with it! When you see the paper you love, you will feel it.

Source samples

Just like a paint sample, you should always grab a selection of the wallpapers you’re considering. Temporarily attach it to the wall where you want it to be applied and keep it there for a few days so you can take the time to consider it. This helps to look at the paper at different times of the day: In the mornings, sunlight is hitting it or in the evening when the light is low. Many wallpaper websites will have galleries where you can view inspirational images of designs in a situation – this can help you visualize the pattern on a larger scale.

Image courtesy of Etsy

Decide on pattern size.

The scale of the pattern of the wallpaper can completely alter the dynamics of your room. A larger-scale print tends to make a room feel more intimate, while a smaller design can give the illusion of more space and light. Understand your room dynamics, and you will be able to decide on the right pattern size for you.

The light in the room

One of the best initial considerations to keep in mind is how much natural light the room you plan to wallpaper receives during the day. Whether it’s a lot of natural light or if it’s a south-facing space that struggles to see the sun, consider the mood created by the presence or absence of light.