6 Essential Tips for Choosing Wallpaper

When it comes to interior styling, wallpaper is not a dirty word to be thrown in with velour couches and shag-pile carpet! In fact, contemporary wallpaper is the smart, modern way to add space, interest – and value – to your home.

“Wallpaper is a great way of bringing multiple colours and tones into a room rather than committing to one single paint colour,” assures Melbourne-based illustrator, Mairead Murphy, who recently launched a range of delectable wallpaper designs. But its benefits don’t stop there, she adds. Clever wallpaper choices can enlarge and enlighten a stale space, create an eye-catching focal point and possibly make you rethink a room renovation!

Follow these expert tips below to makeover your own home with wallpaper. 

Beyond the paint

Here are four wallpaper trends to get carried away with:

1. Textures

Credit: culturedcivility.com

Adding warmth and intimacy to a cooler, more open and and even drafty space of the home is easily achievable through textural wallpaper. You can go for natural threads or patterned options, and the tactile effect creates a lovely enclosing energy.

2. Floral

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Flowers can be perceived as passé or incredibly popular, but, as Mairead notes, when choosing a wallpaper for your home the most important thing is that you love it. “Everything will date to some extent and if you are too worried about something dating, you might not make the choice based on what you really think will work best in your home,” she explains. “Then you’ll miss out on having wonderful, unique walls you wish you had.”

3. Geometric

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Monochrome shapes and designs can be subtly done – with ghosting tones – or more dramatically with bold black and white. Triangles, squares and multi-coloured approaches offer a hard-to-miss statement but if you find them too masculine, go for white on cream or pastel hues for a modernist touch.

4. Wall as art

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Sometimes with wallpaper, less is more, so pick and choose by only papering one feature wall to create a strong focal point within a space. This is perfect for those who have few art pieces to hang but want to make impact on a room. “I think that a beautiful, illustrated wallpaper crosses into both interior design and artwork,” says Mairead. “Artwork will always play a very important role in interior spaces but wallpaper blends into the essence of a room in a different way.”

6 essential tips to choosing wallpaper

1. Don’t order online

“Always order a swatch of the actual paper to look at in your space,” suggests Mairead, as she warns that papers will look different in real life and will change depending on the light you have in your room. “You might like the way the pattern looks in photos but not the texture of the paper. It’s always best to check with a sample.”

2. Work with what you have

Have a look at the colours and textures you already have in the room and even if you are going to give the room a little lift with some new fabrics, unless you are using the wallpaper as the basis for a complete overhaul, you will need to work in with colours and furniture you have.

3. Prep makes perfect

Make sure you have a well prepped surface ensuring  all old paper and glue is removed and any new plasterwork is primed.

4. Style to scale

Choose a pattern that fits the scale of your room. "Working out how many repeats you will get across your wall will give you a good idea of how the scale works," Mairead suggests.

5. Take in the view

Think about where else in the house you might see the wallpaper from so it becomes a feature from various vantage points within adjoining spaces.

6. Create space

Credit: harpersbazaar.com

“You can use a wallpaper with a vertical or horizontal pattern to emphasize the height or width of your small space,” says Mairead. “This is definitely something that can’t be achieved with a paint colour.”

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