Up on the blog this week, I am featuring wallpaper (wallcovering). It can be an intimidating part of the interior design of your home. Gone are the days of the bright yellow wallpaper that you remember from your grandmother's house. It’s time to give wallpaper another chance as an alternative to paint. Here’s how to choose a wallpaper that will work best in your home.
Choosing the proper style and/or material of wallpaper is much more involved than you would think. While bold prints are often the most popular style among homeowners here in Philadelphia, there are many other options to consider such as: woven grass, wood grain, metallic, cork, birch, moire and botanicals. The wallcovering you choose can make a room appear bigger, warmer, and brighter (or vice versa), and even hide imperfect elements."Once you've made the commitment to wallpaper, there are a few interior design style questions you need to answer," says Jennifer Sherlock from wallpaper house Wallpaper to Match Room Style.
First, consider the style of the room that you're designing:
If it's romantic, try delicate damasks and florals with fine lines in muted, pastel colors.
If it's casual, faux finishes such as beadboard and stucco are simple, casual options. Pairing beadboard wallpaper with organic, flowing floral designs also makes for an at-home, relaxed feel.
If it's contemporary/fashion forward, consider bold geometrics with high gloss and metallic accents. Large-scale and bold florals also make a high-fashion statement this year.
If it's traditional, check out intricate damasks and stripes, which coordinate perfectly with traditional furnishings and decor.
How You Will Use Wallpaper in the Room
Next, figure out how you plan to use the wallpaper in the room. All styles don't work in the same way. Here are the various options:
Cover all four walls. A classic, simple stripe design hung horizontally on all four walls gives a fresh contemporary look. Large-scale and simple designs will not overwhelm a room but add a trendy twist.
Feature one wall. Choose a dramatic, bold pattern to highlight an area of a room, such as behind a sofa or bed. Designs with a hint of metallic, mica, or gloss will give a classy, glamorous touch.
Wallpaper with a chair rail. If you are working with a chair rail that divides a wall, it is easy to bring unique interest to it. For a classic look, try paintable beadboard wallpaper for under the chair rail. Above the chair rail, hang a large-scale floral or damask for an updated look. Another interesting way to work with a chair rail is to anchor the wall with a pattern below it, such as dramatic damask wallpaper, and paint a coordinating color above it. Adding wallpaper in this fashion creates a unique element of surprise not often seen in rooms.
Add interest to the ceiling. I love the idea of using wallpaper on the ceiling. It really is a dramatic interior design statement!
Avoid Small Patterns
If you're wallpapering for the first time, avoid very small patterns with offset matches. For these, the designs can be difficult to match up in repeat.
Flat vs. Textured Patterns
Choosing a flat or textured design is all about personal style. In general, textured patterns give a more casual look to a room, whereas flat designs can make a wall more refined. Hide Flaws with Texture.Patterns with real or perceived texture can hide or camouflage wall imperfections or architectural eyesores. Patterns with actual tactile surfaces include grass and string cloth, burlap, foil, expanded vinyl, and even fabric. Other papers simulate the look of marble, wood, leather, fabric, even animal skins. A pattern with a layered design also creates a perception of texture (such as a monochromatic damask design behind a floral pattern).
With flat wallpapers, you have the options of fine detailing in design, and embellishments such as metallic, gloss, or mica effects. If you have imperfections in your walls, but prefer the look of flat wallpaper, using a wall liner as a base layer can give you the added coverage you need.
Take a Cue from Color
Color can set the interior design mood in a room. To make a space appear larger and the ceiling higher, pick patterns with cool-color backgrounds, such as green, blue, or violet. Soft cool colors suggest tranquillity, while intense cool colors are fresh and dramatic. Warm colors -- reds, yellows, and oranges -- live up to their name and actually make people feel warmer. These are a popular choice in colder climates like here in Philadelphia and also work well in north-facing rooms. The more intense the color, the more excitement it will give to a room.
Play with Light
In a north-facing room, dark hallway, or windowless space, look for wallcoverings that will reflect light around the room, such as patterns with light colors and those with metallic or iridescent inks. Also consider patterns with smooth surfaces, which reflect maximum light. Dark colors absorb light, making walls appear closer and the room smaller. Textured surfaces also tend to make a wall look darker. If you are very adventurous, you should go for LED integrated wallcovering.
I hope that you enjoyed reading these wallcovering tips for your home in Philadelphia, the main line and the Tri-State area. Please leave me a comment below and let me know what space you are getting ready to wallpaper!
In addition to being a Philadelphia residential Interior Designer, I also design boutique hotels, fitness centers, office spaces, multi family development projects, other commercial spaces such as office and retail spaces, and the senior living community throughout the tri state area. We work here in Philadelphia, the main line, and even Nationally! If you enjoyed reading this piece please leave a comment and let us know. AND, let's get social. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and connect on LinkedIn!
About our Founder
Tina Delia, a native of Ocean County, NJ, current resident of Philadelphia, is the Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Delia Designs. For the past nine years, Tina has been steadfast in her vision and continues to develop herself personally and professionally. She is dedicated to excellence and insistence on forward thinking design.
At the forefront of her designs is the idea that our spaces have the ability to transform our lives. She is looking to move us, inspire us to see, think and create freely. After all, it's not only about creating beautiful spaces, it's about touching the lives of the people who live, work and walk through those spaces.