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Creating Impact With Wallpaper

June 1, 2024

Wallpaper had disappeared from interiors for many years, however it has really returned to the forefront of interior design over the past few years. It is a great way to achieve a beautiful and inspired home.

The role of wallpaper in interior design has grown tremendously over the past few years, and is a standard design feature in many projects.

One of the most important considerations when designing your home are your wall surfaces. Using paint or wallpaper can have a significant impact on costs, functionality and longevity of your interiors, as well as the integrity of your walls in older properties.

The misconception I often hear, is that wallpaper is too expensive, but this is not always true. Good quality paints can be quite costly too, so using wallpaper can not only help with costs but can also add incredible design and pattern to your home.

I love using wallpaper to create an immersive and decorative ambience to a room. This can just be a feature wall or a full room scheme, this very much depends on you and your design ideas.

Wallpaper faded from being ‘trendy’ for many years, however it has remerged again and really returned to the forefront of interior design in the past few years. It is an incredible way of adding pattern, colour, tone and texture to any room, regardless of size. It is a great way to achieve a beautiful and inspired interior.

Many of the independent textile designers now offer some beautiful wallpaper collections. As trends swing from muted interiors and return to introducing colour and texture in to our projects, wallpaper is a great way to express your own individual taste.

I am often asked whether you choose your wallpaper first or design the room first, and as always, there are no rules. Sometimes a client comes with a wallpaper they ‘really must have’, and so we design the room around this scheme. And of course, vice versa too! It is really down to your personal taste and design style.

Here are my personal top tips for introducing wallpaper in to your home.

Molly Mahon Wallpapers

The Size of Your Room or Space

One of the main factors to consider is the size of your room. This should help you to determine the scale of the design and pattern. Some interior designers suggest a small pattern in a small room, and larger patterns for large rooms. However, as always, rules are there to be bent to suit our style. It may seem counter-intuitive but large patterns can work really well in small spaces too.

I have seen a large pattern in a tiny downstairs cloakroom, used with such amazing effect! The tones were muted, and the design had a lot of breathing space, and it was most definitely a ‘wow’ room. My personal style is to not feel overwhelmed with a pattern and colour kaleidoscope when I enter a small room, I would like to feel restful, but perhaps your style is very different. This is where your own design ethos comes alive.

Consider Window Fabrics Alongside Wallpaper Decisions

It is always worth considering fabrics at the same time, so you can avoid patterns, colours and designs competing with each other. If your wallpaper has a big pattern with an array of colours, you may wish to consider a plain or textured fabric for blinds and curtains, such as linen or wool. And often a small wallpaper design benefits from curtains with a larger pattern. Use your own personal choice and eye to decide this, and you can always ask a friend or family member for their input. This can be invaluable!   

Take Time To Consider

Wallpaper is an artform in itself so it is wise to take time to consider the designs you are selecting and make sure you get it right.  Removing wallpaper is not always easy, and it is definitely not as easy to put up as painting the wall. Always purchase samples and hang them around the room, to make sure that the designs and colours are right, on both dull days and brighter days. Natural light changes often throughout the day, and will makes a big difference. I often recommend removing the samples you don’t like, and continue to eliminate until you are left with one or two choices. You can always put them back up again!

Take Time To Put It Up

Matching patterns is an artform and wallpaper is no different. Unless you have a really good eye for detail, and matching pattern joins, invest in an expert to put it up, if you can possibly afford to. It will be worth the costs!

Colefax Fowler Wallpapers

Some Important Things To Consider

Durability: will the wallpaper choice sustain a lot of wear, such as children’s playrooms, stairs or boot rooms. Think about its wearability in high contact areas. Paints are available in many different finishes, but wallpaper finishes are much more limited.

Breathability: always a consideration in old cottages with damp walls, or walls that need to breathe. Always check with the manufacturer on the quality of paper used, and the adhesives needed for older properties.

Imperfect Walls: If you have imperfect walls, a good quality wallpaper can help hide wall surface imperfections.

Quality Over Quantity: Using a good quality wallpaper is more practical than repainting walls after several years of use.

Sustainability: There are many more sustainable wallpapers on the market now, so check the paper sustainability with each manufacturer before buying.

Feature Walls: If you do not want a whole room of wallpaper, consider a feature wall instead, for understated impact.

Wallpaper Paste: Consider sustainable, environmentally friendly wallpaper paste. There are quite a few available which are acrylic and solvent free, non-toxic and free from preservatives. Always check with the company and check reviews to make sure it is the right adhesive for you and your wallpaper choice. And most importantly, check with the wallpaper supplier that that the paste is suitable to be used with the wallpaper you have chosen.

Wallpaper Inspiration! From Left To Right: Wallpapers from Inchyra, Josephine Munsey, Rapture & Wright

Be brave and explore wallpaper and have fun with your interior design project!

If you would like help in designing your home or are interested in our interior design services in Somerset and the surrounding areas, please do contact me. I look forward to working with you.