Designer Tips: How to Add Style With Wallpaper

Wallpaper. It’s classic, elegant, and an excellent way to add pattern and texture to your interior. Wallpaper can be the perfect accent and when it is used right, it can transform the ambiance of an entire space. However, when it is used poorly, it can be overwhelming and make a room feel out of balance.

With so many different ways to go wrong (and right!), we asked our designers to provide us with a few helpful tips and suggestions for how to create a beautiful space with wallpaper.


Before you get started, decide what type of wallpaper is best for your home. There are two primary types of wallpaper: man made and natural papers. The most common type of wallpaper is a lightweight vinyl which can be easy to remove. Some vinyls, are water resistant, which makes them ideal for high moisture rooms. The other type is natural fiber wallpaper, which can be as thick as fine fabrics, or textured like those made with natural grass, string, and even cork.

Man-made Wallpaper. The more common wallpapers are perfect for nearly every area of the home, including bathrooms and mudrooms. Usually, they are lightweight wallpapers and are designed for easy removal. These papers are often chosen for locations where moisture is a concern or where walls are often wiped down, such as kitchens and mudrooms. They are also good for more than just practical reasons; they are also a great way to add a pop of interest and fun to rooms that are often neglected.

Note: While these wallpapers are easy to remove, they are not as permanent. If you desire wallpaper that lasts longer, you may want to consider a heavy paper.

Natural Fiber Wallpaper. If you are someone who loves to move your paintings and wall decor frequently, consider using a heavy grass wallpaper, which is perfect for hiding previous nail and other mounting holes. Also, heavy natural fiber wallpapers are perfect for disguising the common imperfections of older, plaster walls. Like an elegantly tailored suit, or beautifully made designer shoes, the superior quality of these heavier papers is instantly recognizable.

Note: Some heavier wallpapers require the use of strong glues, which makes them more difficult to remove. If you choose a heavier wallpaper, be sure you love it and use it in a room that you are less likely to redecorate.


Before you start, decide where in your home you would like to have wallpaper. Do you want to wallpaper every room in your home? Or do you only want to use it in your powder room and other smaller rooms? Where you decide to use wallpaper in your home will affect the type and style you choose.

Small Rooms. Your powder room, laundry room, and foyers are often forgotten or seen as too small to design. However, wallpaper is the perfect way to add pattern, color, and texture to a small space. Give your little rooms some love and add a pattern that you adore. If you are going for a contemporary look, consider wallpapering one wall as a point of interest.

High Traffic Areas. Avoid wallpapers with added surface texture, such as sand and other applied materials. In high traffic areas, it is easy to damage these wallpapers and accidentally rub off the materials that make the wallpaper look good. Instead, select either a sturdy wallpaper that naturally hides damage or choose a lighter wallpaper that is easy to replace.

Rooms with Moisture. If you want to use wallpaper in rooms that are high in moisture, such as bathrooms, mudrooms, and laundry rooms, you may want to consider a lighter, vinyl wallpaper. These wallpapers are often designed to handle higher moisture and have been treated with moisture proof finishes.


Moisture: Laundry Room


Don’t be afraid to get creative. Wallpaper is a wonderful tool for adding texture, surprise, and delight to a space. Depending on the room and your personal style, you can add wallpaper to one wall or even to the ceiling.

• Vertical Stripes. Vertical striped wallpaper can create a very attractive look. However, if you do not have crown molding in your room to finish the look, do not use vertical striped wallpaper. Without the molding, the abrupt stop where the vertical striped wallpaper hits the ceiling will make your room feel unfinished.

• Wallpaper as Borders. Don’t fall for trends like wallpaper borders, as they go in and out of style very quickly. • Bold Wallpaper. Get a professional involved if you want wallpaper that is bold in either color or pattern. Bold wallpaper can be very appealing and exciting, but something that catches your attention may not always fit in your room the way you had hoped. If you are not experienced with design, it is easy to make a mistake that you may come to regret (and may be expensive to fix). If you want to get creative with your wallpaper and have an end result you adore, it is always a good idea to get professional opinions and advice.

Note: Some wallpaper looks, such as half wallpapered walls, don’t work for every room. If you love the look of walls that are half-painted and half-wallpapered, it’s time to get out your measuring tape. This is a style that only looks good on walls that are over 9ft. For anything shorter, it should be all or nothing. Applying this style to walls that have less height may make your room feel visually short or cut off.