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  • Writer's pictureSamia Verbist

Tips to Give a Whole New Look to Your Home! - Part 2 - Wallpapers

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Another week at home, another project! I hope all of you are still in good health and you started to improve your home, or at least have some new ideas. Last week, I shared with you some tips regarding paint colors. This week, we will stay focus on our walls and I will give you some ideas about wallpaper! So, let's have some fun with all the possibilities offered by these amazing printed and colorful papers!

Colorful pink wallpaper in luxury Orange County home
Source: "Amazonia" by de Gournay

I have to admit it: I love wallpaper. When I was a teenager, my father taught me how to install it and since then, I always had wallpaper on my walls in all the places I've lived. It can change the entire look of a room and now, wallpaper is really trendy. Look at the huge choice we have from a small pattern to a complete painterly scene. You can be soft or completely extravagant with wallpaper like this amazing tropical one (picture above). Gorgeous, Isn't it? Wallpaper could enlarge or reduce a room, make a statement or become a piece of art. Wallpapering can be floral, geometric, textured, with small or large pattern, stripes... It could be sophisticated, enchanting, elegant, bold, minimalist... Options are infinite! So, let me guide you into the magical world of wallpaper!

1# Find inspiration

As discussed in last week's newsletter about paint colors, I highly recommend to look for inspiration before taking any decision. Look on Pinterest or retail stores who sell wallpaper like Serena & Lily, Anthropologie, Wayfair. Collect images, find what you like and try to narrow down your selection to decide exactly what you love. It needs to be you, to resonate in you! It could be chinoiserie, bold, scenic, geometric, or tropical. Order samples or buy a roll, as it is important to tape it on your walls and take the time to see how you can live with it! Like paint colors, you will not remove it in a year!

Interior design inspiration board with multiple screenshots of wallpaper

2# Which Pattern

Wallpapering is a great way to add some personality and the choice of pattern is really important! It can change the look of a room to give a romantic or dramatic atmosphere. Here are some examples:

- Vertical stripe or pattern: makes the ceiling appear higher and add a sense of grandiosity to the room. Gives a traditional look.

- Horizontal stripe: brings ceiling down and seems to widen the space.

- Large pattern: not recommended in small rooms because it will overpower the space and make it seem smaller, except if you want to add drama like in a powder room. But large patterns create depth on flat walls and make space look more intimate.

- Small pattern, geometric design or mini print: perfect for small rooms and creates an open and airy look.

- Dark wallpaper: makes the room look smaller but creates an intimate space.

- Light background wallpaper: makes the room look larger.

- Damask and floral pattern: create a romantic atmosphere especially in soft and pastel colors.

- Bold or geometric pattern: gives a modern and contemporary look.

- Metallic or iridescent ink wallpaper: reflects the light and brightens up a dark room.

Wallpaper inspiration board for wallpaper installation in Orange County
Sources: Technografica, de Gournay, Cole & Son, and Anthropologie

3# Material

If patterns are multiple, so are also the materials used for wallpapering. To guide your research, I summarized here for you the main types of material:

Grey patterned wallpaper in remodeled Orange County home
Source: Peel & Stick from Wayfair

- Vinyl coated wallpaper: the most common; can be sponged off with soapy sponge.

- Solid vinyl wallpaper: perfect for kitchen and bathroom because it is waterproof.

- Flocked or foiled: more expensive but it is perfect for creating a dramatic and eye-catching accent wall. I highly recommend to have a pro wallpaper hanger for this type of product.

- Textured: perfect to hide flaws on a wall. It could be a grasscloth or natural, a cork, a textile, a glass bead or flock wallpaper. You can find light textured (smooth surface) or highly textured (more tactile feel). It can also simulate the look of materials like marble, wood, leather etc.

- Peel & Stick: new trend in the wallpaper's world, it requires flawless wall. Could be an option if you rent your place or if you need a temporary fix to cover a wall. Easy to apply and remove, you can use it to experiment a splash of color or why not, inside a cabinet.

4# For which wall(s)?

You can use wallpaper almost everywhere in your home, even on the ceiling! If you use wallpaper for the first and are a little hesitant, start with a small room; powder room is a good place to start! I suggest to apply it on one wall only if you want to make a statement or create a wow factor; this way, you will enjoy the thrill of wallpaper! Choose preferably a wall without window or door - behind a bed or a sofa, it is perfect! Then paint the other walls the same color of your wallpaper's background. Like this, you will make the room feel cohesive.

For a more classic look, cover all the walls. Wallpaper can also be used on ceiling too, for a dramatic look, but you have to be sure about your choice. Finally, you can use wallpaper as a piece of art and even frame it!

Four pictures of various luxury rooms with wallpaper
Sources: de Gournay, Technografica, and Gracie Studio

5# Installation

You have two options: DIY or ask a pro wallpaper hanger. It depends on you and your capabilities. Wallpapers can be really expensive and you want the result to be perfect. In most cases, I would recommend to hire a pro to do it. To find one, you can ask for a referral from a relative or contact the Wallcovering Installers Association. The good thing with a pro is that he will be able to tell you how many rolls you need. Number of rolls depends of course of the size of the room, but not only. It also depends on the height of the pattern repeat.

If you decide to do it by yourself, here is how to estimate the number of rolls:

  1. Measure your walls and multiply the height by the width of each wall to obtain your total square footage.

  2. Measure out the square footage of windows, doors and other large openings, then subtract this amount.

  3. Check the roll label for surface coverage and plan to purchase more rolls than the total square footage needed.

  4. Buy extra rolls to make sure you have enough. Mistakes can happen and it’s better to have extra rolls that can be returned if you don't use it.

Important note: it is best to get all rolls at the same time and ensure the rolls are from the same dye lot. You just have to look at the batch number, making sure all rolls have the same number, so there will be no variation in color.

So, now you know more about wallpaper and I hope you feel more comfortable to experiment with it. Choose one with a strong pattern, a bold color, a textured or even a chinoiserie and create a statement in your room! I would be more than happy to help you choose the perfect one for your space! And please remember that interior designers can provide you access to exclusive resources and can help you create your wow factor! Book a 30 min Free Discovery Call and we can discuss about your wallpaper!

Next week, we will discuss about another topic I love: How to decorate your bookcase!

😊 Stay Happy 😊

🌸 Stay Safe 🌸

🏡 Stay Home 🏡

Your Dedicated French Interior Designer


Note: if you want me to share on a particular interior design topic in a next article, please leave a comment below ⇣⇣⇣

What is your favorite pattern? One wall or ceiling? Leave a comment, I would love to know!

Huntington Beach interior designer Samia Verbist sitting while wearing black and white dress

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