Tips to Pick the Right Wallpaper to Refresh the Look of Your Home

Picking the right wallpaper
A splash of color, a hint of texture, and a large amount of pattern; these are all the things wallpapers instantly bring to your home. So, how do you go about picking one? Buzzle guides you.
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Grasscloth and metallic wallpapers are the raging trends this year. While grasscloth adds unique texture to walls, and is eco-friendly, metallics add vibrancy to a room by reflecting light.
Even the best designers often have difficulty choosing a wallpaper to add the final touch to a room that they have designed with so much attention and care. Because even they know that this wallpaper has to complete the vision they had in mind, not ruin it. So, how do they go about the process? How do you, as a home owner, decide what you're going to put, how it is going to look, how you're going to maintain it, and what you're going to do if you don't like what you see for a long time? Let us tell you how to choose the right wallpaper.

Following a logical series of steps will help you decide which wallpaper is going to transform your home from dull or lacking that zing to a vibrant, classy, or simply sleek space.
Where's the Wallpaper Going?
Graphic metallic wallpaper
Will the wallpaper refine the rustic living room, or add a graphic dimension to an eclectic one?
  • Which room are you putting the wallpaper in? This decides the appearance of the wallpaper. It also decides the durability. Will it be able to withstand the happenings in a kid's room, or can a delicate one be left alone in an adult's room?
  • Which wall is it going to be placed on? This is important if you decide to wallpaper just one part of the room, and whether it is meant to serve as a feature to highlight something placed against it.
  • Are the walls wide and short or narrow and tall? This will decide the print and pattern of the wallpaper-small for small walls, and bold for larger walls.
  • Does it receive a lot of sunlight? This decides the durability you need from the wallpaper. Standard pieces do not fade that easily in natural sunlight. However, some might. Check for this before you purchase it.
How Do You Imagine it to Look?
The palette of wallpapers is huge, and choosing a wallpaper is definitely more tedious than choosing a paint color, simply because, along with color, a wallpaper also offers patterns and textures. So, how do you imagine the space to look with a wallpaper? There are certain features that you can find in the variety available out there.
Bold floral wallpaper
Do you wish for the wallpaper to have big, bold designs?
Bold designs look good only in a big room, and may even provide the illusion of cozying it down. In a small room they will give the illusion of constricted space.
  • Would you like the wallpaper to have texture so that it may add a third dimension to the room?
  • Do you want it to be reflective so that the room looks brighter with natural light?
  • Do you want a simple wallpaper just to break the monotony of your room?
  • Do you want the paper to have metallic colors and elements to add a touch of bling to the room?
  • Do you want it to have fine, small designs? In a large room, this will not be noticeable. However, in a small room, it will stand out perfectly, and provide the change you are looking for. Using light colors will provide the illusion of space in a small area.

  • Do you want the illusion of height or width? For height, choose vertical striped wallpapers, and for width, choose horizontal striped papers.
  • Do you like the simplicity of floral designs, the daintiness of damask designs, or the boldness of graphical designs? Go by your gut feeling about what will look good-it is usually right
  • With the look comes maintenance, so if you want a durable wallpaper that can handle the wrath of nature or even little kids, always opt for vinyl. It offers you a world of textures and patterns without the heavy price. It can be easily scrubbed and cleaned, which is a big bonus.
How Are You Going to Use It?
Do you want the wallpaper to cover up the entire room?
Elegant sitting room
If the design is bold, this may become a little difficult to absorb over time. In such a case, you can break the continuity by using moldings, frames, or even a chair rail at appropriate points. If you already have a chair rail, you can use wallpaper only on one side of it. The other option is to use a simple wallpaper that is not overpowering-a wallpaper that blends into the room, yet gives it a unique identity.
Do you want to make a statement by highlighting only certain portions of the room?
Texture wallpaper on offset wall
If you think the wallpaper will become too much to handle, use it in bits and pieces. Break it up into patches, and paste it on offset or inset walls or panels. The drama these bits add is immense, and you can get a new look without having to invest too much or redo the entire space.
Do you wish to create a more dramatic look by combining two wallpapers?
Graphic wallpaper with circle design
It may seem overwhelming but if done well, it can look out of this world. This would be ideal for just one long wall in a room, where you can break the length by using two wallpapers-one with a bold pattern, and another with a bit of texture to balance it.
Who's Going to Apply It?
  • While some of the application can be done yourself, in most cases, it is best to hire a professional for the job.
  • Standard, pre-pasted (which require to be dipped in water to activate the paste), peelable (those that have a backing and are easy to remove once pasted), and dry-strippable (can be removed entirely) varieties are available for the DIYer. The last two are particularly great for those who intend to redecorate with wallpaper sooner than later.
  • Hiring a professional is a good option when you intend to paste wallpaper with large patterns and have to match them. Most DIYers go wrong while matching patterns. They may also be required for papers that have texture which is difficult to apply.
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How Much Wallpaper Do You Need?
  • Wallpaper roll widths vary among manufacturers. However, the rough average size of a single roll wallpaper is about 21 in. (width) x 16.5 ft. (height). Most professionals will be able to tell you exactly how much is needed. If purchasing online, most websites have calculators to tell you the number of rolls you will need.
  • To determine how much you will need, measure the square footage of the area you are going to cover. Measure the width and height of the area, and multiply it to get the square footage. If you intend to use bits and pieces in different areas, calculate the square footage independently and add it up.
  • Always purchase an extra roll to account for wastage or touch ups. This will also ensure that you have wallpaper from the same lot without any color, print, or pattern variations.
Having worked out all of this, sit down and create a palette of wallpaper samples for yourself. Put them together, and see which one really calls out to you; which one you think will genuinely work in your space. If you find something you like, order a sample and put it up in a frame on the wall for a few days. Let it stay there and grow on you. If it doesn't, you know it's not the right choice. If it does, what more could you want? Still not sure? There's always professional help and advice. When in doubt, do not think twice before asking questions. Wallpaper is an expensive investment, so do all you can to get it right in the first go.
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