Wallpaper can truly work wonders for a room scheme, introducing colour and pattern and providing more depth and movement than plain painted walls. For anyone decorating with wallpaper for the first time, the huge range of styles can be daunting, and it is sometimes hard to know where to start. Here we have set out to explore some of the key types of patterns available, offering insider knowledge on how to show them off to the best effect. Pasting table and soft sponge at the ready…
An abstract print is perfect for bringing a sense of artistic flair to an interior, and a bold design can really help to add depth to a room, making it appear larger. If you are afraid that you will tire of a punchy pattern, consider using it in a transitory area such as a hallway: the contrast of a richly decorative space with ‘quieter’ rooms leading off it can be incredibly effective. Featuring an enchanting pattern of large clouds, Kimono Dreams, Moss is a dramatic green and blue wallpaper design inspired by a Japanese kimono. Also, look at the wonderful The Wave, a highly versatile tonal print.
If you are keen to use colour but nervous about how to put a palette together, a multicoloured wallpaper is your secret decorating weapon. Even for the design savvy, it can be daunting to pick a wallpaper with such a bold pattern, and you may be thinking how hard it will be to hang your second strip – but as soon as you get started, you’ll love to see it all come together. Once you have selected a design, simply take your steer from the hues within the print to select everything from paint colours to upholstery and curtain fabrics. Here, our unique wallpaper print, Double Dragon, Fire, informed the lively coral red of the woodwork and the pretty aqua blue velvet fabric of the chair, while neutral sisal flooring helps to ground the different colours within the space. For a ready-made palette of subtle pastel hues, try the delicate Miji, Blossom.
With their exotic, lush prints, tropical wallpapers have a transportive effect that has been particularly appreciated in these uncertain times. An exuberant botanical wallpaper lifts the spirits, bringing a blast of nature right into the home. If you are not confident about decorating with bold pattern throughout a room, consider using it to zone a specific area: a dining nook within an open plan kitchen, for example, or a chimney breast to create a focal point within a bedroom. We have several stunning options, from the riotous Rainforest Rabble to the flamboyant Bamboo Garden, Navy, a luxurious navy-blue wallpaper that we have teamed here with woodwork in a similarly inky hue. Note the pleasing balance provided by the neat woven fabric of the chair, Bolero, Parakeet.
Never underestimate the power of a blush pink wallpaper to lift a room and infuse it with a gentle warmth. A far cry from its saccharine-hued counterparts, this is a resolutely grown-up, elegant wallpaper option that provides a fabulously flattering backdrop to all manner of furnishings and art – for the latter, opt for bold frames in black or dark blue to add an incisive touch. L.A. Sunset, Blush, is a simple yet effective 1920s-inspired print whose rippling effect lends subtle movement to the walls. It is a wonderfully soothing option for a bedroom but would be equally sophisticated in a modern living room scheme.
You don’t need to live by the sea to decorate with a nautical wallpaper. Our simple, fresh Low Tide Lunch, featuring beautifully illustrated sea creatures and shellfish, will sit happily in many different interiors and is the perfect starting point for a crisp monochromatic scheme. If you are considering this design for a bathroom – and, after all, this is where a nautical design seems particularly fitting – you need to make sure your space is well ventilated, as steam and wallpaper don’t get on. For sailing enthusiasts, FitzRoy features simple sketches of boats on a blue-grey backdrop that will lend an enveloping feel to a space.
Perfect for reflecting the beauty of the natural world, floral wallpaper is a classic decorating device that never goes out of style. And while floral patterns work beautifully in bedrooms, they can be equally fantastic in many other spaces: a sitting room, hallway or even a more unexpected area such as a pantry. If you are relatively new to pattern, consider starting small: a painted, vitrine style cabinet looks fabulous backed with a floral wallpaper, as does open shelving in an alcove. Uhura is a deeply romantic print in three colourways including Pearl, which is printed on mica paper for a subtle shimmer.
An unusual scenic wallpaper can really raise a smile, a case in point being our Off-Piste design depicting skiers in the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps. The predominantly white wallpaper, with figures in a palette of red, yellow, and green, was inspired by a 1950s document and its mid-century feel is perfect for adding retro charm to a space. Use it to bring a sense of fun to a bijou room such as a home office, or for ensuring longevity in a children’s bedroom scheme.
Test before you buy
It’s easy to get carried away and buy rolls of wallpaper without testing the design in your own home. However, it’s so much more sensible to order a sample and live with the paper for a few days first. Ours are a generous A3 size – so that you can tape it up in situ: move it to different walls to see how it looks in varying light. Consider how it makes you feel? Do your existing curtains and patterned sofa clash? Let one design be the star of the show.
If the idea of a fully wallpapered home fills you with fear, don’t worry there are lots of clever ways to introduce wallpaper into your home. Maybe start with the downstairs loo – it’s great to infuse a small room with the fun of a whimsical paper. We love how one of our customers has used Rainforest Rabble from our Tango collection.
To feature or not to feature
The design world is rather divided when it comes to feature walls, but it’s just about following a few simple rules. A feature wallpaper should be positioned where you want to create a focal point in the room. Walls with no windows and doorways work best for feature walls, as there is nothing to interrupt the design. Behind your headboard in the bedroom could be fun, or even in the bathroom. Look how amazing Linwood’s Tango wallpaper in Rainforest Rabble looks in this bathroom. Try and tie in the design by painting your tub or walls in complimentary colours.
Don’t stop at the walls
Think about wallpapering other parts of your room too. In the 18th century ceilings were covered in gilding and frescoes but have for the most part been overlooked today. You can put the most amazing pattern on your ceilings very easily, creating an unbelievable new way to decorate a room. Or make an individual statement by decorating furniture with wallpaper. An old chest can be reinvented easily with a fun paper, and you will be doing your bit for the environment too. And a peek of patterned wallpaper can add excitement to the back of glass-front cabinets or a bookcase. Our advice… play with ideas and have fun.
We hope these ideas will help steer you towards a wallpaper design that suits your style and your home. And if you are employing a decorator, make sure they know which way the pattern should be hung…it could avoid a lot of heartache!