*Last edited on: 19th December 2020.
New to the world of wallpaper? I love wallpapers just like the many of us. The contrast of patterns and colour makes it seem just more artistic and also a great way of cosying up the home.
You are not too late to jump on board this trend. It’s undeniably an infectious bug in interior designing. Endless, beautiful designs that are not only limited to just your walls. We are seeing plenty who are decorating them on ceilings, cabinets, appliances – you name it.
As more people get really creative with these rolls, we newbies obviously want the answers as to how to choose the wallpaper that best expresses our individuality as well as home synergy.
Before you ‘add to cart’ those designs, here’s a guide to assist you in your wallpaper journey.
Probably the biggest reason why some do not quite like the idea of wallpaper: it’s a very tedious job.
Plenty of focus, time and patience is required for this and calling in a team of professionals to put up could add up more costs. Most likely to be even more expensive than the cost of your rolls. Is it worth it? Yes.
Especially when you are totally clueless on wallpaper application! Unless you want to risk having bubbles under your wallpaper, which would not look nice at all.
Unlike paints, you can’t exactly apply a new layer of wallpaper on top of your existing one. Good that you had chosen the peel-and-paste wallpaper, if you had. Otherwise, you would need added efforts to scrape them off before you have your wall ready for it’s next skin.
The next time you want to do it yourself, it would be good to have a wallpaper tool kit to keep in handy.
1. SMOOTHING TOOL from Amazon.
The major plus point of this smoothing tool is it’s rounded edge that goes really well around the corners. Effective and easy to use, it’s a must-have for everyone planning to put up their own wallpaper!
2. ULTIMATE WALLPAPER KIT from Amazon.
This kit has everything you need to replace your wallpaper, with durable materials to complete the job. For a complete kit like this, it’s totally worth it’s price!
MEASURE YOUR SPACE
This is MOST important. Use a proper measuring tape (borrow one from the neighbours if you have to) and get the width and height of each wall in feet measurements, and after which calculate your total square feet.
Don’t forget to minus off the area that won’t be covered. For instance, your windows, doors, etc.
Image Source | STEVE’S BLINDS & WALLPAPER
You would have seen ‘single roll’ or ‘double roll’ quite often in the wallpaper world like the example above. To put it simply, single or double rolls are fancy industry terms for square foot coverage.
Every single wallpaper roll out there will make known of their square foot coverage. All you have to do is to make sure that it’s more than your calculated total footage. I’d recommend getting an extra roll just to be safe.
If you are able to find it’s batch number, the better. I’m not saying the brand you’re going to buy from is inconsistent! But slight offset in colours do occur especially when they are made from different batches.
It is best to lay them down and align before you begin pasting up the first piece. In a case where you do see a difference, you can take a picture and would most likely have an exchange given.
THE WALLPAPER ILLUSION
Understanding the impact of patterns plays a huge part in choosing a wallpaper fit for our home and space. For smaller homes especially, it’s vital to know what patterns to avoid or limit ourselves to before your home becomes even ‘smaller’.
Take into consideration if it would be wise to put wallpaper in the whole room or just a single wall to avoid overwhelming distractions and a seemingly ‘cluttered’ look.
SMALLER OR LARGER?
Like how the colour black on the wall would ‘close up’ the room, the pattern size on the wallpaper can also affect the illusion of a larger or smaller room appearance.
Small and distant prints will visually make your room appear (even) larger. Large prints with darker background, in turn, will visually make your room smaller, like the image below.
Image Source | HGTV
TALLER OR LONGER?
The power of lines in illusion! Observe how a wall can be made to appear longer with horizontal stripes. Vertical stripes? You guessed it. The height.
Your choice of wallpaper should compliment with the vibe of your room, not swallow it. Observe and stare into each print below properly. And imagine yourself standing right in front of them. What kind of illusions do they give you? What do they make you feel?
Image Source | WALLPAPERS TO GO
WALLPAPER & HUMIDITY
The beauty of wallpaper is also it’s durability to last, given that you take good care of it. So while it may be more expensive than paint, it’s pretty cost effective in the long run.
The concern comes when they start to peel off or mould starts growing at the back of it due to constant exposure to humidity. Paper-based wallpapers are not able to last very long in constantly moistened areas like the bathrooms and kitchens.
However, with the right wallpaper materials and techniques, we can overcome this matter with ease.
Majority of the wallpapers are paper-based or wood chip wallpaper which will eventually peel off from the constant exposure to moisture.
Non-woven wallpapers are perfect for bathrooms and are able to resist high degrees of water and steam. They are:
- Coated with vinyl (or textile)
- Can be applied directly to the wall
- Tear resistant – which means this thing is absolutely washable.
- Easy to hang and remove, leaving your walls smooth and clean!
Priced higher than paper-based, but it’s the kind of price that is worth paying for. In fact, it’s becoming the more preferred choice for a lot of interior designers.
Light colours with vertical lines brings on a relaxed and more spacious feel. This non-woven design makes it a great to-go style for the bathroom.
Glass-fibre wallpapers are based from special glass that does not allow the growth of fungus or mould. Some things to highlight about glass-fibre wallpapers:
- Withstands wet cleaning – probably the most durable wallpaper today
- Environmentally friendly and safe
- Incombustible. Which means that it does not emit harmful substances when in contact with fire.
However it has plenty of other points to take note as well:
- During application, the microparticles in wallpaper can cause skin irritation
- Requires a perfectly flat wall to make it work
- Difficult to remove
STAY WITHIN THE THEME
What is the theme of your home? Having a theme makes it easier for you to get the rest of the things at home in harmonious synergy. That includes your colours, furniture, gallery wall, lighting and you guessed it – wallpaper.
Stay within the theme! That is how your room will be less of a designing mess and more of a beautiful combination.
With that said, if you already have the furniture and vibe in, now it’s the headache of choosing a design that compliments.
You can’t exactly tell a person how to design. It’s mostly the feel and how natural it fits in with the rest of your space. Here are some common themes and what kind of wallpaper designs that might compliment them better.
When you have a more, formal look for your home, you would want to match the walls with one that brings out even more elegance and class. Like this beautiful modern wallpaper, or what we call damask design.
Also, large floral damask designs can work for that timeless, Victorian theme without making your place look too dated.
Play your lightings right and this wallpaper will be an amazing addition.
When the word casual comes about, the first word that comes to mind is – relax.
This theme is also more flexible in a sense where you can choose from the countless of patterned prints on light background colours, like this example. Even plant and textured print will go great as you match with the furniture around the home.
Durable and worth the money, this particular design is vinyl and practically works easy for those looking to DIY!
Rustic, or country theme for some, is about introducing a layer of texture.
Woody designs such as this are ‘safer’ choices and calming. But you can also choose wildlife or large landscape wallpaper designs as well!
Modern theme is more diverse and personality-wise, more daring and bold in a sense. Geometric patterns and abstract designs adds a bit of spark and excitement to the home in many ways.
Wallpaper designs work differently for different purposes. For instance, as shown earlier, large prints on all four walls give a fresh look while not overwhelming the room.
It’s a misconception to paste wallpaper on every wall you have. Pattered ones, especially, tend to make your space look smaller as compared to a bare wall. Try a feature wall, or statement wall. It works dramatically, it has to be the kind of design that strikes out immediately. It’s usually behind the large furniture in the room. Visualise how your wallpaper can stand out, while fitting in.
WALLPAPER & CHAIR RAIL
Chair rails on their own add texture while dividing the wall. The addition of wallpaper above the chair rail (or below) can really bring out a bigger artistic element. Classy!
Image Source | DECORPAD
The fifth wall! Imagine looking up to a patterned ceiling. Wallpaper on your ceiling gives a wholesome look to the room or home.
A small print for the ceiling might make your room appear smaller. You might want to be careful on a bold design like geometric or striking designs if your walls are already outstanding. It would result in a design clash and to be honest, maybe feel cluttered.
This flamingo printed wallpaper design worked great and totally fits the vibe of the nursery room. Look at how everything else in the room are of simple colours! That’s how this animal print was able to stay within theme. Let your creative juice flow right up to the ceiling, my friend.
Image Source | MUM’S GRAPEVINE
DESIGN IS SUBJECTIVE
Because it truly is. So maybe getting the numbers and technicality of putting up a wallpaper is not the tedious part – it’s choosing the one wallpaper that you could stay on your wall long enough to make it’s money worth. And Lock in those wall measurements properly!
Grasping that interior style is the base of everything. And as you narrow down your wallpaper choices, visually see if the lighting in your room, natural or not, would fully enhance the beauty of it.
Sometimes after putting up the wallpaper, you realise that the arrangement of furniture could be better too. It happens!
Every home has its unique creativity. What’s yours?