How to Use Wallpaper to Transform a Room

A fresh coat of paint is one way to transform a room, but if you’re looking for a more permanent, yet equally as impactful change, wallpaper can be just the thing. There are endless styles, colors and textures to choose from, and even the smallest rooms can be enhanced with a patterned paper that feels bold or subtle, depending on the overall look you’re going for. Plus, it’s a great way to practice your DIY skills if you’re not quite ready for the commitment of painting your entire space.

Adding a layer of texture to your walls is easier than ever thanks to today’s easy-to-install options. From velvety damasks to iridescent metallics and natural, ruddy options like cork and grasscloth, there’s sure to be a material that matches your design style. These new textures can also be an easy way to warm up or cool down a color palette. For example, cooler-toned furnishings and accessories can be warmed up with pink or orange shades in a wallpaper while darker woods can be complemented with browns and deep blues.

Many people shy away from wallpaper because they fear it will look too outdated, but the patterned material actually makes a statement while staying relevant in today’s homes. This is especially true if you choose a graphic or geometric pattern. It’s important to remember, however, that not all prints will work in every room, as too small of a pattern can become fussy or overwhelming, while too large of a print can overpower a space. It’s also crucial to consider your lifestyle and how the room is used before you decide on a wallpaper pattern or print.

In a bedroom, a small scale floral or other calming pattern can create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere, while a more colorful option can foster a lively energy. Wallpaper can also be used to highlight certain architectural features, such as a vaulted ceiling, if the wall is painted a neutral color.

Wallpaper can also add a bold statement to a bathroom with a strong color or interesting texture. It’s a good idea to select a washable material, since the bathroom is one of the most high-traffic areas in the home.

A patterned wallpaper can also be a fun way to add a whimsical touch to a powder room, such as this playful pineapple-themed design. It instantly elevates a simple white vanity and adds a dose of personality to the small space.

Another way to add pattern to a bathroom without making the area feel overcrowded is to use the design on just one accent wall. The rest of the space can be kept white or neutral to balance out the design and allow the wallpaper to shine.

If you love a pattern but don’t want to cover an entire wall, try pinning a sample of the material to the wall and living with it for a couple days. Most wallpaper manufacturers and vendors are happy to send you a good-sized sample that you can apply to the wall and live with before making your purchase. Be sure to check out the sample in morning light, afternoon sun and evening light so you can see how it will appear in your room.

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