How to Choose Wallpaper for your Home or Office
Updated: Mar 2
As a wallpaper designer, there are quite a few factors to consider when choosing the perfect wallpaper - the home, the room, theming, colour, finish and scale.
Read on below to learn about each of these in more detail, and I hope this brings you confidence in selecting the best wallpaper for you.
Choose Wallpaper To Suit Your Home
Is your home modern or traditional? If your home is modern, you might like to consider wallpaper designs that are more modern in design, with modern shapes and colours. You might like to feature pop art and vibrant colours.
Traditional or character style homes often feature VJ's (vertical joints / panelling) which make it hard to install wallpaper - you need a smooth surface to successfully install wallpaper. Some character homes feature dado rails or picture rails - wallpaper can be perfect for the wall space above the dado rail or picture rail. Wallpaper also looks wonderful above half height panelling. In terms of style, you might like a heritage or formal style wallpaper design, and you might choose .
Choose Wallpaper To Suit Your Room
Wallpaper can be used in any room, from a vibrant powder room to a calm bedroom or feature hallway. It can even be used on the ceiling!
Consider the room and how you use it, as well how you'd like to feel in the space. How do you want guests to feel in that space? Is it going to be a dramatic feature of the room, or will it be a subtle and elegant background to compliment another feature in the room?
Creating the mood and atmosphere of a room is important - if you're spending a lot of time in this room you want a wallpaper that supports this (and your nervous system)!
I designed a modern wallpaper mural for a tattoo studio feature wall that is colourful, feminine and vibrant. The wallpaper features oversized women and feminine patterns to create an uplifting atmosphere for the tattooist owner who wants to feel energised in her space, and empowering for the women she tattoos after they've survived breast cancer.
Mood is everything!
Consider Wallpaper Colours
I find colour to be one of the most important deciding factors, because colour creates mood. You know your favourite colours, and it's because they make you feel good.
Relaxing bedrooms welcome soft blues, greens and lavender. Fun offices can feature bolder shapes and colours. Hallways can make a striking entry and strong impact with monochromes. There is no right or wrong
Bring the Light
How much natural light do you have in the room?
Wallpaper can look very different in brighter rooms with an abundance of natural light as opposed to darker rooms or artificial lighting.
If you have a darker room, know that textured wallpaper will make the room feel darker. Using smooth, matte wallpaper will bring maximum light into the room. If you have a dark room, consider using metallic wallpaper to reflect and bounce light around the room. These reflective surfaces can brighten a room, as well as bring an elevated and luxurious finish that ties in beautifully with other metallic accents in the room.
Consider Pattern Scale
Small patterns can make a room feel larger, and large patterns can make a room feel smaller.
Small patterns are the best choice for smaller walls or spaces (such as powder rooms) where patterns can be cut off, and the repeat pattern effect is lost.
Larger patterns can be wonderful features that are visually striking or overpowering - the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Make sure you get a sample of your wallpaper or view the wallpaper insitu (either in person or mocked up on a room image) to know what effect the pattern will have at its full size.
Consider Patterned Wallpaper vs Wallpaper Murals
Have you considered choosing a wallpaper mural as an alternative to patterned wallpaper?
Wallpaper murals are incredible when creating feature walls that stand alone as giant artworks. They are the feature in the space, and you can choose accessories in similar colours to tie the whole room together.
There's no right answer to this - simply personal choice!
The reality of choosing wallpaper online
Trawling through wallpaper websites can be both exciting and awe-inspiring, as well as time consuming and confusing.
Perhaps you find a design you love but it's not quite right.
The colours don't match your decor.
The scale of the pattern is too small or large.
Perhaps you can't find anything you really love. You're not sure what will suit your room, your furniture and soft furnishings.
You might doubt your decisions or think you're not creative enough to pull it together.
Perhaps it doesn't express you in a way that's meaningful.
Knowing how much to order is an exercise in second-guessing and triple checking.
This wallpaper says it comes in panels.
How many panels do you need?
This one comes in rolls. Cue difficult maths. Oh dear.
How do you know what type of wallpaper you need?
What does paste-the-wall mean?
What is the difference between paste-the-wall vs paste-the-paper?
This one says 'Peel and Stick'... but what if it damages your walls?
And then it arrives.
How do you prepare the wall for it?
Is there a technique on how to apply the wallpaper?
Does the pattern line up exactly, or does it need to be overlapped and double cut?
Should you hire an installer?
If you are feeling overwhelmed, indecisive or frustrated from comparing wallpaper websites, prices and designs, you are in the right place.
I started Tiny Giraffe because I struggled with finding the right art prints and wallpapers for myself. I couldn't find the artwork that was 'just right' for me. I also wanted something that no one else had - custom artwork is the perfect solution.
I specialise in creating custom wallpaper and wallpaper murals to help people tell their story, offering a bespoke, one-of-a-kind design with high quality and personalised service. I take care of the entire process from design to installation.
No more boring walls, and a statement piece that you will love for many years to come.
Kylie + Mr G x