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Tips on how to wallpaper your Home

The world of wallpaper can seem a bit overwhelming…which brands to choose, what pattern and where to put paper rather than paint.  It really depends on the effect you are looking to achieve, a classic style, or a contemporary theme.  A burst of colour or pattern on texture or something calming and elegant.

I love the wow factor of wallpapering up a staircase.  Particularly if you choose a tree of life pattern which allows the design to grow up the wall.  It is more expensive in terms of quantities though, particularly if the wallpaper design has a large pattern repeat. I think it’s a myth that you can’t have wallpaper with a house full of young children. The truth is that the pattern of a wallpaper is more forgiving than plain paint as wallpaper is often wipeable, and, I think children respect it more.

Don’t forget to think about the join between where paint work stops and where you start wallpapering.  For example, if you’re painting up the stairs, do you then have to wallpaper the whole landing or is there a natural break.  I would also consider flow, and what a wallpapered space looks like in relation to the neighbouring rooms around it.  It doesn’t need to go exactly, but it helps if there are similar tones.  A room shouldn’t be seen in isolation as you walk through other rooms to get to it and there needs to be a seamless flow from one room to another. I also particularly like a painted hallway,  catching a glimpse of a beautiful wallpaper when the door is left ajar.

If you’re not brave in decorating your home, choose a small space to wallpaper, a guest loo, or a contained space which isn’t too overpowering. I used this charming flamingo pink paper in a project recently, to add a feminine touch in an otherwise very male household.  I love to wallpaper a hallway, or an ‘in-between’ space, I did this in my own house, where I have a little hall between the landing and my bedroom. It’s the perfect little entrance hall for my bedroom. 

I am often asked if you can paper bathrooms.  You can,  as long as you’ve got an efficient extractor fan so that the steam dissipates quickly.  I wouldn’t put wallpaper in a shower room because here the steam is too much. 

How to paper an attic room or a room with a pitch roof? I would take the wallpaper up to the ceiling, including the sloping walls, as this helps to elevate the height of the room.

My all time favourite. This is probably one of the Lewis and Wood range, the Beech pattern, or Jasper’s peony, I adore these. They are effective in so many settings from a master bedroom, to a drawing room, and a wow factor for an entrance hall and staircase.

I love a seagrass walling. This is a classic look. It’s also timeless, in vogue in my father’s day, and still used so much today. The texture is so tactile and satisfying, and it can look elegant in duck eggs and greys, or masculine in indigos and greens. I use it in a contemporary situation too, in greys with a silver thread running through it. My favourites are from Thibaut, Altfield and Nobilis . You need an accomplished paperhanger however as it’s tricky to cut without fraying and hang perfectly.

A word on feature walls. These were really ‘in’ in the noughties. I think they still have their place in a contemporary space. I also use them, for example in a children’s bedroom, where you want to add a touch of playful pattern but don’t want to cover the whole room in wallpaper.  As the child grows up you can substitute the wallpaper for a more grown up one without having to decorate the whole room.

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