Wall to Wall Style: How To Do Wallpaper Well | sheerluxe.com
Wallpaper is like marmite, you tend to be in one camp or the other, with those against often put off by cost and commitment – historically wallpaper has been a more expensive option than paint. And once it’s up, it’s not going anywhere easily. Here SheerLuxe's interiors expert Jenny Branson takes a look at how to choose it, where to hang it, alternative ways of using it and why you should definitely not be scared of it. 
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Not everyone is passionate about wallpaper. Yet with the ever increasing popularity of visual design apps such as Pinterest and Houzz, and the invention of ‘peel and stick’ alternatives, we are being exposed to a myriad of possibilities when it comes to decorating our homes with wallpaper, and the tide is firmly turning towards a vote of confidence. 

The positives of wallpaper are many: when properly hung it lasts three times as long as paint, it adheres easily and smoothly to walls and hides many surface imperfections. It is versatile and adds instant warmth, depth and style to a room. But if you’re new to the game then where exactly should you start when you want to refresh a room? 


Look Up

The ceiling remains one of the most ignored surfaces of modern-day decor. Sophisticated interiors in days gone by always included highly decorated ceilings with plaster, gilding and painted frescos, but since the 1920s this fourth dimension has been largely ignored. Wallpaper makes it possible to introduce pattern onto the ceiling relatively easily, with results ranging from the truly subtle to the fabulously dramatic. 

Frame It

If you are lucky enough to own a period property with existing wall mouldings try introducing wallpaper within these ‘frames’. Alternatively create your own large scale wall art by ‘framing’ a section of wallpaper using elaborate mouldings or simple painted strips of mdf. 

All About The Accent

The concept of a ‘feature wall’ is the perfect solution if you don’t want to commit to papering an entire room, or cost is an issue. Focus on the chimney breast, or the recesses either side, the wall behind the bed or sofa, or opposite walls in the same room. This introduction of pattern draws the focus of the eye and helps to unify a room’s colour scheme, taking it firmly to the next design level.  

Easy Peel

If you’re still undecided whether to take the plunge, the new wave of ‘peel and stick’ wallpapers might convince you. This self-adhesive, removable paper can be used on all kinds of surfaces, is resistant to sun fading and can be washed with household cleaners. What’s not to love? 


Eeny Meeny Miny Moe

Choosing the right wallpaper for your space is a daunting prospect in todays flooded market. However, think about the story you want to tell. Kids rooms lend themselves to whimsical animal prints and bold spots and stripes which won’t date as the child grows. Geometrics are best suited to smarter formal rooms, whereas florals tend to create a softer more relaxed feel. Be led by the colours and patterns in your existing furniture and accessories. If you already have a lot of pattern then wallpaper with a strong print could clash, so opt for something subtle instead. You need to let one or the other be the star of the space.  

Keep It Subtle

If you are reluctant to go for bold straight away, subtly textured wallpaper in a neutral tone gives any space a more polished and sophisticated feel, illustrating your attention to detail whilst quietly celebrating elegant design. 

Start Small

If you’re feeling brave but want to start small, the humble loo is an excellent place to experiment. You can achieve amazing results with wallpaper in this often overlooked room with the general rule of the moment being ‘the bolder the better!’ 


Top Tips

  • Always view a wallpaper sample in the room where it will be hung before committing. The level of light at different times of day and night has an impact on the overall effect, so live with it for a day or two before taking the plunge. 
  • When hanging wallpaper, work away from the window so that the paper edges won’t cast a shadow if they overlap slightly. 
  • Hanging wallpaper in bathrooms can be problematic if they are not well ventilated, as the moisture and humidity can cause the adhesive to weaken over time. Opt instead for ‘splashproof’ or vinyl papers, which are wipeable.  
  • To clean stains off non-vinyl wallpaper use wallpaper dough. Take a handful of dough, roll into a ball and gently roll the ball across the wall covering to lift the dirt. When the dough gets dirty, knead the dirt into the centre to expose a fresh surface. 
  • To keep flocked or textured wallpaper clean, hoover it! Use a soft brush attachment to get rid of any surface dust or cobwebs. Start at the top of the wall and work your way down. A microfibre cloth wrapped on the end of broom works on flat, non-textured wall coverings. 
  • Some wallpapers, especially woven ones, tend to expand when wet and shrink when dry. This can leave small gaps between sheets of wallpaper. By using lining paper, you are actually helping with the drying process which in turns holds the wallpaper in its expanded shape for a better finish. 

For more interiors advice and inspiration, follow Jenny on Instagram and visit JennyBranson.com

INSPIRATION CREDITS:  Chango.co, TaylorHowes.co.uk, ImperfectInteriors.co.uk, TerrisLightfoot.com, JennyBranson.com, LimeDecals.com
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.

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