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Wallpaper 101: 8 essential tips to get you started

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Wallpaper is a fantastic way to elevate any room in an incredibly short space of time. Unlike with paint, the entire job can be finished within a couple of hours – no drying time, multiple coats, chemical smells or mess. You might not even need to move furniture or cover it for dust and debris! Simply pick your beautiful new wallpaper design and you should have a durable, easy-install solution that can last a decade or more. If you’re still a little nervous about jumping in, here are 8 beginner friendly suggestions that will help.

Wallpaper Design Tip #1 : What Is Pattern Repeat?

Step one when choosing a wallpaper for home interiors is understanding how the design fits within your room. Except for solid colours or very simple textures, there will be a pattern that repeats across each sheet of paper and therefore across your wall. The vertical interval within which the pattern is identical again is called the pattern repeat. This equal distance between parallel patterns will change depending on your design; the range can vary between an inch to the entire width of the wallpaper section. By and large, patterns come in one of three pattern repeats:

●    Random match:

Where patterns are random across the paper. Textures, florals, and other such random patterns usually have sufficient design variation that matching is beginner friendly.

●    Straight match:

The design matches on each strip and falls in straight vertical lines across your wall. These start at the ceiling line with a pattern match on either side of the strip. While not typically complex, care has to be taken to align each strip properly.

●    Drop match:

Often most difficult to accurately match up. The pattern needs to be aligned both horizontally and vertically with the strip on either side – think of it in terms of large diamond shaped alignment zones. Since this usually means starting strips at different points along the wall, this kind of dual match is harder to keep track of and means more paper waste.

The usable quantity of your paper will depend a lot on the kind of pattern match required and you will usually need more rolls if your horizontal design sequence is very complicated.
 

Wallpaper Design Tip #2 : Measure Your Space

Accurate measuring is the only way to ensure your house wallpaper looks beautiful. As established above, the pattern will impact the number of rolls you need, but the actual dimensions of your room are fundamental to a perfect finish. Carefully measure the width and height of each wall that you are planning to cover in wallpaper. Most sellers calculate an estimated price and number of rolls needed from these measurements. When choosing your wallpaper design for home interiors, you may need to deduct windows, doors, built-ins, etc. from your total wall measurement, but it is a good idea to pad your final number in case of wastage and odd edges.
 

Modern art deco style wallpaper for walls - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, HamsterMan/ shutterstock

Wallpaper Design Tip #3 : Paper, Vinyl or Another Material?

Since there is an intimidatingly wide range of available materials and finishes in wallpapers for rooms with particular needs, you should pay attention to the properties of each material before you make your pick.

●    100% Paper

Although these are the original classic wallpaper, they are less readily available today as they tend to be a bit delicate and tear easily. They do give a beautiful timeless matte look and are relatively eco-friendly but are probably better suited to specialised spaces that do not see too much wear and tear.

●    Grasscloth and Organic Textures

These are natural fibre papers made from sisal, raffia, bamboo, cork, linen, etc. Often expensive, high-end and handmade, these have slight textural differences and will have visible seams. This look is highly prized, but you should be aware of it when making a choice.

●    Non-Woven Paper

This is natural and synthetic fibres combined for a flexible, durable end product with good vibrancy and depth of ink. The perfect modern upgrade with the look of paper, balanced with strength, some non-woven wallpapers contain no vinyl, making them a more eco-friendly option.

●    Vinyl Coated, Solid Vinyl and Fabric Backed Vinyl

These are on the stain resistant, harder wearing end of the scale. Vinyl Coated is more durable than Non-Woven papers but still looks relatively paperlike with a semi-matte finish. Solid Vinyl is for high traffic areas; washable and scratch resistant, it tends to be the choice for kitchens, powder rooms and laundry rooms. Fabric Backed Vinyl is the industrial grade paper. Often used in airports, hotels, offices and event spaces, this is rare in homes but can work in areas that need to survive high wear and tear.
 

Close patterned wallpaper for home - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Photographee.eu/ shutterstock

Wallpaper Design Tip #4 : Small Rooms or Unusual Spaces

When you pick a wallpaper for walls in odd shaped or small areas, it actually pays to be bolder in your choices. Use the paper to enhance the shape and size of your room. Choose a paper with a colour gradient from dark to light tones to make your walls appear taller, or one with distinct vertical stripes to make a ceiling seem higher. Cover an accent wall in a short room with a darker coloured wallpaper and paint your ceiling white or in a lighter colour to give the illusion of depth and space. Or bring the outdoors in, using greenery or nature themed wall paper for bed room walls that have small or narrow windows. You can even paper your ceiling to enhance interest and texture in a room where wall space is lacking.
 

Wallpaper Design Tip #5 : Think About Texture

One of the less known advantages of wallpaper vs. paint is that paper gracefully hides and disguises imperfections in the wall. For a slightly patchy wall, wall wallpaper design textures that have subtle and tactile finishes can provide the perfect camouflage. You could try patterns with actual surface textures such as burlap, or handblocked prints where the ink lies on top of the paper. Or for a more luxe effect, pick linen and damask textures. Avoid foils if you are trying to hide an imperfect wall, as these will reflect surface texture. However, foiled prints or textures are the ideal wallpaper for walls in entrance ways or behind display tables, or anywhere else you want to add a touch of glamour. Pay attention to how the light in your room falls to make the most out of the texture of your wallpaper.
 

Wallpaper Design Tip #6 : Not Just For Walls

Part of the joy of using wallpaper is that it is so perfectly suited to DIY home projects. And if an entire wall is daunting, why not start smaller. To revamp the decor with living room wallpaper, use wallpaper on the top of small side tables in a pattern that amplifies the colours of your soft furnishings. Upgrade the look of a bookshelf by wallpapering the back surface with a decorative pattern.

Or if you are ready to tackle something a little bigger, make a faux headboard with wall paper for bed room decor bragging points!

Blue textured wallpaper for rooms - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Svet_Feo/ shutterstock

Wallpaper Design Tip #7 : Maintenance and Cleaning

Part of choosing a wallpaper design for home use is understanding what the maintenance will entail, For most papers, dry vacuuming with a soft brush attachment will suffice. Wiping it down with a soft dry cloth and the occasional spot brushing will also work. If your paper is washable, a slightly damp sponge and very diluted mild soap might be suggested. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Our advice would be to leave extreme jobs, larger fixes or patch jobs to the professionals.
 

Luxurious wall wallpaper design for your bedroom - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, robinimages2013/ shutterstock

Wallpaper Design Tip #8 : Practical Before Pretty

Be realistic about your space when you make your choices. Wallpaper is not an ideal choice on walls that face hours of direct sunlight or in particularly damp areas. If looking for a kitchen, a hall or a living room wallpaper consider the space, light, architecture and usage patterns of your particular room and factor in the need for durability accordingly. If you are unsure about your choice, most house wallpaper patterns should be available as A4 or A5 samples that you can tape up in your space to make a decision easier.


So are you inspired to choose the perfect wallpaper for your home? Why not get in touch with our team, and we’ll help make your decisions even simpler. At Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints, we partner with you to make your dream home your reality. Whether it’s assisting you with flawless installation and all the design decisions, or helping you to source the latest in furniture, home accessories and decor styles from our curated collection, we’re here for you, every step of the way.

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