I have been asked a lot recently about wallpaper: What are the benefits of wallpapering, and if so is it acceptable to just paper one wall? What other creative ways can I use wallpaper in interiors? Where can I source interesting wallpapers?
Wallpaper is a great way to add pattern and texture and intrigue to walls that you can’t achieve so well with paint. Wallpaper is also move forgiving in older properties, as walls are generally hand-made and as a result uneven. However, be careful when using a paper with a metallic element, as it highlights any blemishes on your wall. Don’t let that put off, it all comes down to good preparation. The same goes if you are painting the walls.
I came across this fantastic paper, when I was staying in the East Neuk a few weeks back. It was in the owners vestibule, and couldn’t help myself but take a photo, as it felt so welcoming. I wonder how long it has been there? It looks like something from the 1950’s. Vestibules, cloakrooms, WC etc are the best place to try out a wallpaper. The are generally the smallest rooms in a house, so you have the opportunity to be bold and experiment. Ultimately it will give you the confidence to use wallpaper in other rooms you are in more.
You have various options when you have made the decision to go for wallpaper. You can paper one wall, generally referred to a ‘feature wall’ I really hate that term, as it makes it sound a bit changing rooms! There is nothing wrong with papering one wall, if that is what is going to work for your budget and style. I often put into panels which is framed by a bead or in large oversized frames. This is a great tip if renting. You can prop term against walls, move between rooms and the beauty is you can take with, when move. The paper below is by Timorous Beasties, a Scottish design duo that produce amazing textiles in form of wallpaper, fabric and cushions.
Another alternative but along similar lines of picking a feature wall, is to paper the ceiling. A bedroom is ideal for this project, as let’s face it you look at the ceiling in this room more than any other. I was all set to paper my bedroom celling, annoyingly, but predictably the paper I wanted was over £200 a roll, so that is something remaining on the wish list! The paper in question, was the tin roof tile look wallpaper below. I have always had a thing for tin roof tiles, they are quite common in american lofts, I love the vintage look, like it has many a story to tell.
If wallpapering one wall, you need to spend as much time considering what paint colour the remaining walls will be. I would tie it in by picking out one of the colours in the wallpaper. Or choosing a colour that blends in, so not a stark contrast that will end up looking like an after thought. So if we take the example of the tin roof look tile paper above, I would either use a white or any dark colour like grey, black, navy etc. It comes down to personal preference at the end of the day, as my style, taste is different from the next persons.
If you are in two minds about papering a wall, or are renting another great way to introduce wallpaper is either: lining the back of a glass cabinet, or up cycling a non-descript piece of furniture with a bold graphic wallpaper like the sideboard below.
Where to source, I am sure if you have looked into purchasing paper before you will know that there are hundreds out there. I deal with wallpaper companies as part of my job, and I get access to lots of papers that are not found on the high street. However, I have listed some websites below, that all offer sample service and you don’t need to be a trade customer:
Cole &sons; Lewis &wood; Rocket St George; Graham and Green, Osborne & Little, Harlequin