There’s nothing like the look and feel of a room with perfectly chosen wallpaper. From bold, bright colours that help to make even the tiniest rooms seem larger to subtle, muted tones that soften the harshness of overhead light, wall coverings can dramatically change the impression a room makes on you.
Wallpaper is a great way to make a statement in your home. It’s not just an easy way to add some color or pattern; by using the same wallpaper throughout the house, you can help create a cohesive feeling while still giving each space its own unique identity. The rooms of your home are like people: you want to see their similarities, but you don’t want them to be exactly the same.
Wallpaper can also play with light in a unique way your foyer and dining room might feature bold colors or high-contrast patterns, while your kitchen and bedroom have more subtle designs that play off of natural light. You can even use wallpaper in place of curtains or shades!
For any room in your home, especially if you have an open floor plan, it plays an important role in creating a cohesive look and feel. So get creative with your wallpaper choices!
Alter a sense of spaciousness
Wallpapers are often designed with a spatial component that can alter a room’s perceived dimensions. Scenic wallpaper designs often rely on the use of artistic perspective. In a wooded-landscape pattern like the one shown here, objects closest to the viewer are larger in size and darker in value. Objects receding away from the viewer get smaller and lighter in value.
Shading makes an object seem to have volume, like this trellis design which suggests that there is visual depth behind the trellis. The flat area behind could read as air or sky, giving the sense that there is a great expanse behind the trellis.
Wallpaper with only a pattern, without allowing for negative space or background, will not make a room seem larger. If the pattern is large, the room will feel closed in. A combination of positive and negative space can create the feeling of a cosy or bold room, but in an uneven balance, the result may be one of confinement.
Create the impression of movement
One element of design is the use of lines; diagonal lines convey movement rather than repose. Although wallpaper can be used to create a sense of movement, designs using diagonals, like this bedroom wallpaper, read as active and full of life.
Wallpaper with a randomly placed design has an energy about it that is not present in repetition. In this example, the goldfish seem as if they might change direction at any moment. This graphic wallpaper creates a striking optical illusion of rounded forms bulging off the wall. Framed bold and intricate designs such as this are best in a pared-down, minimalist setting.
Downplay or highlight architectural components
Curvilinear patterns, like those found in floral designs, can lend a sense of softness to harsh or sharp lines, or help create a more tranquil mood.
A wallpaper pattern of leaves in this space blurs the angles between wall and ceiling by creating vertical “lines” that wrap around the different planes, while a light colour palette helps to soften the effect.
Horizontal stripes are an effective way to make a small space seem larger. Seen here in this narrow powder room, level stripes wrapped around the perimeter of the room trick one’s vision into thinking the room is wider than it is.
Wallpaper patterns can help to emphasize existing architectural details of a room or create the semblance of architecture that doesn’t exist.
Alter the level of illumination
Some rooms in houses lack light due to a lack of windows or power for light fixtures. One way to brighten underlit rooms is by using mirrors to bounce light around the room. However, because mirrors are static, their size limitations and the space they are placed in must be taken into account.
A metallic-sheen wallpaper can offer similar illuminating benefits while adding an eye-catching pattern.
In some rooms, the abundance of daylight can create a space that is too bright and undefined. Flocked wallpaper, like the example above, has fibres applied to imitate a velvety pattern, which has the benefit of creating a soft and attractive tone.
Unify or isolate a space
Wallpaper designs that move a viewer’s eye throughout a space make an entire room visually engaging. This bedroom’s floral wallpaper acts as a jumping-off point for secondary accent colours and patterns. The deep blacks, pinks, and lacy floral pattern all work together nicely.