Tips for Choosing Wallpaper

couple choosing wallpaper with sales assistant

How to Choose the Right Wallpaper?

Lets begin with the most important considerations when it comes to wallpaper, which color, pattern type, or texture is going to work perfectly in the space you plan to transform? Finding a paper that is pleasing to your eye, doesn’t mean that it will work in the actual space you are going to decorate. Most wallpaper manufacturers and retailers will have samples available for testing at home. 

Absolutely worth doing! Tape samples of the designs on your shortlist on the wall at home, to get a sense of how you feel about them after a few days.

Common Pattern Types

It is good to have an understanding of the effect common pattern types have, in advance of your search for the perfect wallpaper?

  • Large Patterns: As you might imagine are best suited for large rooms or spaces, whereas small patterns are better in small spaces. A large pattern installed in a small space will only serve to highlight how small the room is. 
  • Horizontal Patterns: Have a tendency to widen and open up a room. Whilst this might be the effect you want to create in a small room, it is important to know that horizontal designs can create the impression that the ceiling is lower than it actually is.
  • Vertical Patterns: Have the opposite effect to horizontal designs as they make ceilings appear higher.
  • Dark Patterns: Will have the effect of making the room seem smaller.
  • Light Patterns: Can make a room appear brighter and larger, and are a good choice for rooms with poor natural lighting.
  • Bold, Geometric Patterns: If the room you wish to transform is a modern contemporary space, then geometric designs work really well.
  • Damask and Floral Patterns: If you’re looking to create a warm and romantic space, then you should definitely consider damask and floral patterns.

Colour Considerations – Colour Theory

spectrum of colour samples

An extensive topic all unto itself, ‘Colour Theory’ enables us to create different types of feelings based on the colours we utilise. Should you wish to delve into this topic in detail, there are plenty of resources online. If you want to keep the process of choosing a color/hue that works for you simpler, may we suggest you need look no further than your closet. You have been wearing the colors that make you feel good since you started buying your own clothes. Also, take a look at your current furnishings or artwork and decide which pieces you would never want to let go? These are a good starting place in your colour quest.

Pattern Repeat

If this is your first time searching for wallpaper, you need to understand what is meant by Pattern Repeat? Very simply, it is the horizontal alignment between two adjacent strips of wallpaper. For a more detailed understanding of the different types of pattern repeat, read the article from our ‘How To’ pages:

What is Repeat Pattern in Wallpaper?

Light Fastness

Whilst most wallpapers nowadays have good colour fastness, meaning the colour won’t fade when exposed to sunlight, it is still practical when searching for a paper for a wall receiving a lot of natural sunlight (i.e. surrounding a window pane), to look for a wallpaper with a high light fastness rating. 


Washing symbols for Wallpaper

It is definitely worthwhile considering the washability of the paper, especially if there are young children in the home, or the paper is for an area with plenty of traffic, such as a hallway.

Manufacturers indicate the ‘washability’ of their wallpapers by displaying one of the following symbols on the product label. You should always follow the correct cleaning procedure relating to your paper’s washability, not doing so can damage the wallpaper beyond repair. 

Types of Wallpaper

rolls of wallpaper

When thinking about the type of wallpaper to get, you need to consider multiple factors; humidity (bathrooms/kitchens), is it a high traffic area (hallways/stairs), lighting (bright or dark room), and of course any little ones (children who are naturally touchy feely).

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Solid sheet vinyl is a great choice for the kitchen or bathroom, they consist of a vinyl bound to a paper or cloth backing. They are very durable, stain resistant and scrubbable.

High Traffic Areas

Vinyl wallpapers are excellent in areas of high traffic, or a children’s bedroom. They are the easiest of wallpapers to hang, very durable, stain resistant, and washable. Another selling point, they are also easy to remove.

Minimal Natural Lighting

In rooms with little to no sunlight, you may wish to consider Foil wall coverings or Mylars, whose reflective properties help light bounce around the room. Don’t think kitchen foil, you can find a variety of subtle designs with a metallic patterning.

Textured Wallpapers

You will discover there is quite a selection of wallpapers made with natural fibres, two of the most common would be grasscloth and hemp. They are typically on the more expensive side, and are better left in the hands of a professional wallpaper installer. Great for covering imperfections in wall surfaces.

Rich and Elegant

Flock papers with their raised velvety patterns, create a rich and elegant look in any room. Again, on the more expensive side and best left to a professional to install. Not the best choice for a young child’s bedroom!


If you would like to read a more detailed and comprehensive list of the many wallpaper types, check out the following article:

Different types of wallpaper

We wish you a successful and efficient time in searching for the perfect wallpaper, but before you head out the door on your quest, we would like to introduce you to WallpaperBuddy™.

WallpaperBuddy™ holds wallpaper away from the wall at an ideal angle for aligning and smoothing, and helps to reduce bubbles and creases. The telescopic design allows you to progress down the wall at a pace that is perfect for you, working with both hands free the entire time. At a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional, why not DIY with WallpaperBuddy™.

How To Use WallpaperBuddy™

person hanging wallpaper on ladder with wallpaperbuddy

We hope you found this article helpful, and we would appreciate it very much if you shared it with someone else you feel might benefit from it.


Want to learn more about making wallpapering easy?:

WallpaperBuddy™, the ultimate wallpapering tool

Wallpapering Tips for Beginners