How to choose the perfect wallpaper

Wallpaper design tips and advice from I Want Wallpaper’s head of design Alex Whitecroft.  

If you’re looking to put your own personal stamp on your home, then wallpaper is an ideal product to express individuality.  Not only is it relatively inexpensive (especially if you source your wallpaper online), there are literally hundreds of designs, textures and colours to choose from.

Here are my top 10 tips for selecting a wallpaper that will really add the wow factor to your home.

Start with wallpaper
Revamping a room can sometimes be overwhelming and, with the huge selection of furniture, flooring, soft furnishings and wall coverings on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Choosing a wallpaper design that you love is a great starting place and can help to focus your overall interior scheme, styling and product choices.

Once you’ve picked your paper, add furniture and accessories that follow the theme and colour scheme.  For example, there are some great retro wallpaper designs that look fantastic when styled with vintage or mid-century style furniture and accessories.

Use wallpaper to inject a new lease of life
Tired looking interiors can instantly be brought up to date with a feature wall or by wallpapering the entire room.

If you’re adding a new wallpaper design alongside existing pieces of furniture, select one of the prevalent colours within the room and match your paper to that.  I Want Wallpaper’s online search filters are an easy way to narrow down your selection around your chosen colour.

Visit our website for advice on using trends as a guide to wallpapers that will give your home a long-lasting look.

Some of the latest trends include:

  • Industrial – there’s a myriad of choice from natural brick to wooden beam prints. Achieving this look with wallpaper is much easier than stripping a wall back to its bare brick and delivers the same impression.
  • Exotic/Botanical – choose bold jungle prints, or opt for a mural to create something really different.
  • Artisan/Traveller – we have lots of wallpapers that will bring an eclectic look inspired by exotic travel around the globe to homes.

Show your mettle
Metallics are another hot trend in interiors at the moment and will inject a touch of glamour, shimmer and shine, but they are also great for reflecting light to add an extra dimension to a room.

Textured and patterned metallic paper works extremely well, as subtle details and contrasts are highlighted when light illuminates the paper.

For rooms with little natural light, metallic papers will help to bounce light around a room and give the illusion of space. Cleverly positioned artificial lights can also create a stunning effect.

Hide your imperfections
Sometimes the smoothness of the wall you’re papering will help to guide your choice of wallpaper. Matt patterns and textured papers are ideal for hiding any imperfections in wall surfaces, these are often prevalent in period properties. Lining paper will add another layer to help smooth out defects and produce a flawless finish.

Be brave with pattern
Don’t be afraid to mix and match coordinating wallpapers for a striking look. Try large samples on walls first to see how the designs work together in the space and at different times of the day.

Striped papers look great in both contemporary and more traditional interior settings. Striped paper can be hung vertically, but also looks amazing when applied horizontally or at a right angle. Horizontal stripes can make a room seem wider.

Geometrics are equally dynamic and currently very popular, with lots of colour options to choose from, there’s something to suit most tastes.

Think Practically
Wipeable or high quality, durable paper is advisable for high traffic areas in the home, such as the stairs and hallway. Strong colours and patterns can also hide any scuffs or finger marks better than a plain painted wall that can soon need a repaint.

Define and Conquer
For open plan living spaces, wallpapers do a great job in defining different areas, such as dining spaces within an open plan kitchen or play room areas within a larger space.

Colour Yourself Happy
While choice of colour and pattern is a personal preference, it’s worth remembering that colour has an impact on mood. If you need your bedroom or living room to be a peaceful, zen-like space then it’s perhaps worth opting for wallpaper in calming colours that are easy on the eye, rather than a bright busy pattern.

Live the Life of Luxury
From designer damasks with a glossy sheen to patterned papers with an exquisite finish, you’ll find an abundance of luxurious, high-end wallpapers at, made more affordable because customers source them online.