How to Choose a Wallpaper for Your Home

With the sheer number of choices available, the homeowner may find it overwhelming to find the right wallpaper to use.

While there are no hard and fast rules for choosing which residential wallpaper to use, there are a few essential considerations that you may need to look into to ensure that your final choice matches your personal style.

Consider the room’s overall style

One easy way to determine which wallpaper style and color to choose is to look at the place where it will be installed.

For example, if you are planning to overhaul the master bedroom, you might want to consider pastel colors and floral and damask patterns. These colors and patterns lend a romantic vibe.

On the other hand, if you want the room to exude a casual ambiance, consider wallpapers with faux finishes as well as those with floral designs.

If you wish to give the room a contemporary feel, consider using wallpapers with bold geometric patterns.

Finally, if you want a more traditional-looking room, you can never go wrong with stripes and damask.

Determine how the wallpaper will be used

Once you have settled upon a few choices, the next thing that you need to do is to determine how you will use the wallpaper.

For example, if you are planning to cover all the four walls inside the room with wallpaper, consider using a design with simple horizontal stripes. This will prevent you from making the room look too overwhelming.

On the other hand, if you are planning to use the wallpaper on a feature wall, it is highly recommended to use bold, dramatic patterns which draw attention.

Considerations for choosing colors

Colors can be broadly classified into two: warm and cool.

As their name implies, warm colors can make a room feel warm. These colors include orange, red, peach, pink, and yellow. These are ideal for rooms that do not receive a high amount of natural light.

Because warm colors can help stimulate appetite, they are perfect for kitchens and dining areas. Warm colors are also great for accent walls. However, be warned that these colors can make a room seem smaller.

Cool colors, on the other hand, include purple, aqua, green, and blue. These colors are ideal for rooms that have ample natural light as well as bedrooms and the bathroom.

Your choice of color can affect how the size of a room will be perceived. For example, if you are working with a small room and you want it to appear bigger choose lighter shades. Darker tones, on the other hand, can make a small room look smaller than it is.

For dining areas, game and children’s room, you can never go wrong with bright hues. For the library and other places where you prefer to rest, consider muted tones like gray or white.

Selecting a pattern

Wallpapers come in a variety of patterns which can sometimes be confusing for homeowners who have little experience in working with these. To make it a little easier for you, here are some essential things to consider.

For smaller rooms, large patterns and wallpapers with a lot of contrast are highly recommended. As much as possible, avoid wallpapers which have large and busy prints as these can make an already small room look cramped. If you wish to use bold patterns for a small room, leave it to the accent wall.

Stripes are fairly popular among homeowners. If you prefer vertical stripes, use these in rooms with light-colored ceiling. This combination will make a room look taller.

If you wish to make a particular room seem bigger in terms of both length and width, use wallpapers with horizontal stripes.

Geometric patterns come in a variety of contrast. When the contrast is significant, the wallpaper can make the room look smaller. For such a room, you may want to use tone on tone prints.

Floral and toile patterns work best in homes with a more traditional or country design.

How much wallpaper to buy

If you are installing the wallpaper by yourself, one important thing to know is how much wallpaper to buy. Here are the steps you need to do.

First, get the length and width of each wall that you are going to cover. Do not include doorways and windows. Now that you have the measurements, you need to multiply the length by the width of each wall. This will give you the area measured in square feet. After that, add all the areas of the walls, giving you the total area. To account for waste, add 15 percent.

Next, check the roll label of the wallpaper. This will provide you with information about the square foot of each roll. The roll coverage should be more than your total wall area.

Choose well

Just like how your choice of carpet tiles can make or break the overall look of a room, your choice of which wallpaper to use can positively or negatively affect a room’s look and vibe.

Follow these tips to make it easier to choose the right wallpaper for the right room.


James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, top importers and exporters of wallpapers, flooring and fabric in the Middle East. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.