How to get great results with wallpaper in every room

Are you going to be using the extended bank holiday weekend to so a spot of DIY? No... me neither, but if you do happen to be undertaking a spot of decorating rather than sipping cocktails and toasting the Queen, Heals have put together a really good 'how to' guide on choosing the right wallpaper for the right space.

I'm a big fan of wallpaper because I think it can be a relatively quick and affordable way to make a big impact on interiors, whether you're looking to revamp an entire room or simply liven things up a bit with a feature wall.

Here are a few of my favourites (I love graphic and geometric patterns -as you can probably tell!) Read on for the 'how to'.


Good quality modern wallpaper is durable and easy to hang, but there are several things you need to take into account when choosing the perfect wallpaper for your needs. Firstly, consider where the wallpaper is going. In kitchens, bathrooms and children's rooms, for example, it may be advisable to choose a vinyl or washable wallpaper, which you will be able to clean with a cloth or sponge.

You also need to take account of the amount of light the room gets. In darker rooms you may prefer warmer tones or metallic designs, which help to bounce any available light around the room. Before making your selection it's always best to order wallpaper samples, which you can try out on different walls to check how they look at various times of the day or night – and always make sure you look at the paper in artificial light, as this will differ from natural light.


Contemporary wallpaper is a great way to make eye-catching style statements. However, if you’re looking to bring colour and texture into a space but you don’t want it to be overpowering, or if you love a wallpaper design but you’re not sure you can cope with it over an entire room, why not try creating a feature wall? Often used to accentuate architectural features like a chimney breast or the wall behind a bed, it’s a great way to give a tired-looking room a new lift.

There are other imaginative ways to use wallpaper without opting for total coverage. Modern wallpapers are almost like works of art in their own right – hence the current trend for framing a large panel of wallpaper and hanging it as an artwork. You could also try ‘upcycling’ shelves or furniture using offcuts of wallpaper (simply glue strips of wallpaper to the chosen surface and lacquer with clear matt varnish), or create your own headboard using your favourite wallpaper design.


When it comes to wallpapering your living room, don’t assume that a more compact room demands a smaller wallpaper print. Medium or even large designs can actually make the room feel bigger. Vertical striped wallpaper can give the impression that a room has higher ceilings, while light colours create a more open, airy feel. Hanging patterned or striped wallpaper horizontally can also be highly effective.


Bear in mind that your choice of wallpaper can totally alter the mood of bedrooms. Metallics will create a glamorous vibe, a pretty floral will give your room a cosy traditional feel, bold geometrics will look stylishly retro, and you can use deeper colours, ornate patterns and flock wallcoverings to evoke a decadent, boudoir-ish feel. Remember too that you can create a harmonious and coordinated feel in your bedroom by picking out colours in your wallpaper and echoing them in your choice of bed linen, throws and cushions. For children’s bedrooms, wall stickers make a fun focal point. Quentin Blake has just collaborated with Osborne and Little to create a wallpaper collection that is perfect for nurseries.


Make sure you choose a wallpaper that coordinates well with your appliances and units and does not overwhelm the room. Just as with feature walls in the bedroom and living room, try using wallpaper on one wall of your kitchen while keeping the other walls neutral. This will create visual interest and provide an eye-catching focal point. If you have a dresser or open cabinets, try wallpapering the back surfaces. This will make your china and dishes really stand out.


Where once people tended to paint bathrooms rather than wallpapering them, because of problems with humidity, today’s wallpapers are often designed with bathrooms in mind. As a rule, people tend to opt for brighter colours in the bathroom as it’s usually a relatively small space, but a bathroom is the perfect room to experiment with splashes of bright colour, bold patterns and large prints. Use wallpaper to define different zones: if you have a separate toilet space, for example, use a modern patterned wallpaper only on this area. And for a striking and individual touch, why not try adding a wallpaper border below the ceiling or around a mirror.

Happy decorating!

1. Sanderson Concord / Osborne & Little Boa / Orla Kiely Striped Petal / Cole & Son Squiggle by Vivienne Westwood / Cole & Son Malachite by Piero Fornasetti / Cole & Son Hicks Hexagon by David Hicks  2. Cole & Son Mediterranea by Piero Fornasetti 3. Ferm Living Very Special Collection 4. Harlequin LaceScion Bark / Scion Branch

via Heal & Son