Choosing wallpaper doesn’t have to be intimidating, confusing or frustrating! Here are my best tips to make it as easy as can be.
In my last blog post (and YouTube video) I shared a bit of an update on where I was with my living room plans and got some amazing feedback in the comments! I really appreciate the time and thought that YOU, the members of the She Holds Dearly community are willing to share with me! It warms my heart to see the bond that decorating can grow among creative women who have never met.
I finally feel like I’m just a few small hurdles away from being finished with designing this space, and it’s so nice to feel that way, rather than like I’m building a room new from the ground up.
One of the final choices I needed to make was choosing wallpaper, and I wanted to share my thought-process and best tips with you to make that decision easier the next time you’re in the market for wallpaper of your own!
*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.
Tips for Choosing Wallpaper Like a Pro
Choose Your Vendor:
I have had only good experiences so far with wallpaperdirect.com and I purchased the wallpaper that I used in my Fireside room last year from there.
For the living room, I wanted something that would coordinate well with my front door and French door, both of which are painted “Artissimo” blue. (Artissimo is the former name of chalk paint from the Miss Mustard Seed paint line that has since been renamed, “Ink Blue”.)
So I went online to wall paper direct and got to browsing.
And that brings me to my next tip:
Order All The Samples:
I don’t think this can be said enough, but especially with wallpaper, you really need to order samples of the ones that intrigue and excite you online in picture form. Only once they’re in hand, in your space, can you make a qualified judgement about how well they’ll work for you.
For the living room I ordered about 50 different samples! The first few are free, and the rest are a few dollars each. A cost that is well worth it when you can be so much more prepared with a realistic view of how they will look on your wall.
Browse Through Your Samples In your Space:
Once you have them in hand you can do a preliminary sort as you see them in person for the first time in your space with your lighting and surrounding furniture pieces and textiles.
Of the 50 I ordered, some I loved in person, and some allowed me to see nuanced details that didn’t come through the computer screen that I ended up not liking.
Here are some things I’d recommend paying special attention to as you narrow down your samples:
Pay close attention to Scale:
This also can’t be overstated. You’ll want to be sure to consider the scale of the print in the sample and how it will look in your space.
This is one part that I still have trouble with until I have the samples in hand! Most wallpaper vendors will do what they can to post mock-up pictures of the print on the wall with some furniture for scale, but that’s never a true representation of YOUR space.
Other than scale, a few of the disqualifiers I ran into when sorting through my samples were:
- Colors looking different in person
- This is a very common problem with design. Computer monitor coloring and our human vision will never match up perfectly.
- This one can be pretty scale dependent. A set of florals might look great on a larger scale, but then be far too busy on a smaller scale.
- Textures coming through on the sample that I had not noticed in picture form.
- Some of the samples looked almost printed (like a basic home printer had done a poor job), and some had raised texture reminiscent of a sponge painting, which wasn’t the look I was going for.
Once you’ve narrowed down your samples to a manageable figure, it’s time to move on to the next step…
Display your Samples & Live with Them:
For me, this meant taping them up around my living room and living with them for a few days (I often suggest a full week).
Pay attention to what catches your eye over the course of the 7 days, how they look in different lighting, at different times of day, and how they work alongside the pieces and colors you already have in the room.
After living with my samples, it made it that much easier to disqualify additional ones that I previously had loved.
Some didn’t have the right tones for my Revere Pewter colored trim paint, some clashed with my pinch-pleat drapes, some were too bold…
After narrowing down, this is the one I’m planning on using! It has a great Victorian, almost Edwardian look to it, and I’ve really been appreciating some aspects of the moody “dark academia” look lately.
I also think it will look spectacular with my new green velvet sofa… don’t you?
I found this on Offer up for $400! I was so pleased when I saw the listing, and even more when we went to see it, bought it and brought it home!
My husband did some adjusting to fix the placement of the legs, and I did a once over with a great upholstery brush – and it’s just fits perfectly in our space.
The next design decision I’ll be making is the rug!
I previously found this pretty cream vintage textile rug that reminded me of old embroidery, but then I started to feel like it might be too modern with very geometrical lines. And THEN I realized that it is the same pattern as what is in the wallpaper that I ended up choosing, and that made me love it again!
As if that wasn’t confusing enough – then I received this pretty navy floral rug from Ruggable that I had ordered as an option for this room. I was hoping that I wouldn’t love it and that would help me solidify my plans for the original rug… but no such luck!
I think it’s beautiful, and have some fun ideas about possibly layering it with this jute rug from Rugs USA.
Stay tuned! I hope to have that decision made before you hear from me again!
I’m still busy at work creating my Elite Design Academy course that will be coming out this Spring, and getting more and more excited about being able to offer it to the She Holds Dearly Community!
If you’re excited about a comprehensive design course and what that could mean for broadening your personal and professional skills… sign up here to make sure you’re among the first notified when I share more details!
If you’re still in need of wallpaper, inspiration, I’ve got a whole board that I’ve curated on Pinterest of Vintage Wallpapers that I think you’ll love! And I’m constantly adding more!