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Top 5 Things to Consider Before You Buy Wallpaper

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5 Things to Consider Before You Buy Wallpaper

Before sifting through the zillions of wallpaper options out there—and definitely, before falling in love with a pattern—you’ll want to make sure that wallpaper is the right choice for the room in question. (No reason to spring for that cheeky blowfish print only to realize the room isn’t suitable for papering.) The biggest consideration might feel like it should be differentiating from love when it comes to the paper’s design, but there are the logistics of the space and properties of the wallpaper to consider, too (the fun stuff!). Here are five things to think about before you take the plunge.

1. Layout of The Room

If your room is shaped like a conehead inside, papering will be… difficult. But according to Melissa Warner Rothblum and Julie Massucco Kleiner, the founding designers at Massucco Warner Miller, an interior design firm based in Los Angeles and Seattle, it’s more a question of openings in the floor plan rather than shape alone Read also about; Jute carpets dubai

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“If there are many doors or windows in a room or many large pieces of art that take up a lot of visual wall space,” the pair says, “there’s just not enough space left for wallpaper to have the right impact.” In other words, if you’re only going to see a sliver or two of exposed design, is it worth the wallpaper planning pain? (You might decide yes!)

A living room by Massucco Warner Miller is covered in red grass cloth.

2. Total Size of Walls Being Covered

Simply put, the larger the room and the more wall space exposed, the more expensive your project will be—both to buy enough paper and to keep an installer on the clock to get the job done. Do you want to incur the expense of papering the living room, or spend that money on fancy sheets and wallpaper the little entryway instead? (For the record, we think both can be good decisions.)

An ample amount of exposed wall space makes way for the pattern to shine, in the kitchen of a Monte Carlo residence designed by Timothy Whealon.

3. Scale of Desired Pattern

Once you’ve decided that yes, it is worth your time and money to cover the wall, consider the paper’s design. Large-scale pattern wallpapers will read much more clearly if you have wide swaths of the wall that you plan to keep uncovered; if not, a small allover pattern (or paint!) may be the better choice.

Pattern scale matters, as demonstrated by the living room of designer Mark Christofi’s home in Massachusetts. 

4. Steaminess Factor in Room

Traditionally, powder rooms are a popular place to hang wallpaper. As Rothblum and Kleiner point out, “They’re usually more petite than other rooms in the house, so… some clients feel safer going bold and doing something that’s a real showstopper.” Also, they’re less hot and steamy than a full bath or a kitchen would be. True, you can find wallpapers in Canada that can withstand these conditions (water-resistant paper, for example), but not every pattern will be available in a tougher make. Just make sure you like the options out there before counting on wallpaper in a full bath or kitchen.

In an Atlanta home, a Katie Ridder wallpaper from Holland & Sherry lines a powder room—which is much better suited to the task than a hot, steamy full bath or a kitchen.

5. Likelihood That Kids will Hang out There

Some papers are very kid-friendly (dark colors! vinyl wallpaper!); others just look like they would be (there’s a whole world of kid-oriented patterns in the wallpaper universe). Others—like grass fabrics, which are made of natural fibers and can’t be washed or wiped clean, or delicate vintage wallpapers—would pretty much never recover from a toddler armed with a crayon or marker. Painted walls, by comparison, could always be painted over in a certain section of the markings didn’t come off, but repapering would be a much bigger ordeal.

Natural-fiber wallpaper would be nearly impossible to clean were it ever attacked with a crayon.

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