Emma Sleep

Experts share their top tips to use wallpaper in your home

Wallpaper and wall murals are easy ways to add character to a dull room, to soften a harsh space with texture and to give your interior an instant facelift. But for the uninitiated, it’s hard to know where to start!

We spoke to Frank Tarulli, Director at Thomas Archer, and Aimee Tarulli, Interior Stylist at Thomas Archer and Archer Interiors, about their tricks of the trade.

Related article: Colour and emotion: How to select colour for the mood you want to achieve in your home
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Watercolour wallpaper
Image via Anewall

“We’re finding more and more clients looking for ways to create interest and texture in their homes,” Frank says.

“Wallpaper can be a relatively inexpensive way of adding detail without the need for more permanent options like wall claddings or specialist finishes.”

Aimee agrees wallpaper is a great option for renovators and people embarking on a new build as it provides bang for your buck.

“Wallpaper patterns can be brilliant at creating drama in a space.

“You can create a really big impact with relatively little fuss and low cost.”

What are the current trends with wallpaper?

Aimee says that while interior design trends are constantly evolving, walls are one of the main spaces where interesting textural elements can be used to create serious ‘wow factor’.

“We’re now seeing bold prints, tangible textures and even hard finished like cladding or moulding being re-created as wallpaper — often at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.”

dimensional wallpaper
Image via eurowalls

What are your ‘rules’ when it comes to using wallpaper?

Aimee warns the most important thing is to consider the end use of the space and choose a design accordingly.

“If the room is a tranquil setting, choose a calming pattern and colour — or even a lovely texture,” Aimee says.

“If the room is playful like a children’s room or play room you could go wild with bolder prints or colours. Ultimately there are no rules and the bonus is it’s easy to change down the track if you decide you want a different look.”

Frank only has one rule — always get wallpaper professionally installed.

“It’s trickier than it looks and it pays to get a professional wallpaper hanger to install it,” he cautions.

“Think about lining up patterns and cutting around power points. It needs to be perfect.”

Green and white wallpaper
Image via Etsy

How do you pick a wallpaper that won’t date too quickly?

“I always advise my clients not to worry too much about trends of things dating,” Aimee says.

“If you love it, choose it. You will always get enjoyment out of something you love, rather than choosing something based on its timeless appeal.”

That said, Aimee suggests that if choosing wallpaper for a children’s room, the best thing to do is avoid anything overly childish, and ‘style up’ instead.

“Selecting a pattern or design that will suit them as they grow is the best way to go,” she says.

“Look for something with a playful appeal that will suit them now but also in 5 years’ time.”

That’s a polite way of saying, avoid traditional ‘baby’ style wallpaper… you know, the ones with bears or alphabet prints and opt for something a little more sophisticated. A graphic print, floral or botanical scene, or watercolour-style wallpaper will serve you better in the long term. If you feel like something more playful for bub, removable decals are a fabulous alternative.

Nursery wallpaper
Image via Etsy

Temporary  vs. permanent wallpaper?

Aimee says it will ultimately depend on the design you are looking for.

“I would be led by a style you love and then work out its application and how best to install.

“The design options for permanent wallpaper are far greater. However, if you are looking for a quick way to update your rooms look without the worry of it being permanent, temporary wallpaper is quick and easy and will mean you can take it down yourself.

“Temporary wallpapers are great for kid’s rooms, and for people not yet in their forever home.”

Feminine oversized floral wall feature in teen bedroom
Image provided by Aimee Tarulli | One of her top tips to use wallpaper is to be led by the design, choosing one you love

Is it ever a good idea to DIY wallpaper?

Both Aimee and Frank suggest approaching DIY wallpaper with great caution.

“If you’re anything like me and suffer from little patience, it’s never a good idea to DIY wallpaper,” laughs Aimee.

“You need an incredible amout of patience and precision.

“I would only ever attempt it if the pattern was quite simple and the wall was free from power points or anything that would require the wallpaper to be cut in.”

Sweet dot print wall feature in bedroom
Image via Aspyn Ovard

Top 5 tips for for wallpaper installation

  1. If you decide to tackle it yourself, choose a simple design that will allow you to match up the sheets easily
  2. Lay the pattern out on a large floor space so you can plan the drops exactly
  3. Measure everything before you start to ensure the correct material measurements
  4. Apply the glue with a roller and lay the wallpaper out on a trestle table to make glue application easy
  5. Have patience!

If you’re inspired to explore using wallpaper in your home, you might like to check out this A-Z of wallpaper textures.

Have these tips to use wallpaper inspired you to revamp a space in your home? Or were you brave enough to DIY wallpaper? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below and hope these tips to use wallpaper help you!

More renovation ideas

Marbled wallpaper
Image via Anthropologie

Disclaimer: This article was first published in September 2018 and has been updated for relevance. It contains some affiliate links. This means that when you click on a link and purchase something from that site, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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