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Geometric Wallpaper

Choosing The Right Wallpaper – Part 2

Now that you have a better understanding of how to look for wallpaper (Choosing the Right Wallpaper Part I) it all comes down to implementing it to suit your home.  Gone are the days where you would wallpaper an entire room, and while this is still a possibility, most wallpaper uses are reserved to define and enhance a feature area.  Currently, wallpapers are commonly used for accent walls, powder rooms, bookcase backings, ceilings and wall panels.  Engaging a wallpaper in areas like these allow for a small dose of pattern or texture that delivers high impact.  Wallpaper can act as an architectural feature of a room or house, in that it offers character, and variety of material other than a commonly used material like paint.  Wallpaper adds a layer of materials that can provide visual interest, movement and depth.  On the flip side, be mindful of how many areas within a house you use wallpaper.  While an accent wall may provide that wow factor in one space, an accent wall in multiple rooms loses its appeal through repetition.  Instead of wallpapering an entire room, where it could be overwhelming, opt for a feature area.  An accent wall in a master bedroom for example, can set the master apart from other rooms.

Pattern, Proportion, Colour or Texture.

Unlike choosing a paint colour for your wall, there are more factors to consider when looking for wallpaper.  There are three main elements to focus on when choosing a wallpaper; pattern, proportion, and colour or texture.

Firstly it is much easier to choose a wallpaper first and then determine a secondary wall colour, if combining a wallpapered accent wall with a paint colour.  Just like if you were picking fabrics or materials; the paint colour should be one of the last components to decide.  With paint, there is solely the element of colour to consider, but with wallpaper, there is colour as well as the pattern style and proportion of the print.

1. Pattern

The pattern design should reflect the style you’re looking for.  Different wallpaper patterns can define a style or mood; for example there are geometrics that range from symmetrical and sophisticated to abstract and whimsical.  Some types of pattern styles include damasks, geometrics, florals and stripes & spots.  Defining the style of what you’re looking for will make the process of searching for the right paper less overwhelming.  With so many wallpaper designs available, it’s easy to get distracted, or fall in love with an unexpected wallpaper design that you weren’t planning on.  While it’s good to keep an open mind, narrowing in and sticking with one style will help you to follow through with your original vision of your space.

2. Proportion

While the pattern of a wallpaper may be suggestive of your design influences in that room or house, the proportion of a wallpaper is specifically significant to the room you’re working with.  The proportion of the pattern can change how the space feels.  Small prints are great for smaller spaces, such as a powder room.  A small to medium print is more manageable on the eye in small doses like a powder room rather than on a large wall where it may feel busy or cluttered.  A larger print in a small space could get lost, and the pattern itself may be replicated fully only once or twice.  Conversely, a large print on a large wall will feel much more proportionate than a small print on a large wall.  Remember

to keep proportion factors in mind when looking at wallpapers in a book.  On the page they may look great, however the proportion converted to a larger space may change the way you perceive it.  The same goes for larger wallpapers in a book where you cannot see the full print on one sheet.  You don’t want to overlook a print because it looks large on the page, when it might be an appropriate proportion for your wall.  To every rule there are exceptions, and a large print in a small space for instance, can create a sense of drama and unexpected proportion.

3. Colour or Texture

Colour and texture often go hand in hand.  Sometimes, substituting colour for texture or combining them, like an embossed or metallic wallpaper gives a different impact than a flat wallpaper.  A textured wallpaper provides a third dimension to the wall, where pattern and colour can only go so far.  The physical element of wallpaper materials, whether it be velvet, ribbed or a shiny wallpaper adds a unique quality.

Wallpaper Styles


A great way to add a reflective material in an unexpected way.  From a flat metallic paper to a glitter material fixed to the wallpaper, wallpapers can differ in the degree of how much of a metallic sheen they have.  A metallic that’s comprised of a glitter material can also have a three-dimensional physical feel, similar to a velvet or embossed wallpaper.  Combining a texture and a metallic can have a high impact impression.

Graphic, and Geometric Prints

They are one of the most readily available types of wallpaper styles available on the market currently.  The great thing about a geometric is, they can provide a structured, linear and symmetrically balanced feel, while still offering many combinations of designs through shape and pattern.  A geometric can range from bold and colourful, to whimsical and elegant.  Combined with the size of the pattern, geometrics and graphic prints can be a very powerful visual element.

Damask & Grasscloth

Are also very popular currently, and while they may have a traditional origin in decorating history, designers have put a new spin on it, to revamp and modernize the damask to complement today’s styles.  Grasscloths are highly versatile as well, because it has minimal pattern, it doesn’t appear too busy.  Grasscloth papers add a sense of luxury and looks ideal in smaller doses such as foyer areas or bookcase backings.  The last wallpaper design worth mentioning are paintable wallpapers.  The paintable wallpapers come in a plethora of designs that can be used for ceilings, walls, furniture and more!  The paintable wallpapers eliminates the need to find a matching wallpaper colour to your existing materials.  This type of paper allows it to look more custom and tailored to your design style.

Of course there are always other factors to consider such as colour, shape etc. and while there are always exceptions to the rule, these simple guidelines of pattern proportion and texture will propel you to finding the perfect wallpaper for your space.

Stay tuned for my next entry, where I’ll show you how wallpaper can transform even the most unexpected places!

Check Out Creative Haus Designs At The Paint People For More Decor Ideas!

Sahra McFarlane
Interior Decorator
Creative Haus Designs

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