Nervous To Try Patterned Wallpaper? This Expert Tip Makes It Foolproof


There's nothing like spending a ton of time indoors to make you totally rethink your interior decor, and that might include the craving for some major changes that you wouldn't otherwise have been bold enough to try. A perfect example? Patterned wallpaper, which can bring some much-needed drama to any room — or it can make it feel totally overwhelming. It's a slippery slope, but one you can avoid given that you follow some expert-approved tips for patterned wallpaper that will help you achieve your desired effect — even if the idea of prints makes you nervous.

Whether you fall into the "more is more" or the majorly minimalist aesthetic, there is a wallpaper — and a way of introducing it — that works best for your home. No, really. By playing with tones, textures, scale, and more design elements, it can not only be a seamless process (a little wallpaper humor), but your newly revamped walls could even become your favorite part of the room. And, if all else fails, you can always opt for peel-and-stick varieties so you can start all over with ease or change it up if you get bored.

Sound like a project you're ready to tackle? Ahead find five tips from savvy interior designers that will liven up your walls with patterned wallpaper, while staying true to your personal design philosophy.

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Tip For Patterned Wallpaper: Try Muted Palettes

Just because you don't want to add too much color to a room doesn't mean you have to avoid a bold pattern. Dawn Hamilton of DawnElise Interiors says that minimalists can still make a statement even when sticking to a muted palette. "You can be a bit more courageous with your choice of pattern if the color combination is not overwhelming," she explains.

For example, Stefani Stein of Stefani Stein Inc. and wallpaper brand August Abode loves to work with floral and geometric patterns in subdued, neutral hues. "Muted floral wallcoverings infuse a space with a fresh approach to design classics," she says. "They create the perfect backdrop for a chic and effortless twist on traditional interiors."

Tip For Patterned Wallpaper: Consider Scale

Big, small — the choice is up to you. But according to Hamilton, it may help to take stock of your layout before you spend money on a pattern that ends up not functioning for your space. "Think about the size of the pattern repeat and the size of the walls you’re hanging the paper on," Hamilton advises. "Think about doorways, windows, or anything else that takes away from that pattern, and how that will affect the overall look."

Tip For Patterned Wallpaper: Add Texture

For an additional accent, Stein loves working with textured wallpaper, like a sisal grasscloth. "This fantastic natural material lends an inherent Wabi-Sabi element," she explains, noting that there are some more modern takes if that feels a little too boho for you. "Not to worry [...] printed grasscloths blend the best of both worlds with pattern play and an organic touch."

Tip For Patterned Wallpaper: Mix Mindfully

Don't be afraid of mixing — but do be thoughtful about about the other patterns that occupy the space, shares Hamilton. "Mixing patterns can be great, but it can also be disastrous," she explains. "Be sure to have a grasp on the overall design before committing to a very bold pattern as you will have to consider it in all subsequent design decisions." One idea? A classic stripe is one pattern that plays well with a ton of others.

Tip For Patterned Wallpaper: Go All In

Forget what you've been told about avoiding prints in small spaces. Stein, for example, loves covering bathrooms floor to ceiling in bold wallpaper. "Wall-covering can often be the most impactful in small spaces, and powder rooms are no exception," she says. "Bathrooms are all about showing your guests a warm welcome [so this] isn’t the area to cut corners. Cover all the walls and consider the ceiling, too! I like to create a distinctive ambiance or experiment with color or pattern here. And, if you are wary of introducing pattern in a larger space, this is a great room to experiment."