How to Pick Your Wallpaper Pattern
Wallpaper is making a comeback.
Now this isn’t your grandmother’s wallpaper. While florals and geometrics have their place in the wallpaper world, things have gotten a lot more exciting. Wallpaper is now just one more way to add story to your home along with color, pattern, texture, and just plain old fun. Whether you’re choosing a bold print that make a statement or something subtle to up-level a room, wallpaper works in pretty much every room, once you know how to use it.
Large spaces give you permission to get away with just about anything. Think scale in these rooms. You can stay safe with a soft or small pattern but with so much breathing room for the eye (especially if you have high ceilings) you have the space to go big and go bold. Something like the Japanese Orchid pattern or Macaws Flying Two by Two are great patterns to use in a larger space.
Small rooms on the other hand should focus on texture and calming colors–something a bit more neutral and easy on the eyes. You’re looking for more subtle elements to add to the room so that you don’t overwhelm anyone coming in. Repetitive geometric patterns can do really well in these spaces, especially if the color scheme is simple like Modern Magic’s Tear Drop Tribal Print or Northern Star. If you’re working on a kids room, there’s definitely more room to play and can push the edge with pattern because you want something light hearted and inspiring for this space. Summer Florals, Mouse Eared Chickweed as an accent wall, or Honeybee Dreams all provide a calm color palette, a soft pattern, and a spark of joy.
Lighting in a space makes all the difference. Personally, I love as much natural light as you can give me. But eventually the sun goes down and we’re left with artificial lighting. Knowing how the light works within your space will help you decide on the type of wallpaper you want. Rooms that get a ton of light can usually hold more walls with wallpaper. If you want to keep that strength of lighting, keep your wallpaper light too. Mountains Majesty is the perfect wallpaper to add inspiration, color, and keep things light.
Some spaces, however, were meant to be dark and moody. I almost always think of a library or parlor as a dark and moody space. Often smaller in size, this space is all about luxury. For that you want rich tones that elevate the space. The Divine Feminine is a great way to take a usually masculine space and add some of that female spirit to it. Japanese Orchids in Midnight just screams luxury and moody. Use this on one wall and paint the rest of the walls to match the background or add it as a pop in the back of your bookshelves. If you want moody but also want to keep it clean and simple then Northern Star in Midnight is the wallpaper for you.
Finally we get to the mood of the room. Are you looking for a room that feels romantic and sparks some passion between you and your partner (hello Master Bedroom)? Then something like Illustrated Palm Leaves in terracotta is perfect to spice things up. Have it printed on grasscloth paper for that extra dose of luxury. Or maybe you want to create a space that’s fun for the kids and encourages them to utilize this room to it’s fullest (the every necessary, bathroom!) Hide and Seek has been the perfect addition to let kids explore their imagination while in the tub, brushing their teeth, or in the process of potty training.
But my absolute favorite is the feeling of nostalgia in the home. Something that brings us back to our grandmothers house but in the most modern of ways. For me, that’s Life Gives You Lemons–a fun pop of color with fruit that inspires proper digestion. It’s the perfect addition to any kitchen (even if it’s just in the back of your glass door cabinets!)
For more tips on selecting your wallpaper check out this scene from Magnolia Network’s Mind for Design with Brian Patrick Flynn.