If you hear the word “wallpaper,” and you immediately have PTSD from an impossible job of tediously scoring and steaming or the nightmare of buckets of sticky sizing, we need to chat. The quality of paper and technology of adhesives has been vastly improved since your mother or grandmother possibly did hers 30 years ago, making the job far easier! 

There’s a better way to wallpaper and today’s availability of prints, patterns and textures make for a fun and exciting way to transform your space. Here are some pro secrets for picking wallpaper that works!

wallpaper tips from ShaSha Interiors Woodbury

Not all wallpaper is created equal.

Look for high quality paper that will make the application a breeze, as well as removal when you update down the road. There are lots of places to purchase wallpaper (in fact you can get lost for hours in books upon books of samples at a store such as Hirschfield’s), which is why getting some advice from an interior design pro is money well spent.  Home Depot online also has a nice resource.  Oftentimes you can check out a book to review in your home’s lighting or have a sample mailed to you for a small fee.

What’s more, there are lots of options in removeable (peel and stick) wallpaper that offers a less permanent option. This is a nice option if you like to change up your design often, or if you are renting your home. 

Pick patterns and textures that connect your design.

Wallpaper is a great way to add a dramatic element into your space. They key is to make sure that your paper pattern still connects to the design of your home. For example, a very modern pattern in your bathroom will be out of place if the rest of your house is traditional.  Use paper with metallic elements to add dimension or add texture with paper made from cork that is soft to the touch.

Trends in wallpaper include large botanical and tropical patterns and playful animal motifs. Hues of blue are also trending.  York Wallcoverings color of the year for 2021 is “Blue Jean Jacket.”   I generally use blues when it comes to my design work.  It’s a color most everyone likes and associates with.

I have also had fun with wallpaper murals, including one for a client who is a hug sports fan, and we did an entire wall of the Twins Stadium at Target Field.  That was definitely a two-person job.  Make sure your ceiling is level before hanging a mural. There are so many options that allow you to express your personality into your home or home office.

See Related post: Tips On Introducing Color Into Your Home

Find a balance.

Good design is all about balance. You can use wallpaper to be bold or subtle, depending on your style. Big patterns can actually make a room feel bigger.  In a larger space in the home, I like to always do at least two adjoining walls in wallpaper. In a bathroom, I prefer all four walls to be papered. It’s a fun surprise to walk into a guest bath with wallpaper. 

However, if the pattern is something really wild, one focal wall can be enough.  As seen in this animal print that I recently installed in a guest bath.

Use wallpaper in unexpected ways.

Wallpaper doesn’t just have to be for walls. Consider wallpaper for your ceiling in the bedroom or entryway, to add an interesting element.  I have even wallpapered the inside shelves of a one-of-a-kind, little two-door cabinet I purchased.

You can use it to upcycle furniture, or frame it and use as wall art. I recently used wallpaper on an old file cabinet in my home office to add some bling.  I brought in the same pattern into picture frames and behind the doors of a slatted credenza door for a fun pop of pattern and color. 

Pro Secrets to Wallpaper


Are you ready to wallpaper? 

From choosing the right paper to proper installation, wallpaper is a relatively quick job that makes a big impact. Get a sample of the paper and bring it into your space before you buy. When ordering, pay particular attention to the size of the pattern repeat.  You will need to add extra square footage to accommodate the repeat.   The larger the repeat, the more the waste.

If this at all seems overwhelming, consider consulting with ShaSha Interiors. Wallpaper is fun and I’d love to help you make this process a dream come true!