5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Taking the Wallpaper Plunge

published Sep 7, 2017
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Wallpaper is a big commitment. On a scale from Tinder to eHarmony, it’s more along the lines of arranged marriage. However, while repainting your walls over and over can be great fun, sometimes a dozen Benjamin Moores just can’t compare to a one-of-a-kind striking print that will always stay true to itself and never leave you because it’s literally plastered to your wall with a heavy-duty adhesive. If you’re still unsure about taking the wallpaper plunge, here are 5 either/or questions to guide you through your wallpaper courtship.

1. Statement or Refresher?

While a change is in order, first you need to decide if you’re ready to make a statement or if a little refresher will do. Think about rearranging your furniture or replacing a few accents like pillows, throws, and rugs. If this doesn’t do the trick, you may need to spice things up (in case you were wondering how this plays into our dating analogy) with a bold statement in the form of wallpaper. Wallpaper is not the norm in most households, so it tends to stand out, and that’s what’s great about it. If you’re ready to make a decor statement, keep reading.

2. Like or Like Like?

So, you’ve made the decision to make a statement with wallpaper, but how do you know if you’re still going to like the pattern you choose a couple months down the road? If you’re positive you want to pull the trigger on a high-end permanent wallpaper, you better make sure you like like it (not just like it like a friend), cause it’s not fun to remove. The good news is that wallpaper technology has come a long way. Temporary wallpapers are a great option for renters or those dragging their feet. The benefit of permanent wallpaper is the variety of high-quality materials and textures to choose from, and heavy duty glue means less peeling corners. If there’s nothing you like like quite yet, or you’re fickle, walk away now.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

3. Bold or Subdued?

With a built-in design, wallpaper requires a more intentional design scheme than paint (which is pretty much down for anything), so be prepared to focus your room’s overall aesthetic on it (it’s high-maintenance like that). We’ve already established that wallpaper is a statement maker, but you should decide how much of a focal point you want the wallpaper itself to be. While you may fall in love with a striking, high contrast print, consider how it will interact with the rest of your decor before you commit to it. Bolder patterns will always take the spotlight, while more subdued, muted and monochromatic tones are more likely to act as a backdrop that casually intermingles with the rest of your decor.

4. Big or Small?

Consider the scale of your print and how it will affect the room as a whole. Large patterns can be really fun in small rooms, but they can also be overwhelming. Conversely, small patterns, although less invasive, can make a small space feel claustrophobic. See if the brand you’re looking at has photo examples of their wallpaper in the context of a space to give you a better idea of how it will look on your entire wall.

5. Yes or No?

Pick one and be confident. Sure it may be more permanent and costly than paint, but it’s still just wallpaper and at the end of the day it can be removed if you really hate it. If you’re thinking “yes”, just go for it and have fun!

If you’re a solid “no”, it’s okay if you’re not ready to commit to one wallpaper at this point in your life. When you’re ready….there are plenty of fish in the sea.