Are you considering adding wallpaper to your home but you just don’t know where to start?!
If you answered YES, then this Wallpaper 101 post is for YOU!
I am a firm believer that wallpaper can completely transform a room … and I think everyone (even you!) should have wallpaper in at least one room in their home! We aren’t talking about the outdated styles from the 1980’s … we are talking about modern patterns and textures that will stand the test of time!
I have compiled a list of ten important things you should know about wallpaper. Let’s get started!
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- Wallpaper is sold in double rolls … but priced in single rolls. Manufacturers package in double rolls because it allows for better coverage. I know this is confusing but all you need to know is this … you must order an even number of rolls and don’t be alarmed when only three rolls show up at your door after ordering six rolls. The ‘three rolls’ are actually three double rolls which is equivalent to six single rolls. Do check the fine print if you are ordering online because some retailers consider a double roll ONE roll.
- You can (and SHOULD) order a tear sheet. A tear sheet is a small sample of a wallpaper print. I highly recommend taping the sample to your wall and keeping it there for several days to really get a feel for the pattern or texture. I ALWAYS order a sample when I am deciding on a paper for my home!
- Wallpaper has a pattern repeat and this affects how many rolls you need to order and how you hang the paper. A pattern repeat is the vertical distance between where the pattern is identical again (repeats). I could write an entire post titled What the Heck is a Pattern Repeat?! I will elaborate in a future post, but for now just know that the pattern repeat will help determine how many rolls you need to order. This brings me to my next point …
- Hire a professional to measure your space. Obviously you don’t have to do this, but I highly encourage it! Not only will he or she get proper measurements, but he or she understands how the pattern repeat affects the amount of wallpaper needed. Most wallpaper hanging professionals will measure free of charge if you use them to hang the paper as well. Prior to measuring, you will want to have your paper picked out so you know what pattern repeat you are working with.
- Hire a professional to hang your wallpaper. Again, you don’t have to hire a professional if you are handy with DIY projects. Wallpaper is a large investment in cost and I prefer to have it done perfectly and quickly by a trained professional! It is the PRODUCT that is expensive … not the installation. If you do hire someone, make sure to ask around for local recommendations.
- You can order wallpaper through a local interior design boutique OR from an online retailer. There are some manufacturers that sell only to the trade so you need to order these products through a designer or local boutique. Fortunately, there are also MANY retailers that sell wallpaper directly to consumers. I added a list below of some of my favorite places to order wallpaper online. Remember the rule from above … order a tear sheet before ordering the final product!!
- Wallpaper colors vary slightly from lot to lot. It is always better to order an extra roll or two if you aren’t sure how much wallpaper you need for a project. If you run out of paper and need to order more, there is a good chance that the paper will be from a different dye lot and therefore may not be a perfect color match. Check with the manufacturer before ordering to verify whether or not you can return unused (and unopened) rolls of paper.
- Many companies offer temporary wallpaper products. Temporary paper is a great option if you are just getting into the wallpaper game and aren’t sure if you are ready to fully commit. This is also a great alternative if you live in a rental unit and are not allowed to hang permanent wallpaper.
- Use vinyl wallpaper if installing in a bathroom with high humidity and steam. You can use any material in a powder room or a guest bathroom (that is rarely used) because there is minimal steam and humidity.
- You will see seams with grasscloth wallpaper and this is OK! Grasscloth is gorgeous but seams are just part of the overall package. There is no way to avoid visible seams in grasscloth (unfortunately) BUT I think it is still the most beautiful and sophisticated wallpaper available!
MY FAVORITE ONLINE WALLPAPER RETAILERS
- Serena and Lily
- Decorators Best
- Lulu and Georgia
- Caitlin Wilson
- Hygge and West
- Graham and Brown
- York Wallcoverings
- West Elm
I hope this Wallpaper 101 post offered some helpful information on how to get started with wallpaper. If you would like some guidance in sourcing wallpaper, I would be happy to help! You can learn about my interior styling services here.
I would LOVE to see photos of your own wallpapered spaces in your home! Please send my way! Please also comment below if you have any questions or want other specific posts about wallpaper.