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Interior Design Wallpaper: Making the Right Choice For You

by Carlene Duffy
Posted: November 09, 2015

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I utterly love the idea of wallpaper. I love the extensive range now available, I love how it transforms a space, and I love that it means no painting.

Sadly, I’ve never been able to commit to it in my own home. My problem is that I treat my own home as my personal style laboratory so I risk investing in a big statement wall covering and wanting to change it up after six months. Believe me, if I had an endless, free supply of it and a wallpaper hanger on tap it would be everywhere and forever changing.

Before you embark on what can be a very long and gruelling wallpaper journey, consider these five points to help you get to your destination with success and your sanity intact.

1. What is your objective?

Think really hard about what you want your wallpaper to do for your space. Do you want your wallpaper to act as a feature and hang on one, maybe two walls or is it being used in substitute of paint? A really loud and graphic print should be restricted to a couple of walls to prevent overwhelming the space, however something more subtle that is aimed to create a texture, such as grasscloth, can easily be hung on all four walls of a room.

Image Copyright Emily Ziz

2. What is your budget?

You will be shocked to discover just how much wallpaper can range in price and the reasons for this can be complex but in a nutshell, the disparity is due to varying levels of quality, the type of print and pattern, the designer, and where it is manufactured. Like almost everything, if you fall in love with designer wallpaper, you may need to consider looking around for a similar look without the designer price tag.

3. Do you understand your design aesthetic?

I mockingly refer to my design aesthetic in my own home as noncommittal because it represents a fusion of design styles. Due to this, I know that I could put just about any type of wallpaper in my home and it would work (until I tired of it) but this isn’t the case for everyone. For example, a very clean, minimalistic home is going to struggle to accommodate a feminine floral pattern without looking a little out of place. Sometimes, as a starting point, it is easier to work out what you don’t love and go from there.

Image Copyright Emily Ziz

4. Have you chosen colours that allow you flexibility?

Wallpaper is not one of those things that you can pick up and move when you are sick of looking at it. Because of this, my advice is to choose colours in your wallpaper that can complement a good range of colours so that you never feel restricted by it when you want to change up other items in your space.

5. Have you compromised too much?

There is little worse than spending hours and hours contemplating a design decision, only to then execute your design decision and realise you have compromised too much, listened to too many of your friends opinions, and ended up with something that doesn’t make your heart sing. While you may have to compromise on the $550/10 metre roll paper, it may be corny but listen to your heart.

Image Copyright Emily Ziz

I feel a mix of pity and envy for anyone currently on the hunt for wallpaper, as the options are endless (especially when you can now design your own) but don’t do what I do and cop out. Your ideal paper is out there, you just need to break it down and trust that you’ll know it when you see it.


Carlene Duffy

Carlene is best known as one half of Michael and Carlene Duffy; the down to earth Gold Coast couple who shared their highs and lows with Australia on 9’s series The Block ‘Glasshouse’. The dynamic duo also featured in Renovation Rumble, and have together established their business ‘Cedar & Suede’.

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