How To Choose The Right Wallpaper For Your Space

Wallpaper is often one of the fastest and most economical ways to transform any room. Whether you want to add a little or a lot, wallpaper instantly adds visual interest and texture to even the boxiest, humdrum spaces. While you may be hesitant to dive, worrying that wallpaper can sometimes look overly fussy or dated, rest assured modern wallpaper used well can be a trend-forward. It can be a fresh addition to your walls, enhancing and perfecting your design aesthetic.

Whether you are looking for sleek modern accents, the countrified charm of florals, or simply a way to incorporate color or texture to rev up your space, there are a number of wallpaper options for any home, as well as interesting and dynamic ways to use them according to Veranda. While many traditional wallpaper varieties require paste and adhesives,  the rise of popular peel and stick options ease installation anxieties and allow paper to be easily removed. Peel and stick wallpaper is perfect for rental spaces, seasonal changeouts, or simply to suit ever-changing aesthetics. Whether your commitment is on the short end or long, there are several things to consider when choosing where you want to use wall coverings and which wallpaper best suits your needs. 

Perfect spaces

If you are new to wallpaper as a design element, never underestimate its power in small spaces you might not otherwise consider. According to Wallshoppe, these small, often transitional, areas, including entryways, foyers, hallways, and alcoves, can even be too small to accommodate excess furniture or wall art. However, they make a perfect place to experiment with adding color, pattern, and texture with wallpaper. Bathrooms are also excellent small spaces to add wallpaper or borders as one of the primary decorative elements.  

While the idea of full-on wallpaper in a bedroom or living room may seem overwhelming and costly, smaller rooms like dining rooms are often perfect, setting a visually stunning backdrop to otherwise nondescript rooms. Wallpaper is also an excellent option for delineating particular areas in open concept spaces and studio apartments. It can be used to easily set off one space from another, each site with its own corresponding feel and focal point.


There are many options when considering how much wallpaper to add to any given space, from fully covered walls on all sides to strategic, limited areas of use. According to A Beautiful Mess, wallpaper is an excellent alternative to paint for adding an accent wall to any space, instantly giving you a focal point and greater architectural interest. It can also highlight certain furniture elements like a large cabinet, entertainment consul, or fireplace. Adding a wallpaper background to these areas instead of artwork or décor items can keep the focus on the pieces without looking too cluttered or busy. Wallpaper even works to add interest to a dull ceiling.

This design option is also an excellent way to decorate rooms trimmed with wainscoting or chair rails, giving the illusion of an all-over wallpapered room but involving only half the amount of paper and labor. For small doses with significant impact, consider wallpaper at the back of bookshelves and open cabinets to add pattern and texture to furnishings.


When thinking about which wallpaper you would like to use in your space, consider the style of your room and what you want your preferred option to offer. While for many of us, the word "wallpaper" may evoke the fussy florals of Victorian eras, many designs today come in geometric or minimalist patterns that fit even the most modern and minimal spaces, according to  The Zoe Report. In other décor schemes, any room can benefit from nature-inspired designs to bring the outdoors inside and add a botanical feel.

If more maximalist interiors are your jam, consider intricate designs involving patterns like rich florals and damasks that echo those famous Victorian dining rooms but in a distinctly modern way. Cottage and farmhouse-style spaces can flourish with small, dainty florals. If you love vintage, consider bold mid-century floral patterns and 1960s geometric designs. If classic formality is what you are looking for, seek more traditional florals and stripes that convey a sense of classic luxury.

Color and pattern

Once you've decided on the style and the best wallpaper variety for your room, brainstorm what colors you'd like to bring in or add more of. Wallpaper can reinforce colors already present in your design scheme or introduce entirely new ones. A white room with cooler-toned furniture can instantly be warmed up by warmer tones like pink or orange on a wallpaper. Complimentary shades like pink and green and blue and orange are perfect for balancing furnishings and décor with color on the walls.

Don't forget how patterns can also be used to manipulate the eye in your space. Vertical striped paper instantly adds height to a room, and horizontal stripes can make narrow spaces seem wider. Bold florals and fun pop-art-inspired patterns can add a splash of color to neutral rooms that won't overwhelm the harmony of the area. You might also consider the scale of your pattern. According to Wallpapers To Go, small spaces can sometimes be overwhelmed with small-scale prints, so going in the opposite direction with medium or large florals will flatter the space more. 

Texture and dimension

Even in a neutral room, the texture on the walls can go a long way in adding depth and visual interest to your space. Today, wallpapers come in a number of textures, including velvety damasks, shiny metallics, and natural, ruddy options like cork and grasscloth. Many of these textures are available in simple-to-install peel and stick varieties, allowing easy and quick addition to make spaces, whatever their size, more varied and layered. 

Consider a metallic-infused floral for your dining room, where the light of a glistening chandelier will pick up on the metallic elements and add instant glam. According to Prime Walls, wallpaper that includes mica flecks also flatters the light. Grasscloth is a perfect addition to spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms for a nature-inspired environment that feels harmonious and relaxing. A sumptuous velvet flocked wallpaper is ideal for adding a note of luxury to a bedroom. Even a simple embossed, neutral wallpaper adds texture and depth to minimalist rooms.