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Wallpaper creates atmosphere and transforms a space

Choose Wallpaper

Want to buy wallpaper online but not sure where to start? There are many considerations you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing which wallpaper to buy.  Use the following tips from industry experts to successfully buy wallpaper online from a wallpaper shop.

So maybe you have an idea about the overall effect you want your wallpaper to achieve. This is good to know before you start browsing. The myriad of wallpapers styles available can be daunting and can lead you off track. Many an hour have I spent perusing online wallpaper shops!

But its best to narrow the choices and her are some specifics on how.

Start by taking into account the architecture or style of your home and the room its going in. Ignoring the overall period style of your home may lead to your wallpaper standing out for the wrong reasons.

If you have a traditional Queenslander home for example you may want to go with a more heritage style design. Many of these homes traditionally have the wallpaper hung from a picture rail to the ceiling. With VJ’s underneath. Or 2 different wallpapers 1 below and 1 above a dado rail. 

If your home doesn’t have a particular or dominant style then lets move on to what else you can consider.

Heritage wallpaper
Damask Traditional wallpaper

Choose Wallpaper Design

To choose a wallpaper design think about the space its going in. Choosing a good scale pattern for the space or deciding where to hang a feature wall is a big decision.

Will you be hanging the wallpaper on all the walls or making a feature wall?

A feature wall should be the wall of the room that is already the main focus. Such as the bedhead wall in a bedroom. View the room from all angles to get a good perspective from which to choose a wall to accentuate.

When wallpapering multiple or all walls in a room ensure the style isnt going to over power the space. Play with perspectives to help you get this right for example; horizontal stripes to make a room look longer and vertical stripes to raise the eyes up to make room appear taller.

And how about wallpapering the ceiling? Often referred to as the 5th wall that is mostly overlooked. Choosing a feature design for your ceiling always makes am impact.

Wallpaper with a large pattern will be wasted on a small wall or a wall with lots of cuts like in a powder room. Where much of the pattern gets cut away. Imagine a mural with the main feature in the design cut out for the door cavity.

Wallpaper with small patterns may get lost on a large wall unless you are happy for it to be a pleasing backdrop rather than the main focus. If you are using a small pattern on all the walls bear in mind the pattern will be repeating many times, will this make it too busy?

Bird wallpaper on ceiling

Consider Colour

Colour can set the mood in a room. Think about the type of atmosphere you want to create in that room to help you choose the right hues.

For example if you are hanging wallpaper somewhere calming like a bedroom choose wallpaper in a colour that is calming like pale blue, soft greens or a lavender.

Darker, intense colours will add drama and are best used in an appropriate room like a dining room or a popular wallpaper trend at the moment; a media room.

Lighting in the room will also affect how the colour shows. So take into consideration how much natural light filters in and what the wallpaper colour looks like under the artifcial light. Any metallic in a wallpaper will look great at night under artificial lights so use it in a room that makes the most of that light.

You can take a feature colour from an element already in the room and use that focal colour to match the colours in your wallpaper choice.

Or if there is no stand out colour match the wallpaper tone to the more permanent features in the room such as flooring, lighting or curtains. A good idea is to check samples against these features as for example a grey isnot just a grey. Is it a cool blue based grey or a warm brown based grey. Read more about grey wallpaper here

Eastern inspired green tree wallpaper
Temple Tree

Wallpaper Styles

When it comes to the style of wallpaper you choose, unless one of the points above applies, much of it now comes down to your personal taste.

So unless your home style is a particular look such as Hamptons, Industrial or Art Deco. You can go with whatever speaks to you. Whether your taste runs to soft florals, textures, cityscape murals or a bold geometric pattern there are many choices for you.

What atmosphere do you want to create? A bright, vibrant fun talking point with a modern bold floral or a sophisticated artwork via a mural? Rustic charm with a faux timber or urban modern chic with a concrete?

A popular wallpaper style which seems to be standing the test of time are faux effect wallpapers. These are digitally printed papers that look like brick, concrete, stone, timber or marble.

industrial wallpaper timber look wall

Wallpaper Types

Next is to think of when buying wallpaper online is what the wallpaper is made of.

The main wallpaper types are; vinyl, non woven and Grasscloth.

Vinyl is a great wallpaper for a high traffic area or an area that may need to be wipable, as vinyl wallpaper is generally washable, scrubbable or wipable.

A non woven wallpaper is a great all round wallpaper that is easy to hang and easy to remove as usually strippable.

A metallic wallpaper is striking and reflects light into a room but is only suitable for walls that are perfectly smooth as they show up all imperfections in the wall unless you will be lining the wall with lining paper 1st.

Wallcoverings that are made of natural fibers such as sisal, grasscloth or bamboo can not be wiped clean and give a more rustic effect. These wallpaper have “imperfections” such as frays, knots and variances in colour. As well as joins that show as opposed to a seamless installation. Choose wallpaper like this if you feel its these details that make this style of wallpaper so great.

A relatively new wallpaper trend is Peel and Stick type wallpapers. These do not hang the same as the above. They have paste already on the back and you peel off the backing to install. Literally like a giant sticker.

grasscloth bedroom wallpaper


Maximising your wallpaper look can be done by clever use of leftover wallpaper. Using offcuts for the back of open cupboards. Leftover wallpaper for a small space as seen below with a brick wallpaper. Can make a wonderful addition and utilise all of the product you have bought. 

Have fun, use your imagination and create that atmosphere when your choosing wallpaper.

brick effect wallpaper kitchen

How much wallpaper to buy

Ok so you have chosen a wallpaper; how much do you need to buy?

Most wallpaper is sold by the roll. (Alternatively is by the metre.) There are different size rolls so always check the description of your chosen wallpaper for the length & width of the roll. You will also need to see if there is a pattern repeat. The pattern repeat takes into account the amount of wallpaper that will be used to match up the pattern from sheet to sheet.

Use a tape measure to measure the width and height of each wall or surface. Its then a matter of working out how many drops you will get from a roll. See below a case study of 1 flush wall.

Wall is: 5m wide by 2.4 high

Roll is: 52cm wide by 10m long

52cm goes into 5 = 10 times (10 drops needed across the wall length)

10 divided by 2.4 = 4.1 (rounded to 4 drops in a roll)

10 divided by 4 = 2.5

Rounded up to 3 rolls to order

Be aware if you don’t order enough and need to re order ask for the same batch number. This may also be known as a dyelot. Buying wallpaper from different dyelots for the same wall is a risk as different batches may have a slight variance in colour or pattern. This is a good reason why it   is important to have a proper measure 1st and double checkhow much you will be ordering.

Lastly when buying online check to see if shipping is included & how long shipping takes. If it is coming from US you can expect a 5-6 week lead time. If its coming from Australia 2-3 weeks is usual.

So in summary to choose wallpaper; Find the right style for your space, decide what walls you are going to do. Narrow down your pattern choices and off you go. Time to shop!