To Wallpaper or Not to Wallpaper?

After seeing beautiful new wallpaper styles on social media, in magazines and in model homes, people have asked me whether they should use it in their homes. My response involves asking five questions. If you’re wondering whether you should wallpaper your home, ask yourself these questions, and choose what’s best for you.

1. Where are you adding wallpaper?
The most popular areas for adding wallpaper are dining rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry rooms, home offices and foyers.
I don’t use wallpaper in kitchens, because the wallpaper can become dirty and stained from cooking. Instead, I prefer tile, brick or shiplap as backsplashes, and painted walls with paneling added. I also am not a fan of using wallpaper in full baths, because of moisture from showering.

2. What kind of wallpaper will you use?
Removable wallpaper is easy to install and remove, and it is great for feature walls (think beautiful murals) or if you are in a rental home or apartment.
I’ve seen many sellers remove outdated wallpaper prior to listing their homes. Removing older wallpaper often causes damage to walls. And, a lot of damage is caused by homeowners choosing to paint over wallpaper instead of removing it. If you have older wallpaper in your home that you wish to remove, consult a professional. They usually can save you from damaging the walls.
If you’re having a professional installer apply wallpaper, ask what type of glue they will use and whether it can be removed later without damaging the walls.

3. How much of the room are you wallpapering?
Wallpaper trends include covering only one wall as a feature wall or installing it above board and batten, beadboard or other paneling. I advise others to do this if they want the look of wallpaper but don’t want to be overwhelmed by it.

Another place for wallpaper is the ceiling. It can be somewhat controversial, but I love the look of a well-done wallpapered ceiling.

4. What colors and designs are you considering?
Color and design depends on how much of the room you are wallpapering. I lean more toward neutral, moody colors for dining rooms and bedrooms, but half baths are a good place for more vibrant colors. Recently, I added a removable flamingo wallpaper above black vertical shiplap in a half bath, which gave the home a pop of color. In addition, laundry rooms and kids’ bedrooms can be an area where you can add more unique styles of wallpaper.

5. Do you own your home or are you renting?
If you are renting a home or an apartment, a removable wallpaper can help personalize your space. Make sure you get the go-ahead from your landlord prior to adding the wallpaper.

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If you own a home and are planning to sell in the next six months to a year, consult your real estate agent about your wallpaper choice and where you will be adding it. An experienced and active agent will follow design trends and know what buyers are looking for.

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