Bob Vila Radio: Picking the Perfect Wallpaper

Wallpapering success begins with choosing the right pattern, one as suitable for the dimensions and style of the room as much for your skill level as a DIYer. Read on for a few top tips on navigating the dizzying number of options on the market today.

By Bob Vila | Updated Apr 7, 2017 11:22 AM

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If you’re adding wallpaper to your home, be sure to invest time in choosing the right design. After all, you’re likely going to be living with the look for a long time.

Choosing a Wallpaper Pattern




The wise course? Ignore passing fads and narrow your focus to include only classic designs you’re sure that you’ll still love several years from now.

If you’re applying the wallpaper yourself, bear in mind that textured solid colors make for the safest bet. You don’t have to worry about carefully aligning each sheet and where imperfections exist—due to improper hanging or the inherent irregularity of the room—they tend not to be very noticeable.

Patterned wallpapers often look stunning, but again, if you’re DIYing, know your limitations. You may want to focus on patterns with repeats of six inches or fewer. That way, slight misalignments don’t end up compromising the final result. If you can’t resist a larger pattern (one with a repeat of 12 inches or more), compromise by applying it in a small room whose dimensions require fewer sheets and therefore, fewer opportunities for a mistake to be made.

Striped wallpaper can be especially tricky to line up correctly. Also, once in place, stripes tends to call attention to any parts of the room that aren’t level or square. On the plus side, when expertly hung, striped wallpaper really works to draw the eye upward, making a cramped space feel that much bigger.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!