Fancy something a little more urban? Surface View’s Cracked Concrete wall mural is suitably gritty (£50 per sq m; surfaceview.co.uk), while B?&?Q’s Brick wallpaper has a vinyl finish, so makes a practical choice for a kitchen or bathroom (£20 per roll; diy.com).
To bring a cosy look to a room without shelling out on metres of fabric, Deborah Bowness’s Paper Swags wallpaper is a modern take on an old French technique (£99 per roll; deborahbowness.com).
Deborah Bowness’s Paper Swags wallpaper adds a touch of French luxury to a bedroom
Love decorative wall tiles but can’t afford them? Louise Body’s Paper Tiles range is the way forward (£22 per metre; louisebody.com). There are lots of faux bookshelf wallpapers out there to help you fool guests into thinking you’re well read. Mr Perswall’s Library print is a series of beautifully colour-coded tomes (£30 per sq m; mrperswall.co.uk), or B?&?Q does a chic, neutral bookshelf print for just £13 a roll (diy.com).
B&Q’s book-inspired wallpaper
Subvert the traditional
If you like the idea of something a little bit trad, but don’t want to be boring, try Timorous Beasties’ Glasgow Toile. From a distance, the paper is a charming traditional 1800s Toile de Jouy; closer inspection reveals scenes from contemporary Glasgow, complete with prostitutes (£210 per roll; timorousbeasties.com).
More than meets the eye: Timorous Beasties’ Glasgow Toile
Slightly less edgy, Turner Pocock Cazalet’s Cricket and Tennis papers look from afar like smart stripes or small-patterned papers, but the stripes are miniature cricket bats and the pattern little tennis racquets (£60 plus VAT per roll; turnerpocockcazalet.co.uk).
Doing it for the kids
Want to get your child practising word recognition early on? Paper their bedroom with one of Identity Papers’ Word Search prints – chic and minimalist, they can also be personalised so your offspring can find their favourite words (from £40 per sq m; identitypapershop.com). Save yourself the effort of scrubbing scribbles off the paintwork, and let your children run free with Funwall’s Colour In wallpaper (from £15 for a border; funwall.co.uk), or a wall of Magnetic Blackboard wallpaper by Sisters Guild (from £32.50; sistersguild.co.uk). This also allows you to hang drawings with magnets.
Endless enjoyment: Funwall’s Colour In
For pure decoration, Beware the Moon produces a charming animal paper, featuring 52 beautifully drawn creatures from around the world (£55 per roll; beware-the-moon.com), or for a bold statement go for an enormous cityscape of New York, Hong Kong or Paris from Rebel Walls (£33 per sq m; rebelwalls.co.uk). Looking to show off their knowledge at play dates? Then put up a roll of Osborne & Little’s Penguin Library Wallpaper. It features a collage of front covers of iconic paperbacks from the famous publishing house (£65 per roll; theliterarygiftcompany.com).
Maps, maps, maps
A map on the wall is a great way to tell a story. New company LoveMapsOn produces self-adhesive wallpaper that can be repositioned anywhere. Choose from its range of standard map prints, or go bespoke with an address or area of your choice (from £120; lovemapson.com). For a slightly more erudite vibe, install Surface View’s British Empire Shipping Lanes mural, or highlight your most-travelled paths on its World Air Routes design (£60 per sq m; surfaceview.co.uk).
A wallpaper from LoveMapsOn maps can add a personal touch
Fun and frolics
Still a bit scared of wallpaper? Start with the downstairs loo – traditionally the place to go a little wild with the décor. Graham & Brown’s Loo Loo print is an obvious choice: beautifully rendered water closets in a pretty blue and white print (£22 per roll; grahambrown.com/uk). Or try one of Dupenny’s witty wallpapers – Call Girls will make a talking point (the telephone numbers don’t actually work – £65; dupenny.com). Should you want to look at family photos during a visit to the lavatory, lose the dust-gathering frames and order a bespoke paper from Life on a Wall. The company creates one-off collages using digital or traditional photos (£90 per sq m; lifeonawall.co.uk). To give your guests something to do while enthroned, install Sharon Jane’s Eye Test wallpaper and watch them come out blinking (£100 per roll; sharonjane.co.uk).
What next for the wall? “It’s all about texture rather than pattern – silks and seagrasses are a lovely way to get feeling on a wall,” adds Nicole Salvesen, interior designer and founder of Salvesen Graham. Enthusiastic DIYers take note, however: sticking fabric all over the place might be a job for the professionals.
For perfectly papered walls, don’t forget the following:
If it’s your first attempt at papering, try using a lining paper first. Not only will it give you the perfect surface to hang your wallpaper on, but it will give you good practice – and make the wallpaper proper last longer.
Make sure each wallpaper roll has the same batch number, to ensure consistent colour and pattern.
“Paste the wall” paper is great for beginners: it’s quicker to hang and you don’t need a pasting table. It’s also easy to peel off if you change your mind.
Measure twice, cut once.
If in doubt, call in a favour.