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Wallpaper is no longer just for your grandma’s house, and hasn’t been for a long time. That’s right — wallpaper is back, and chicer than ever. And you can also find more options than ever, which can be a little overwhelming. With almost limitless styles, patterns, colors, and materials to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin.


You’ll even find wallpaper in many of the homes we cover here. So, wallpaper beginners, if you’re sufficiently inspired, read on for top tips from a wallpaper expert on how to choose the right wallpaper for every room in your home.

We’ve tapped design expert Eric Mortensen, who co-founded the wallpaper company Love vs. Design in 2021, for his best wallpaper advice. Love vs. Design caters right to wallpaper beginners, offering $6 samples of their peel-and-stick designs that don’t need any paste for application, and won’t chip your paint off when you remove them (making them ideal for renters).

But that’s not the best part. All of their designs are fully customizable, meaning you can choose from over 200 different colors to select the one that fits in perfectly with your space. They offer hundreds of different designs, too, working with designers all over the globe, so customers “can create a customized look that suits their space and style preferences perfectly,” says Mortensen.

Read on for his top tips for choosing wallpaper.

1. Consider the use and traffic of the space.

Think about the feel you’re going for with your wall decor. In a more trafficked area like entryways, hallways, kitchens, or bathrooms, busier patterns can liven up the space and add a bit of whimsy. And since these walls are more likely to get wet or have spills, says Mortensen, you might want to choose a vinyl or otherwise washable wallpaper type for easy cleanup.

In spaces like living areas, the right wallpaper can add visual interest and infuse the space with a better sense of your own style. And in lesser trafficked rooms, like the bedrooms, you’re probably going for a more calming vibe — natural textures, neutral colors, and pastels work well here.

2. Consider the size of the space.

Your wallpaper’s shade determines not just the style of a room, but its size, too. “Opting for lighter colored wallpapers with smaller patterns can create an illusion of a larger space in a small room,” explains Mortensen. Smaller patterns also work well in hallways or bathrooms where they’ll be seen close up.

Conversely, darker colors and bolder or larger scale patterns work well in a larger space that you want to feel more cozy. And spaces without a ton of natural light “could benefit from lighter or more reflective wallpapers to add brightness to the area,” says Mortensen.

3. Consider your existing decor and style.

Account for the style of the room you’re wallpaper, along with every color that’s featured in it. Maybe you love a certain wallpaper pattern, but one or two of its colors clash with your couch or throw pillows. 

And while you consider your existing design, think about your aspirations, too. Have a favorite color that isn’t prominent in your home? Now might be a great time to feature it — especially with an accent wall.

4. Consider an accent wall.

Especially if you’re new to wallpaper, an accent wall is a great way to dip your toes in without committing too heavily. Mortensen recommends doing just one wallpapered accent wall if you’re working with a small space that you don’t want to feel cramped, or you love a particularly bold color or pattern that might work better in a smaller dose. Accent walls can also “draw attention in rooms that lack architectural features,” says Mortensen, and they’re great for the designer on a budget, too.

5. Test, test, test.

“The old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder is very true,” says Mortensen. “What we recommend is to test, test, test before committing. Order ten different samples if you need to in order to find the perfect color scheme for your room.” Observe how the wallpaper samples look at different times of day, in different lighting.

Since Love vs. Design’s samples are so affordable and remove without a trace, you can test out as many styles and colors as you like before making the final decision. They even sell each design in three different material. “Smooth” is a durable, peel-and-stick vinyl that’s easy to wipe clean, “Woven” is textured fabric that looks lux but removes in a snap, and “Glissade” is closest to traditional wallpaper —but it doesn;t require paste or professional installation, and it’s also 100% removable.

And just so you can have even more confidence in your wallpaper choices, the company offers a “Love It Guarantee,” allowing customers to return their wallpaper for a full refund for any reason. “This is pretty much unheard of with a custom made product,” says Mortensen. And before this, you probably thought designing your own wallpaper was unheard of, too.

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