Living room wallpaper can create a whole new look in your space. Use a wallpaper design to add pattern to a room, to highlight a specific wall or feature, to frame an attractive piece of furniture, such as a sofa or a console, or simply to complement or contrast with the colours in your scheme. You don’t need to restrict wallpaper to walls either; consider papering the backs of shelving units to create a colourful or patterned backdrop for books, picture frames and trinkets.
Living room wallpaper can add interest to a space and alter the feel of a room, depending on what design you opt for. When you are deciding on a wallpaper for your living room, consider ticking stripes in reds and blues, which have a relaxed look that can lend a room coastal style. Wide stripes in lively colours will set the tone for a bold, unconventional feel. If you love vintage wallpapers and mid-century designs, opt for a bold retro wallpapers to add instant energy to a space. Black and white white wallpapers, wall murals and faux brick wallpaper designs are proving popular at the moment and the latter is a good option for creating a feature wall without resorting to knocking off plaster.
A floral wallpaper design needn’t be traditional, there are plenty of contemporary designs that incorporate flora and fauna motifs. A woodland themed, such as a tree wallpaper, will give a room a whimsical feel – or go for a tropical palm print to give a nod to sunnier climes. Animal designs aren’t just for children’s rooms; you can add character to your living room with a subtle bird wallpaper or a butterfly print, or have some fun and pick a statement designer wallpaper featuring dogs, flamingos or even zebras.
Damask wallpapers offer a classic look, but shop around for more contemporary versions in modern sophisticated shades that feel fresh and exciting.
If you’re new to hanging wallpaper, have a go at putting it up yourself. You might find it easy to begin with a small area, such as a chimney breast, to build up your confidence before you tackle a whole room. Watch our video on how to hang wallpaper for helpful tips.
Use wallpaper to make the most of any original features in your living room. This designer floral highlights the alcove plasterwork around it and showcases the gorgeous sofa in front. The beautiful shades of green and purple filter out into soft furnishings for a simple yet sophisticated scheme.
Wallpaper and sofa fabrics
A green wallpaper is perfect for a garden room. Look for a design with pictorial elements – this one features painted scenes with the flora and fauna of far-flung places in a lovely shade of Old Olive. Continue the theme with cushions in leaf-print fabrics.
Floral wallpapers don’t have to be big and blowsy. This cosy cottage living room features a single wall papered in a lovely damask-style trailing floral. The pattern is knocked back to barely there levels in a toning neutral so as not to dominate a compact space.
Bird wallpapers are always firm favourites but why not go for an unashamedly modern version for a living room with a difference? This design is called Otomi and features animals and flowers styled after traditional embroideries. Team with furniture and accessories that are bold enough to make their mark, too.
Pick a favourite wallpaper design and use it to line a single wall. In this smart living room, the chimney breast has been left unpapered, which draws the eye to the charming designer wallpaper in cornflower blue. The Larkin design depicts pretty meadow flowers in subtle sprays that are in tune with a country scheme like this one.
Trees have a fabulous linear quality that can be put to good use on a feature wall, creating the impression of height in a room. Michael Clark’s Woods design was originally created in 1959 as a woodcut but makes a truly stylish impression as a wallpaper. Here it is echoed by the line of trees bordering the garden.
Hang a feature wallpaper with a hint of a glint about it for a warming feel around the living room fire. This retro paisley design takes a traditional motif but adds a contemporary edge with its reflective surface. Warming fabrics in comforting shades bring a sense of cosiness to this modern country space.
Wall stickers are a versatile alternative to wallpapers. Paint the wall in the colour of your choice and add stickers in positions to suit your room – they can be a lot easier than pasting up and pattern matching wallpaper. These eye-catching tree silhouettes have been embellished with wall-hung photo frames – an additional way to personalise your look.
Choose wallpaper with a brick design and get the latest look of bare bricks (shown here) without having to remove plaster to achieve it. There are lots of designs available from uniform red brick to whitewashed and everything in between. The bare walls in this fabulous space create an industrial backdrop for the stunning modern furnishings.
Pick a contemporary floral wallpaper for your living room – this one picks out the grey and yellows of the scheme and introduces a little green, too. The use of neutral and grey tones creates a calm mood, but vibrant pops of yellow and grape liven it up, adding a more modern feel. A pair of cushion covers in a co-ordinating fabric help to tie the scheme together.
Make a small living room look bigger with a horizontal stripe wallpaper. Neutral colours and shimmering textures are ultra-stylish and work as a simple backdrop for any colour scheme. This stripe – Harlequin’s Tranquil – may be big and it may be wide, but its gentle shades allow it to open out the space without shouting.
Think about a feature wallpaper inspired by nature for a rustic-look living room. This modern woodland wallpaper pattern features a striking leaf design, but tree or flower designs would work equally as well. The neutral shades are perfect accompaniments to stripped beams and natural flooring. And you don’t need to paper the whole room – the plain chimney breast looks great as a display area.
House of Fraser
Use black and white wallpaper to make a statement. Can’t decide on what wallpaper to choose? Go for two totally contrasting patterns for a quirky modern look – the more they contrast, the more striking the effect. The bright aqua blue chair works as a signature piece here, oblivious to the other colours around it.
Don’t let the design of your living room limit your wallpapering ideas. A bold pattern in one area can be transformative. This full-on green wallpaper on a brown ground is a 1960s-inspired paisley design that makes a bold-as-brass statement in the hallway area of an open-plan living space, providing a truly out-there welcome to visitors.
Black and white wallpapers make an instant statement. This gorgeous exotic teardrop design is stylish and sophisticated, drawing the eye to the pure white mantel. A piece of boldly patterned wallpaper in one area adds interest and dimension to a room – especially if your colour scheme is monochrome.
Wallpapers aren’t just for walls. Use one to line a display cabinet and its decorative potential can be realised in a whole different form. If you’re renting and want to jazz up your living room, using wallpaper on the back of storage units and behind shelving will add colour and interest without altering the walls.
If you don’t have the space for a separate home office or study, use wallpaper to mark out a work space in your living room. This panel of teal retro-style floral wallpaper has been bordered by a wood trim painted alongside the skirting to match. A modern desk, office chair and wall-hung shelving are framed by the panel for neat and organised finish.
Pick an on-trend wallpaper to use on one wall in a living room that is an irregular shape. This white scheme is lifted with pops of zesty orange floral wallpaper and cushions. A glass coffee table keeps the feel open and the contrast of pure white and warm orange creates a balanced scheme