5 easy ways to wow with wallpaper

Want to add a creative touch to your decorating schemes this spring? Here’s how to play with pattern on walls, around doors and behind shelves to provide lively backdrops for your country home

1 Team paper with panelling

This is a practical combination that’s also attractive. Panelling is easy to wipe clean and, usually in a solid colour, contrasts well with a patterned paper. On bumpy walls trailing leaves, loose floral swags or free-form swirls are more forgiving than heavy stripes or geometrics.

2 Add a touch of humour

Spruce up the bathroom by having a bit of fun with a confident, quirky retro design. To complement Victorian-style sanitaryware wallpaper designer Louise Body suggests using ‘a monochrome palette and fine drawings for a subtle sense of class and a slightly saucy humorous touch’. For maximum impact and visual continuity, wallpaper into the window recess, too.

3 Straighten walls

Period properties often have walls and door frames that are far from perpendicular. Papering to the ceiling and around doors allows the wallpaper pattern to unify the room, visually hiding any imperfections. Select papers with a simple pattern repeat, rather than stripes, and distract the eye with heavy-framed artwork at mid-height level, which will also give the scheme a focal point.

4 Make shelves stand out

For just a touch of colour and pattern, paper the sections of wall behind display shelving. This adds visual definition and creates a pretty decorative backdrop for ornaments and curios. It’s a striking alternative to a feature wall, particularly in smaller rooms, as the panel effect will make the room feel wider. It’s also a great way to use up remnants of rolls and experiment with patterns.

Be creative with stripes

Bring a contemporary touch to a classical home by papering the top half of the wall with the stripes running vertically, counterbalanced by horizontal stripes beneath to prevent the wall from appearing too lofty. ‘This creates the appearance of a subtle dado rail without being old-fashioned or obvious,’ says David Mottershead, Managing Director, Little Greene.

For more brilliant country decorating ideas, visit the Country Homes & Interiors homepage.

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