Celia Rufey answers your wallpaper questions

Decorating expert Celia Rufey answers your home decorating questions on everything from French wallpaper to mirrored walls. For more expert home advice, hints and tips visit housetohome.co.uk

Our hall has low ceilings on the ground and first floors with a high wall in common. Are there any pattern rules?

1/11 Find a patterned wallpaper for a galleried hall

patterned wallpaper

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No set rules I’m afraid. Small designs in large areas can recede and work as
background texture, and large designs can be exhilarating in smaller rooms. It depends on the character of the space and the balance between the pattern and everything else. Brocade, £85 a roll from Farrow & Ball, isn’t a large design, but the Gothic influence in its layout would enhance the Arts and Crafts aura that often lingers in a galleried hall. Large damask patterns can also suit areas like this, such as Chrysanthemum 212548 (pictured), £58 a roll from Morris & CoZoffany has designs such as Tours CDW03012, £81 a roll, and Versailles CDW04014, £74 a roll. You will find others at Cole & Son and at Watts.

2/11 Find a striped wallpaper

striped wallpaper with chair

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We would like a decoratively striped wallpaper for our formal dining room but can only find plain designs. Help!

Figured stripes feature in a number of wallpaper collections and several of the designs suggested here come from archive sources. Lauderdale (pictured), designed around 1820, was originally stencilled; I love its classic elegance and brio. In five colourways, it costs £57 a roll from Little Greene. Hawksmoor, among Arundale wallpapers in The Royal Collection, is another classic taken from the archives of Windsor. In five colourways, it is priced at £62 a roll from Designers Guild. Poesy Stripe, from a French archive, has flower sprays between stripes in six colourways, £54 a roll, and Meadow wallpaper offers a different take on a similar theme, in five colourways, £57 a roll; both from Zoffany. New at Farrow & Ball is tiger-themed Rajah Stripe. In five colourways, muted or fierce, it is priced at £85 a roll.

3/11 Find a match to this wallpaper border

wallpaper border

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Many years ago, I purchased a light grey, subtly patterned wallpaper border, 13cm deep, which now needs replacing. Can you locate this border or give me ideas for a new one?

There are not many grown-up wallpaper borders around at the moment, though rumour has it a revival is on the way. BoråsTapeter has new borders in its Vintage range; design 11610 is 13cm deep and comes in grey at £29 a roll.  Otherwise, you can contrive a border in a style similar to yours using a striped wallpaper. I am sending you a sample of Marylebone W6294/02 (pictured), £49 a roll, from the Strand collection by Osborne & Little, which also comes in other soft colourways. You?ll see how the various stripe combinations could easily be cut into strips suitable for a border in the depth required. You should be able to cut sufficient strips to complete the project from a single roll.

4/11 Brick wallpaper

brick wallpaper

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I'd like to paper a wall to look like brickwork. Can you recommend a realistic-looking wallpaper?

Try Koziel's Brick, £49 for a 10m roll, or White Brick, £32 a roll, both from Rockett St George. You'll be tempted to reach out and touch either one to prove it's only brick wallpaper. Atlantis in Cement, £69.90 a roll, from Andrew Martin is another good brick pattern.

5/11 Disguise an interior door

books with floor lamp

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How can I disguise an interior door?

There are three doors side-by-side in our hallway. Two are panelled but the one in the centre is a flush door and leads to a broom cupboard. How can I make it look more attractive?

You could face it with a mirror ? useful in a hall for checking your appearance before leaving the house. Another effective disguise is library wallpaper, giving the impression of book-lined shelves. Library Multi by Andrew Martin is sold as a double pack of two 10m rolls with left-and-right hand imagery, and costs £119.90; and Tracy Kendall offers several witty takes on stacked books and bookshelves (above) ? papers cost £25m. The same trompe l?oeil library idea could be taken a stage further by cladding the door with panels of book spines from Manor Bindery or Original Book Works. Choose from leather-bound book spines or colourful paperbacks.

6/11 Choose wallpaper for an aqua colour scheme

coloured paper wallpaper

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Please help me to choose a wallpaper to provide a decorative lining for theinterior of fitted bedroom cupboards. The room has a fireplace with turquoisetiles and patterned aqua on white curtains.

A softly coloured paper will reflect light on the contents of the cupboards. I'm sending you some cuttings (from left): Melrose 1443, £65 roll, by Farrow& Ball; Scribble Trellis in Aqua J106W03, £38 roll, by Jane Churchill at Colefax and Fowler; and Willow Fern in Aqua/Ivory BW45018/3, £54.17 roll, from GP&J Baker. If you'd prefer to pick up on the turquoise tiles, Harlequin offers a widechoice in this colour, such as Lucido Venezia 25625, £42 roll.

7/11 Silver-foil wallcovering

silver foil wallcovering

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I saw a picture of a cloakroom at the Duchess of Devonshire's home with walls in shiny silver foil, called sticky-backed plastic. My son would like something similar for his room.

It could be Shiny Silver F34470003 in the Sticky Back Plastic range at Wallpapers and Borders. Rolls, £8.17, are 45cm wide and just 1.5m long. Mirrored Vinyl, 122cm wide, £50.40sq m, from Surface View, is also self-adhesive. Or he might like the standard wallpaper Ponti W6040/03 (below), £78 a roll, by Osborne & Little.

8/11 William Morris hand-printed wallpaper

hand printed wallpaper

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Does anyone still supply the William Morris hand-printed Myrtle wallpaper? Both Morris & Co and Sanderson say it is no longer available.

A collection of Morris surface-printed wallpaper is offered by Sanderson, but Myrtle is not included unfortunately. However, the print you have specified can be recreated but at considerable cost. In 1927 Sanderson bought the entire collection of Morris & Co?s carved wood wallpaper blocks, which were used to print the company's original designs. Myrtle can still be hand-printed from these blocks, but it is a ten-colour design that requires 20 blocks to print it owing to the length of the pattern repeat. The blocks have to be checked individually by printing from each one and, if necessary, being repaired.

The set-up costs for colour matching and the lengthy process of hand block-printing a complex design such as Myrtle add up to around £2,000 per roll with a minimum order of six rolls. Contact Sanderson again if you decide that you would like to commission this wallpaper.

As it happens, this month the company is launching a brand-new Morris collection, which has been created to celebrate 150 years since the formation of Morris & Co. It includes wallpapers that aim to recreate the hand-blocked look through engraving and printing techniques. Myrtle is not in the collection but, if you need to find an alternative, there may be something suitable.

9/11 Lincrusta wallpaper

lincrusta wallpaper

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We'd like to cover ceilings in our Victorian flat with Anaglypta or Lincrusta. Can you suggest suppliers?

CWV makes Anaglypta and the heavier linseed-oil-bound Lincrusta. Only use the latter if the ceiling can support its considerable weight; Villa Louis and Byzantine are two Lincrusta patterns you could try. Or consider embossed papers by Graham & Brown or the Albany collection at C Brewer & Sons. Hanging Lincrusta requires two people to work together; CWV can advise you of a local specialist.

10/11 Mirrored walls

mirrored walls

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We are converting a box room into an additional bathroom and would like to cover one wall in mirror. Would that be sensible in a steamy room?

Condensation will always settle on the coldest surface in a room and, of course, in a steamy bathroom it will cloud mirror incredibly quickly. Using heat is one of the keys to solving condensation problems. The way to keep a mirrored bathroom wall free of steam is to fit one or more heated mirror pads by Demista, behind the wall. The pads are available in seven standard sizes and each one is capable of heating a specified area of mirror. They are self-adhesive and measure just 1mm in thickness, so the mirror can still fit flush over them. The pads are wired into the lighting circuit and are activated by switching on the light. They work by warming the mirror in three or four minutes, which stops steam settling on it. Demista heated mirror pads are available from mirror suppliers and direct from HIB, costing from £40 each. They must be wired in by a qualified electrician.

11/11 Traditional French wallpaper

vintage wallpaper

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Can you suggest a vintage wallpaper like the one in our house in France?

The nearest I can find is Parchment Panel PC86902, £51 roll, by Zoffany. To see larger pieces, visit its showroom at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, Lots Road, SW10 0XE or give them a call to order samples.

Need help with your home? Got an interior design question?Our decorating expert Celia Rufey offers a bespoke design service to help you with your home.

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.