Dining spaces offer an opportunity to really play with design, and make a statement. The right choice of dining room wallpaper ideas can set the mood to perfection, enabling your entertaining area to become what you've always dreamt.
Adding extra interest to your dining room ideas also shouldn't be as intimidating as doing so in another area of the home. This tends to be an occasional space, meaning you can experiment more without being as worried about growing tired or overwhelmed by your decision.
'Wallpaper can be a great way to add a distinct personality to your dining room, without the need to do any renovation,' says Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor, Furniture And Choice. 'While paint can add colour, wallpaper takes it further with patterns and textures - all as bold or as subtle as you prefer.'
'For example, you can use bright and colourful wallpaper to revive a tired dining room into an energised space for meals and parties. And if you live in a rental, peel-and-stick wallpaper is an easy way to add your personal style to your dining room.'
From feature walls to papering all four walls, subtle schemes to bold statements, wallpaper can go a long way to bringing your entertaining space to life.
Dining room wallpaper ideas
'When choosing wallpaper for your dining room, decide the style you’re going for and how it fits with your dining set,' recommends Rebecca from Furniture and Choice.
'For example, if you prefer a clean and elegant look with a wooden dining set or glass dining table, keep it simple with neutral coloured grass cloth wallpaper for added texture. If you love bold colour and fun prints, however, consider using tropical wallpaper to add zest and energy to an oak dining set or fresh white table.'
1. Tie the space together
Create a cohesive scheme even when using a busily patterned paper. Achieve this by decorating the rest of the space in colours picked out from the print. To stop this getting too much, choose a wallpaper which only has up to three main shades. You can then take these three onto the other areas of dining room wall decor if you're playing with a feature wall. Furniture and soft accessories will also link in nicely.
2. Paper above the dado rail
Whether you're working with small dining room ideas, or simply don't want to commit to an entirely papered space, use the dado rail as a break.
Paper only above here and paint the rail and wall beneath in a tonal colour to that in the pattern.
3. Combine paint and paper
You don't only have to use dining room wallpaper ideas - you can combine with paint for an inventive and stylish finish.
Try wallpapering in panels and painting the frames and other parts of the wall. You can choose tonal shade for a calming look, or go bold by choosing a contrasting shade.
4. Take it onto the ceiling
For dining spaces in open plan kitchens or living areas, you might want to visually zone the space. Dining room wallpaper ideas are an easy and effective way of accomplishing this. Take a thick strip of wallpaper from the base of the wall behind the table, and paste it all the way up to and onto the ceiling.
This also looks great in standalone dining rooms for the perfect amount of colour and pattern in an otherwise minimal space.
5. Go family friendly with chalkboard paper
For family-centric dining rooms, use wallpaper as a way to let everyone have a bit of fun. A strip of paper chalkboard ideas can become a family planner, a place to write game rules or simply a place for kids to play when the adults are droning on a bit!
For evenings without the children you can then use this space as somewhere to write menus for special occasions.
6. Wallpaper inside panels
Make even more of a feature wallpaper by using panels to frame the design. Wallpaper inside a wall panel to create pops of pattern to break up a plain colour scheme, creating a feature wall with added wow factor.
Use existing wall panels or create your own DIY panels by framing single sections of wallpaper with simple beading, available at all good DIY retailers. As a bonus, this is actually an example of budget dining room ideas as you only need to buy a small amount of wallpaper.
7. Choose subtle patterns
Using a patterned wallpaper doesn't mean the look has to be statement or overpowering. In fact, subtly patterned dining room wallpaper ideas can add the perfect amount of depth and interest to the wall colour.
Using the same colour throughout the rest of the space will help to reinforce the impact of the pattern - however delicate.
8. Keep things chic and simple
To keep a dining space serene and effortlessly styled choose an abstract wallpaper design, one that adds tonal interest without being an obvious patterned paper.
This look is best suited to neutral dining room ideas, where less is more. Natural materials through the wooden dining table and rustic woven dining room lighting idea goes a long way to enhance the overall look of pared-back, effortless beauty.
9. Layer pattern on pattern
Enliven even the tiniest of dining areas with layers of pattern to make the space feel inviting and well designed. Choose a dominating pattern to dress the walls via the wallpaper design, then choose soft furnishings to coordinate in colour but clash in pattern.
This layered look is ideal if you're looking to create a retro Mid-century look, where pattern is welcomed in all forms.
Keep furniture choices simple and unfussy to let the use of pattern and colour be the main attraction. Banquettes are a great option, saving space and acting as dining room storage ideas, too, so clutter doesn't distract.
10. Scale-up for maximum impact
If you're considering dining room wallpaper ideas that scream 'look at me!' go for a captivating wall mural – one that takes over an entire wall.
Follow the maximalist trend and go for more with your chosen wallpaper design – be unapologetic with pattern. This large scale approach to adding pattern helps to create a statement feature wall ideas, ideal for a dining room space to add personality and create a focal talking point.
11. Invite nature indoors
Surround yourself with nature while enjoying mealtimes at all times of the year. Invigorate a dining space, especially one which overlooks a garden, with a leafy wallpaper print in lush greens to blur the lines of indoor and out.
The trend for inviting nature into our homes is going from strength to strength, as we look to create a grounding decor that makes us feel calm and happy – qualities we associate with being out in nature.
A green colour scheme is so versatile, ideal mixed with contrasting white accessories or enhanced by natural materials such as wood and clay. Use foliage in your dining table decorating ideas to accentuate the natural look.
12. Balance a room by wallpapering in alcoves
Wallpapering an entire dining room with a highly patterned paper can be overwhelming, so try decorating a panel of wall for a quieter but equally eye-catching effect.
Wallpaper either side of the fireplace to frame the original feature, using imaginative alcove ideas to balance the use of pattern and colour.
Continue the colours of the wallpaper around the room and onto the table setting, chair covers and window dressing for a co-ordinated look.
13. Use wallpaper to trick the eye
Gone are the days when dining room wallpaper ideas simply meant choosing between either stripes or floral patterns. ‘Illusion’ wallpaper can now be used to make a real statement, and you can find a design as individual as you are.
With new printing techniques, a wide range of trompe l’oeil wallpapers can now be easily found online and at popular DIY stores. And it’s easy to create a bold look or add a special focal point to your scheme.
14. Welcome a feature wall
Make a feature wall with your dining room wallpaper ideas by using a statement design that adds a decorative touch to the overall decor.
If you want to add a simple touch of country to your scheme choose a faux log pile wallpaper print. If your living space is more contemporary, choose a more abstract pattern to inject colour.
Whichever style you opt for be sure to use the striking wallpaper sparingly on one feature wall to avoid dominating the rest of the room.
15. Pretty up with blowsy florals
Bring the outside in with a breath of fresh air to your walls. Even simple white dining room ideas can be given a summery charm with a delightful repeat of meadow flowers on one wall.
Pretty yellows, dusky pinks and sky blues will add subtle colour to the scheme for an uplifting finish.
16. Captivate with a bold print
A dining room is a great place to experiment and can provide a real talking point when entertaining guests.
When using a bold wallpaper on all four walls we'd recommend pairing with stripped-back wooden furniture and furnishings, to avoid it feeling too fussy and chaotic. Let touches of natural materials provide the perfect calming backdrop against your preferred choice of dining room wallpaper ideas.
17. Cheat a paint effect with wallpaper
Dining room wallpaper ideas needn't be overly obvious. Look for a subtle design that can add interest without distracting from the wider room decor. A graduated ombre design of washed-out grey welcomes just a hint of colour and pattern without overwhelming the decor.
Ombre paint effects have become hugely popular in recent years, and while there are many handy tutorials to watch to master the art of painting a wall in the same style – it's still a big DIY and decorating job to undertake. Save yourself the time and effort by cheating the look with a modern wallpaper design.
18. Add a classic stripe
Give your scheme a tailored yet feminine look with smart stripes.
Vertical lines can increase the feeling of height in small areas and by choosing a gentle colourway, you will create a calming yet orderly atmosphere.
19. Introduce industrial chic with brick-effect
Get the look of a city warehouse or urban loft with a faux brick dining room wallpaper ideas. Great for adding texture, it can be beautifully complemented by industrial-style metal and wood furniture.
20. Continue the theme
For a bold impact with dining room wallpaper ideas, only decorate your space using the colours from the print. Think your furniture, accessories, flooring, ceiling - everything is fair game.
Remember that you're probably not using this space every day so it's your chance to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
What looks good on a dining room wall?
Aside from colour, the next best way to add interest to your dining room walls is to welcome wallpaper. Dining room wallpaper ideas are a great way to create a captivating decorating scheme. It is sure to elevate dining at home – from hosting fancy dinner parties to everyday family mealtimes.
‘Wallpaper has a huge impact on the mood of a room so it’s key to get the design right,' says Martin Waller, Founder, Andrew Martin. 'Opt for darker, more dramatic tones such as purple or navy to make larger rooms appear more intimate or choose lighter hues, such as grey to create the illusion of space.'
'Think about the style of a home. Traditional patterns often suit period homes better, whilst kitsch patterns can add a sense of fun. Don’t be afraid to combine different patterns. Mix classic designs such as stripes or florals with exotic styles such as ikats and kilims. Avoid making the space look too busy by choosing patterns in colours that complement each other.’
How do you pick a dining room wallpaper?
The key to picking a wallpaper for a dining room is finding a look that is right for the space. If your dining room is off the kitchen you might choose to contrast with pattern. While if it's positioned off a living room you should choose a plainer design. Pick a paper you love that will prove timeless to avoid having to decorating every few years.
‘A formal dining room tends to be a lesser used space in the home which means you can afford to go bold in your colour choices,' notes Martin from Andrew Martin. 'Red is a classic choice, giving the room a formal feel and is said to stimulate the appetite of your guests. But the goal is to create a feeling of intimacy within the space and any darker shade is perfect for doing just that. ‘
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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