Clever ways to get creative with wallpaper

Whether it's panels or patterns, find what works best for your home

Be experimental this summer with different wallpaper effects. Adorn your walls, windows and shelves in beautiful prints and add lively backdrops to your home..

Team paper with panelling
A combination of panelling and wallpaper in a hallway is both practical and visually attractive. Easy to wipe down after grubby fingers or furry noses have left their marks, the simple uniformity of picture panelling or tongue and groove contrasts nicely with a patterned paper. Avoid stripes and bold geometrics if you own an older property with bumpy walls; a pretty floral pattern is more forgiving.

hallway area with floral wallpaper and staircase

(Image credit: TBC)

Make your shelves stand out
Try papering the sections of wall between display shelving to add a touch of colour and pattern. This adds visual definition and creates a pretty, decorative backdrop for ornaments and curios. It's also an eye-catching alternative to a feature wall, as the lateral panel effect will make the room feel wider. Experiment with different patterns using remnants of different wallpapers together.

open patterned shelves with wallpaper

(Image credit: TBC)

Break it up with a border
Create interest in rooms of grand proportions with a large-scale design teamed with a diminutive decorative border. Scaramouche by Cole & Son, £30 per 10m roll, teamed with Butterflies and Dragonflies, also by Cole & Son at £78 per 10m roll, is a stunning contrast of metallics and neutrals mixed with pastel shades, creating a very effective use of the space without being too overpowering.

wall with butterfly wallpaper

(Image credit: Cole & Son)

Add a touch of humour
Spruce up the bathroom and have fun with a confident, quirky retro design. Wallpaper designer Louise Body suggests "a monochrome palette and fine drawings for a subtle sense of class and a slightly saucy humorous touch," such as this Erotica wallpaper, £60 per roll. For maximum impact and visual continuity, try extending the paper into the window recess, too.

bathroom with erotica wallpaper and white sink

(Image credit: louise body)

Like this? For more ideas and inspiration visit the Country Homes and Interiors Homepage


Thea Babington-Stitt
Assistant Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 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.