Conquering Wallpaper!

Selecting the right paper is an assault on our senses -- and even our sanity!

By Tracy Leigh Ritts

 If you’ve been in a wallpaper store recently, or visited an online store, you know that there are literally thousands of styles to choose between. How do you go about finding the right wallpaper? One that won’t make you wonder "what was I thinking?!" or perhaps cringe? You want a pattern that makes you happy every time you enter the room. Here are some commonsense tips to get you started:

1.    Flip through home decorating books and magazines, and online decorating/wallpaper websites. Note the styles you like. You may find you’re drawn to floral patterns over striped patterns, or vice versa. You may find you adore bright colors over muted shades. Having an idea of what grabs you over and over again is the first step.

2.    Spend time in the room you want to wallpaper and focus on the furnishings, the colors, how much light enters the room, and what your main goal is. For example, if the room only has one small window that doesn’t let a lot of light in, you might want to brighten it up. Make note of anything that comes to you.

3.    Do you want to wallpaper all four walls in the same paper? Just one wall? The entire wall or just half of the wall? Or maybe you’re only looking for borders? Note this down as well.

4.    Take your notes, as well as any pictures of patterns you like, to one (or many) wallpaper stores. Ask for help! It’s easy to get frustrated with all the wallpaper books the store will have, and a store employee will be able to help you narrow down your search. Talk to them; share your notes and observations with them.

5.    After you’ve found several possibilities that you like, ask for samples. Never purchase wallpaper without taking a sample home and viewing it in your home. The lighting will be different in the store, so it’s important to look at the colors and the patterns in the room you want to wallpaper.

With luck, the above steps will lead you to the perfect wallpaper for your home. If not, it’s just a matter of following them over and over until you find the right pattern, in the right colors, for the rooms you want to paper!

Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio. She’s the author of the book, How to Plan Your Own Wedding and Save Thousands…Without Going Crazy.