How to pick wallpaper for your living room

Consider these tips before choosing something you’ll be living with for a while

"When you start from what you know, you can go anywhere. It’s when we try to start from a place that isn’t truly authentic to us that makes it challenging to forge ahead." — Studio 11 Design founder Kellie Sirna.Once you have an idea of what authentically pleases you in design, it's time to start small. "I recommend starting small and with something personal. Rather than taking on too much or redoing the entire house, perhaps start with your personal office, or even the laundry or mudroom." — Studio 11 Design founder Kellie Sirna.Designing with confidence doesn't have to mean designing to break the bank."A truly inexpensive way to take a risk without endangering the bank account is to experiment with changing up room layouts; swapping furniture and accessories between rooms; and redefining a room’s purpose, swapping it with another." — Studio 11 Design founder Kellie Sirna

Wallpaper is back in a big way this year, and that means it’s finding its way into every room. Many homeowners are beginning to experiment with bringing wallpaper into the living room for a more vibrant and varied aesthetic, so the interior design pros are offering their advice to make the most of it.

“Wallpaper is best used as a focal point which can be applied to walls behind a sofa, the TV wall, or a wall that can be seen from the hallway to draw you into the space,” Christina Halasz of Halasz Designs told The Spruce. According to the experienced designer, it’s important to first decided if you want your living room wallpaper to cover every wall or simply accent the room.

According to Robert Malmberg, founder and designer of Malmberg Studio, the color of the wallpaper should depend on a number of things.

“Take note of the room’s natural light and temperature,” Malmberg told The Washington Post. “If there is lots of ambient window light, it’s safer to use a wide range of colors from light to dark. Lots of natural light will make the darker papers feel way less brooding. Be mindful of the rooms where there is little or no window light, as the darker or moodier papers can create a cavelike scenario. Sometimes this may be intentional, but it’s worth being conscious.”

Roxana Eslamieh, founder and designer of Manuka Textiles, added that vinyl wall coverings are preferable to silk-screen papers for high-traffic hospitality areas, such as the living room.

Another important tip to consider when choosing a wallpaper for the living room is the importance of samples. Just as you would sample a paint color, you should always order wallpaper samples before purchasing whole rolls.

“All wallpaper vendors and manufacturers are (or should be) more than happy to send you a good-sized sample for you to apply to the wall, so take advantage of this,” Paul Walden Interiors reported. “Order samples of the wallpapers you have your eye on and apply them to the wall and live with them for a couple of days. One will stand out as your favorite and it isn’t always the one you had your eye on when browsing online.”