Wallcovering come in a multitude of types and styles, and are comprised of all materials that may be used to cover a wall for decorative and/or utilitarian purposes. Because your choice of interior wallcovering will inevitably affect the space's design and function, there are certain factors to take into consideration when choosing which covering to install. Follow these guidelines to choose wallcovering.
Set a budget. Because there is such a wide array of treatments that may be used to cover a wall, it is possible to spend anywhere from tens to thousands of dollars on wall coverings. Therefore, it is important that you determine exactly how much you can afford to spend before you begin to shop for ways to cover your walls.
Assess the environment. Your interior wallcovering choices should mesh well with the design aesthetic of the space, and should fit the space's purpose. Remember that walls can be both functional and decorative, and choosing coverings should take both of these aspects into account.
If the wall is in a high traffic area, then upkeep is an important consideration. For example, a wall with light switches may show fingerprints, and a wall that backs dining room chairs may receive furniture scuff marks. Walls that get a lot of action should be covered with easy to clean treatments.
Decorative wall finishes can be used to compliment a room's décor, emphasize or de-emphasize a room's architectural elements and/or create optical illusions of added or diminished size.
Consider the different types of wallcovering. Choose a wallcovering that suits your budget, décor and purpose(s).
Wallpaper comes in rolls and adheres to wall surfaces. It is either pre-pasted or coated with wallpaper paste during installation. Wallpaper is a mid-priced interior wallcovering, in comparison to other options, and comes in a wide array of colors, designs, patterns and textures. Wallpaper is generally easy to clean, and is useful for covering wall flaws like cracks and discolorations.
Wall tiles are hard wall coverings that are highly durable and easy to clean. Wall tiles come in a variety of materials, including ceramic, marble, granite and porcelain, and are relatively expensive.
Fabric can be used as an interior wall covering, and is generally installed in a manner similar to wallpaper. Fabric is difficult to maintain, and can be an expensive wallcovering choice, but it is useful for soundproofing high-noise rooms.
Wood paneling is another relatively expensive wallcovering. Paneling comes in an array of finishes and styles, and can create a classic, durable finish for a wide variety of design aesthetics.
Choosing the materials to use on your walls involves practical, aesthetic, and budget considerations.
Make a clear distinction between what you want and what you need, especially if you don’t necessarily need everything you want. For example, if your house is home to small children and pets, you need something more practical than a white rug.
For unity, plan adjoining rooms that are openly visible to each other as though they were one space. Treat them both positively (with the same backgrounds) or as negatives and positives (using a dark background and light furnishings in one and a light background and dark furnishings in the other). Use contrasting colors in adjoining spaces only if you want to create a sense of activity and movement.
Bold wallpaper prints catch the eye, and make a statement for homeowners wishing to present their walls as art. But these types of designs can become dated and lead to buyers remorse down the line.
Subtle designs, and those that mimic organic objects, have more staying power and are less likely to clash with furniture or wall art. Be careful when selecting small patterns as they can be difficult to line up when installing wallpaper panels next to each other.
Wallpaper with a more textured and patterned look can help hide imperfections in a wall surface. They look best in a casual room like a den or bedroom.
A flat and smooth wallpaper design offers a more refined look and works best in a formal area like an entryway or dining room. If you want the flat look but your walls are too rough, use a wall liner, which will provide a smooth surface for your wallpaper.
Here are some other tips for choosing a wallpaper design:
Horizontal stripes will widen a room and make the ceiling look shorter.
Vertical stripes add volume to a room and make the ceiling appear higher.
A wallpaper with a light background will make a room seem larger, conversely a darker wallpaper will make a room appear smaller.
Larger wallpaper patterns make rooms look smaller are best suited for one wall in a larger room.
Vinyl wallpaper is the most common wallpaper available and is the easiest to hang and clean, which makes it great for beginning DIYers.
There are two common types of vinyl wallpaper you’ll find in homes. Vinyl-coated wallpaper can be sponged off with soapy water. It has a paper backing and paper surface, which is sealed with a liquid vinyl when installed.
Solid vinyl wallpaper, on the other hand, is completely waterproof and ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. This type of wallpaper can be more difficult to remove than other types, though.
There are other specialty types of wallpaper, like flocked and foiled, which can look great with the right application. But they’re more expensive than vinyl and are best used sparingly.