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How to select the right wallpaper

Monday February 24 2020

Wallpaper has the great ability to change and transform the walls of your home. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Wallpaper has the great ability to change and transform the walls of your home. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KAREN  MURIUKI
By KAREN MURIUKI
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Wallpaper has the great ability to change and transform the walls of your home. It has also become increasingly common for the everyday homeowner.  So, yes. Go for it- if it was ever debatable for you.

Aside from the aesthetic function, a room that feels too big can instantly feel cosy with darker wallpaper with a striking pattern. They come in unlimited varieties and colour, and most importantly in paper and vinyl surfaces for durability and finish variation.

Additionally, they are very durable and will hold up to wear and tear of children, high traffic areas and many varieties are 'scrubbable', meaning they can be cleaned easily.

Here's how to do it

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO USE THE WALLPAPER?

Wallpaper styles don’t work in the same way. When choosing one to cover all the four walls of a room, a classic, simple stripe design hung horizontally will give a fresh contemporary look. They will not overwhelm a room but instead add a trendy twist.

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To cover one wall, choose a wallpaper with a dramatic, bold pattern to highlight an area of a room, such as behind a sofa or bed. Designs with a hint of metallic, mica or gloss will give a classy and glamorous touch.

For the ceiling, consider the colours and patterns that are already on the walls of a room.

CONSIDER STYLE OF ROOM

If it's traditional, check out intricate patterns and stripes, which coordinate perfectly with traditional furnishings and decor.

If the room is contemporary or modern, consider bold geometrics with high gloss and metallic accents. Bold florals also make a difference to a room.

Try delicate patterns and florals with fine lines in muted, pastel colours for a romantic room.

If it's casual, pair faux finishes with organic, flowing floral designs also makes for an at-home, relaxed feel.

FIND THE RIGHT DESIGN

Subtle and organic designs usually have more staying power and are less likely to clash with furniture or wall art.

On the other hand, bold wallpaper prints catch the eye, and tend to make a statement. However, these designs become dated easily, meaning you may have to make changes sooner than expected.

Avoid, or be careful when selecting small patterns. They can be difficult to line up when installing wallpaper panels next to each other. Those with offset matches make matching up in repeat a bit difficult.

Textured patterns on a wallpaper give a more casual look to a room, whereas flat designs can make a wall more refined.

The former gives a wall some dimension, as well as help in hiding imperfections on a surface. Some are paintable for a monochromatic look.

Generally, the actual patterns of textured wallpapers are less detailed than a flat pattern, and look best in a casual room like a den or bedroom.

Flat and smooth wallpapers give you options of fine detailing and embellishments such as metallic, gloss, or mica effects.

These designs also offer a more refined look and work best in a formal area like an entryway or dining room. If you want the flat look but your walls are too rough or have other imperfections, use a wall liner, which will provide a smooth surface for your wallpaper.

Generally, 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.

PICKING THE RIGHT MATERIAL
The easiest and most common wallpaper is the vinyl wallpaper. It’s also the easiest to hang and clean, which makes it great for beginners. There are two types of this wallpaper: vinyl-coated and solid vinyl.

Solid vinyl wallpaper is completely waterproof and ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. This type of wallpaper can be more difficult to remove than other types, though.

Vinyl-coated wallpaper, on the other hand, can be sponged off with soapy water. It has a paper backing and paper surface, which is sealed with a liquid vinyl when installed.

Other specialty types of wallpaper, like flocked and foiled, can look good with the right application. However, they are more expensive than vinyl and are best used sparingly.

MEASURING YOUR SPACE
This is essential to help you figure out how much wallpaper you need to purchase. It helps a great deal in budgeting as well.

Measure your walls and multiply the height by the width of each wall in feet.

Add all wall measurements to get the total square footage.

Subtract all windows and doors.

Examine the roll label for the amount of square foot coverage the roll provides and make sure it is more than your total wall square footage.

The general rule of thumb is to buy an extra roll to make sure you have enough.

Mistakes can happen and it’s better to have an extra roll than scramble for more that may or may not be available down the line. You can always return unused rolls if they go unused.

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