Choosing the right wallpaper for your living room is a responsible job - after all, you’ll be looking at your choice every day for years.
So it pays to find a design that you really love and that will stand the test of time. Let's explore living room wallpaper, what to consider and what will look totally fabulous in your home.
First, there are some important decisions to make..
Should I have a feature wall?
Do you want wallpaper on all four walls in your living room, or would you like a single feature wall? With a feature wall people often choose to go with a bold design - either a strong colour or a dramatic design - or both!
If you’re papering all four walls, you might find that a bold design becomes a bit too overwhelming, so you might be looking for a more subtle colour and print.
Wallpaper for a living room feature wall
There are lots of options for a feature wall, and you need to immerse yourself in wallpaper designs for a while to get a sense of what you like.
Botanical wallpaper is making a big comeback, so if you like nature and floral designs this might be a direction to choose.
Damask has been a classic feature wall design for years, but there are lots of new twists on the pattern to keep it relevant and exciting.
There’s also a growing trend for ‘illusion’ wallpaper, where you can create the look of bricks, panels, bookcases, trelliswork or even an old Chesterfield sofa with designer wallpaper.
Non-feature wallpaper for living room
If you decide not to go for a feature wall, there are still many styles and designs to choose from. A useful starting point is to consider the colours that you’re interested in, which will help you narrow down the choices, and whether you want your space to be light and airy or if you prefer dark decor.
You could take a cue from something already in your room - some artwork, your curtains or furniture maybe. Once you’ve decided on a colour scheme it’s easier to search through wallpaper options online and come to a shortlist of designs.
Alternatively, you can seek out a wallpaper design that you really love and style the rest of the room to complement it. Here’s where research comes in - explore Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. You’ll soon start getting a good feel for styles you like or dislike.
Wallpaper for a living room in an older home
It’s helpful to consider the overall style of your home too. In an older home, perhaps Victorian or Georgian, you can seek inspiration from vintage styles.
Panelling wallpaper is a big trend and you can even get authentic Georgian or Victorian style panel design wallpaper.
Wallpaper for modern living rooms
These classic designs can look equally good in a modern home. In a newer property you can choose pretty much any style of wallpaper to suit your personal tastes, interior layout and practical requirements.
Again, think about your colour scheme and then browse through the designs in the shades you prefer. Broad wallpaper categories to look at include geometric designs, brick designs, If you have a more artistic temperament, you might like damask wallpaper designs, or perhaps cloud wallpaper.
Choosing the right living room wallpaper
Once you’ve chosen a few designs you like, the next step is to get samples. This is the most important step in buying living room wallpaper, as it will really help you appreciate the colour, pattern and texture and how it will look in your room.
Attach the samples to your wall and leave them there for a few days. Make sure you take a good look at them at different times of the day. Often wallpaper looks totally different in morning light, afternoon light and articifical light.
Check that the colours or pattern create the right feel in your room. Do the samples seem to compliment your furniture, flooring and other furnishings?
Buying living room wallpaper
Once you’ve decided on the winning wallpaper design, there’s one more hurdle before you can get it up on your walls. You need to calculate how many rolls you’ll need to decorate the room.
Each wallpaper roll is 53 cm wide, so you need to measure your walls and work out how many widths of paper you need per wall. Then, you need to measure the height of your walls. A roll of wallpaper is 10m long, so you’ll need to use your best maths skills to work out the amount. You also need to allow about 15cm per ‘drop’ for trimming, and extra for matching the patterns up.
Use our wallpaper calculator to help you. As a basic rule of thumb, order more than you think you need - you can always return any unopened rolls to your retailer.
Is living room wallpaper expensive?
Wallpaper can vary widely in cost, depending on the design, style and quality of the rolls you choose. Luxury wallpaper is a term that usually describes wallpaper with rich designs and quality material. Of course the size of your living room will be the main factor in the overall cost of the wallpaper.
If you’re opting for a feature wall, you’ll need fewer rolls than if you’re papering the whole room, so you can opt for a more expensive designer wallpaper that really has wow factor.
That said, there are wallpaper designs for every budget, and by shopping around you should find the right products at the right price.
Is living room wallpaper easy to put up?
The final question is whether you’re going to do the decorating yourself or get an expert in for the job. There are lots of good wallpapering videos to show you what to do. You’ll need a few tools and bits of equipment. Wallpapering is a bit fiddly, but once you get the idea it’s not difficult to do a decent job.
But, to save on time, tools and guarantee a quality finish, it’s fine to seek out an expert!