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3 Steps to Wallpaper "Wow"

Plain to Patterned Wallpapers in Easy Steps

From funky floral to elegant stripes or adventurous mural scenes, wallpaper is an easy way to add fun and personality to a room's decor. Wallpaper adds pattern, color and texture, transforming a bland wall into a brilliant, bold and beautiful one.

While adding visual impact to a room, wallpaper's influence goes far beyond surface decoration. Imperfections in walls, such as nicks and waves, can be camouflaged with a tightly patterned paper. Low ceilings can be "lifted" by using strong vertical patterns, such as stately stripes. Overly large rooms feel warmer when dressed down with large patterns in earthy colors. Small, tight prints work to cozy up small rooms, such as an intimate bathroom or dressing room. Mural papers evoking open windows and passageways, doorways to garden scenes or landscapes can easily transform a claustrophobic room or hallway.

Step 1: Budget
To begin, it is important to remember to plan carefully. Although wallpaper is versatile and now easier than ever to apply, it is not an inexpensive decorating alternative. It is best to start out with a set budget when selecting paper. Many home decorators decide to focus on one room at a time, using coordinating paint in surrounding rooms until your budget allows for more wallpaper. Concentrating on one room at a time allows you to get the look just right before moving on to the other rooms of your home; you may decide to refocus your tastes to match your newly papered room. If your budget is especially tight, consider wallpapering just one accent wall to add a splash of texture and pattern to a painted room.

Step 2: Pattern
After setting a budget, browse magazines and wallpaper samples at your local interior designer's office or wallpaper store. Start a clipping notebook of magazine articles and homes you like, and bring them with you when choosing. Consider the overall style of your home, as well as your personality and what kind of mood you'd like to set in your room. If you're an adventurous and fun-loving person, you may want to try a paper with gold foil accents for a glimmering and elegant dining room. If you like a more traditional and homey feel for your family room, you may want a classic stripe or plaid. Or if you've always wanted a feminine, feathery powder room, you may want a softly patterned floral. The options are endless, so make a list of elements you'd like to bring out with your new wallpaper.

Step 3: Type
In addition to pattern, color and personality, wallpaper type is very important. If you're hanging the wallpaper yourself, you may want to choose pre-pasted paper, which requires just a soaking in water before application to activate the pre-applied glue. If you're putting paper in a humid room, such as a bathroom or kitchen, or in a heavily used room, such as a family room or child's room, you may want to consider choosing a washable paper that can withstand dampness or gentle cleaning. Strippable wallpaper is another convenient option for people who frequently redecorate, as it can be pulled off the wall in large pieces. Consult with your wallpaper store consultant or interior designer for tips and specific suggestions.

Decorating with wallpaper can be an easy way to transport a room from design doldrums by adding pattern, texture, color and your own personality to make a room uniquely your own. Explore the possibilities that a papered room can bring to your home.

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