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How NOT to mess up wallpaper

We at Q Design House love wallpaper. Unfortunately even for the experienced, wallpaper tends to be a stressful part of any project. At first it seems simple enough, surely. You merely have to choose a wallpaper that goes with your scheme, get it ordered to arrive at the correct stage of the project, and book a professional to hang it perfectly…right? Sadly, that’s where you’d be wrong. Here are some valuable lessons our team have learnt over the years:

1. Consider the material. Vinyl wall coverings are more durable, more easily cleaned and available in all textures, colours and designs. Luckily, high quality suppliers have invested a lot in achieving tactile looks to mimic organic fibres – these options are definitely worth considering, as they are also easier to hang and thus minimise seamlines. However as with most materials, nothing can beat the beauty of natural weaves such as sisal, seagrass and bamboo. We'd recommend keeping these special finishes for your master bedroom or drawing room, not just because they are a more costly alternative, but their delicate nature also makes them more prone to humidity and traffic damage.

2. Calculate your quantity. You wouldn't be alone if you think “width by height, divide by room width” is the way to calculate your required wallpaper quantity! If you particularly want the perfect virtually seamless finish, or if you are working with a pattern repeat, this can be a big risk. Many wallpaper suppliers will have a minimum order quantity if you need to order more, which can be expensive and frustrating if you only require a couple more metres but have to shell out for a full roll. To avoid this, ask your decorator to calculate this for you and take accountability for the order so you aren’t on the hook for errors you haven’t made. Ensure your decorator is also responsible for ordering the right paste for your specification.

3. Think about the seams. Many wallpapers are sold as "seamless" or "virtually seamless". There are lots of different ways for wallpapers to be hung, especially with natural fibres. These will often require specialist fitters in order to get neat seams, so make sure you check reviews and book the right person to get your home looking up to your high standards. However we’re also aware that for some, the sight of a wallpaper seam would drive them mad - and even purportedly seamless wallpapers are rarely truly seamless. Opt for patterns and less textured wall coverings if that sounds like you!

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