Choosing Wallpaper - How Will Wallpaper Patterns Affect My Room?

Wall coverings increase visual interest by adding pattern, texture and accent color to a room. They are a dramatic way to define a room style. For example, a bold abstract print immediately establishes a contemporary style, while a small floral design will suggest a more traditional or country theme.


Small prints add a touch of pattern to the overall background color, forming a subtle backdrop. Mini prints in light, cool colors and fine textures applied to the walls and ceiling create a feeling of more space in a small room. If the mini print is in a warm, dark color, the opposite response occurs. They are often used in kitchens, bathrooms and other small spaces.

Small Prints

Large patterns add the most visual interest to a room. They can also make a room seem smaller and more intimate.

Large Patterns

Large patterns on all the walls with plain, light ceilings help retain a sense of height when design elements have a vertical thrust.

Large Patterns

Geometric prints give a greater impression of continuous space when applied to all the walls. They include both plaids and grids. Large geometric patterns can be bold and exciting, while small patterns can be very subtle.

Geometric Prints

Patterns with strong vertical lines make a ceiling seem higher.

Vertical Lines

Horizontal stripes make a room seem wider. When a vertical stripe is hung horizontally, it is termed "railroading."

Horizontal Stripes

Diagonal stripes give direction and create movement.

Diagonal Stripes

Textures, such as heavy grass cloth or expanded vinyl, create dimension, interest, and surface quality. They create shadows and slight color differences for a more interesting wall surface.

Textures, Grasscloth or Expanded Vinyl