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How to Choose A Wallpaper Pattern

Make a Room Look Bigger, Taller and More

Wall coverings generate visual interest by adding pattern, texture, and accent color to a room. They are a dramatic way to define a room’s style. With the right pattern, you can totally change the appearance of an entire room!

For example, a bold abstract print immediately establishes a contemporary style, while a small floral design will suggest a more traditional or country theme.

example of bold, modern wallpaper pattern
example of traditional wallpaper pattern

How to Choose Wallpaper Patterns

Small Prints

small print wallpaper pattern with Ziggurat Seaglass Wallpaper
small print wallpaper with Petal Slate Geometric Wallpaper
small print wallpaper pattern with Magnolia home Pick Up Sticks Black Wallpaper

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. Patterns with small prints are often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and other small spaces.

Large Prints

large print wallpaper with bristol wallpaper
large print wallpaper pattern with damask wallpaper
large print wallpaper with fish wallpaper

Ready to make a statement? Large dense prints add the most visual excitement to a room. These bold designs often prove the most memorable, leaving a lasting impact on your guests. You can treat large designs like wall art, adding flair to rooms of any size. If you want a room to feel smaller and more intimate, large print wallpaper will help accomplish your goal.

Large Open Patterns

chair and lamp in front of wall with large open pattern wall covering
large open pattern wallpaper with Lineanna Blue Floral Wallpaper
large open pattern wallpaper with Bouquets Wallpaper

Time for a breath of fresh air. Large, open patterns feature a pattern spread out over a light background, opening up a room and tying it together. Subtle patterns in this style act much like lighter colors, brightening and warming a room. Combine open patterns on the walls with a light ceiling to retain a sense of height when design elements have a vertical thrust.

Geometric Prints

wall with teal and green geometric print wallpaper
light beige patterned wallpaper
entrance hall with black and white geometric print wall covering

Bring order to your design. If your room needs a focal point, geometric wallpaper will be perfect for the job. Geometric prints give a lasting impression of continuous space when applied to all the walls. This category includes bold shapes, sharp angles, plaids, and grids. Large geometric patterns can be bold and exciting, while small patterns can be subtle and peaceful.

Vertical Lines

chair and table in front of wall with vertical striped wallpaper
hallway and stairs showing vertical stripes on the walls
living room couch in front of a wall with blue vertical striped wall covering

Wallpaper patterns with strong vertical lines or stripes remain a timeless choice. From thick bold stripes to classy pinstripes, vertical striped wallpaper provides the perfect backdrop for your interior design. Choose from classic two-tone lines, multicolored stripes, or exciting non-traditional stripes. Use vertical stripes to make a low ceiling seem higher.

Horizontal Stripes

swinging chair in front of a wall with blue horizontal stripes wallpaper
chair and mirror in a corner of a room with wallpaper that features horizontal lines
living room fireplace surrounded by wall coverings that have wide horizontal stripes

Horizontal stripes make a room seem wider. They come in as many varieties as vertical wallpaper, allowing you to match the color, tone, and feel of your room. The right horizontal striped wallpaper can make your design elements truly stand out. Remember that any vertical stripe wallpaper can be hung horizontally — those in the know call this technique "railroading!"

Diagonal Stripes

dining room with diagonal stripes on wall covering
diagonal striped wallpaper
modern dining room with diagonal striped wallpaper on walls

Want to create a dynamic feeling of motion? Diagonal stripes direct focus in a room and create a fun sense of movement. If you love stripes but wanting something a little different, try a diagonal design. Much like you can hang vertical wallpaper horizontally, you can hang any striped wallpaper at a carefully measured angle to create playful diagonal lines.

Textured Wallpaper

textured grasscloth wallpaper
paintable wallpaper with embossed texture
living room with grasscloth wall coverings

Bring life and character to a room with textured wallpaper. Textures like heavy grass cloth or expanded vinyl create dimension, interest, and tactile surfaces. This is a clever way to introduce shadows and color variations for a more appealing wall surface. Rich textures tell a story and give history to your walls. Use textured wallpapers when you want to add real depth to a room.

Got a Feel for Your Room?

Find Your Wallpaper Style!
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