Wallpaper 101: A 3-Step How-To

Wallpaper 101: A 3-Step How-To

When I want to add instant boldness to a room, I install wallpaper. Since we lean toward a neutral color palette in our home, we’ve found that wallpaper is a fun way to liven up a space. Recently, I’ve enjoyed using it in juxtaposition to other layers. Meaning, where I have traditional cabinetry lines, lighting or hardware I will add geometric patterned wallpaper. Because wallpaper can be quite expensive, I offset the cost by keeping it to a smaller space such as the powder bath or a single statement wall in a room.

At #thecollectedcountryhouse, we used wallpaper in two locations— the powder room and above the vanity in the boys’ bath. In both places, we selected designs with subtle black accents to play up the masculine side of each space. We’ve found that touches of black throughout our home add dimension and create interest.

If you’ve ever looked at a design that included wallpaper and thought, I love how that looks but wallpaper seems too tricky to install, fear not! After working with it in several of our homes I can assure you wallpaper is a simple way to make a big impact in a room. You just need to follow a few key steps. Here’re my top tips!

Wallpaper 101: A 3-Step How-To

Step 1 Search

There are loads of online retailers with vast wallpaper selections, but my favorite place to search for a more tightly curated collection is Anthropologie. I’m not crazy about scrolling through hundreds of pages of stock so Anthro’s smaller, well-priced, but still high style selection is perfect for me.

Step 2 Buy

When I’m installing myself, I select prepasted wallpaper. It’s simple to work with and requires fewer tools to get the job done. Most sites have a calculator to help you determine the amount to order. It’s better to order too much than not enough—I’m speaking from experience here! You can always use extra to line drawers or the back of a cabinet.

Step 3 Install

Each wallpaper brand is different, so make sure to read the application instructions and gather the appropriate materials before you start. You don’t want to be wielding a big, sticky sheet of paper while reaching for a smoothing brush! This is also a good time to practice “measure twice, cut once!” If your wall is textured, give it a light sand and apply primer. You can certainly go it alone, but we’ve found that installation is more successful with a partner, especially if it’s your first time.




Do you have wallpaper in your home? Have experience with DIY installation? Share your top wallpaper tips and resources in the comments below!