How to use patterned wallpaper in your home

Follow interior designer Gabrielle Blackman’s advice on the key dos and don’ts of creating a successful scheme with patterned wallpaper

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People generally avoid patterned wallpaper in the home. It conjures up images of tacky 70s schemes and aggressive floral prints. The patterned wallpaper trend is picking up steam and you no longer have to be afraid of introducing patterned prints into your scheme. Interior designer Gabrielle Blackman lays out the dos and don’ts of the trend.

Wallpaper dos and don’ts


Do: Go crazy in a small room – cloakrooms, box rooms and compact dining rooms are the places to introduce bold patterns that really make you smile. Choose a print a few shades brighter or darker than you normally would go for to add a touch of fun to these rooms.

orchard apple wallpaper graham and brown

Orchard apple patterned wallpaper, £15 per roll, Graham Brown

Do: Choose a wallpaper with around three colours in it if you are papering a child’s room, so you can re-accessorise and change the look as they grow without having to redecorate the whole room. Trust me, if you have a purely pink or blue paper you will want to re decorate in two years, but more colours give you more options.

Do: Look out for independent printmakers on marketplace websites such as Etsy. There are some incredible digital artists out there who are often happy to do bespoke colours and designs for you at an affordable price.

Do: Paint your walls to match the background of your accent wall to make your room feel bigger and bring the whole scheme together.

Scion zing wallpaper john lewis


Don’t: Be swayed by fashion. If you don’t genuinely love it now, you will loathe it when it’s on your wall.

Don’t: Force your home to be something it’s not. Dressing a house is like dressing a person – look at its age, size and character and take that into account when choosing a wallpaper style or architectural detail.

Don’t: Be afraid to mix your patterns. Stripes work well with any floral or geometric design – just be mindful of your colour palette when choosing each.

Don’t: Get cold feet about introducing pattern. I say go big and bold – life is too short for boring wallpaper!

Circus wallpaper by cole and son

Cole & Son, circus geometric wallpaper, £335, Rocket St.George