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The Pros & Cons Of Decorating With Wallpaper

couple displaying wallpaper rolls

Are Wall Coverings A Good Idea?

Wallpapers & wall coverings have come a long way.

Modern wallpapers can be a fabulous way to uplift your décor by creating an accent wall, or changing the entire aspect & style of a space through adorning all the walls with beautiful coverings.

But it may not always be the best choice depending on individual circumstances.

So is decorating with wallpaper a good idea? There are advantages & disadvantages for hanging wallpaper. But in the end it comes down to individual preference & circumstance as to whether or not wallpaper will be the right choice for your decorating needs.

Every decorating decision will have it's fors & against & wallpaper is no different.

So let's take a look at the advantages & disadvantages of using wall coverings.

8 Advantages Of Wallpaper

man decorating with wallpaper

1. Design

The sheer variety of different patterns & colours that wallpaper offers is hard to beat.

Whichever theme or style of décor you're wishing to create, you'll find a wallpaper to match.

From vintage & retro, to modern or chic to contemporary & stylish, there's a style of wall covering to suit.


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2. Permanence

Not only are most wallpapers guaranteed for at least 15 years or more, just having wallpaper says you are committed to your décor choices.

Wallpaper is a statement of permanence & can be a real statement or focal point in a room.


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3. Gives a Room Identity

Wall colour, artworks & furniture all contribute to a room's style, but wallpaper can really give a room it’s own character & personality.

More so if it’s the only room papered, as it will create a unique & distinct space, which leads into the next advantage.

4. Uniqueness

Unlike paint for example, where certain colours can be all the rage, a wallpaper can be very unique & the design you choose won’t be as commonly seen in other homes.

A well chosen paper will be stylish for years to come.

5. Room Size

A room's appearance can be altered through the use of light & dark shades as well as shapes & patterns.

Using light coloured wallpaper can visually expand a space whilst cosier colours will create a more intimate space, especially in a large room.

Although painting can achieve the same affect, you don't have the choice of styles or patterns.

Vertical or horizontal patterns can have the same effect in making a wall seem taller or wider.


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6. Adds Warmth

As wallpaper isn’t as reflective as painted walls, light becomes more muted, making a room feel warmer.

To some degree, wall coverings can also quieten a room, as sound also doesn’t reflect as readily as it would off of a hard surface.

7. Makes a Great Feature

Wall coverings are a highly stylish & effective, yet simple way, to create an accent wall.


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As wallpaper is available in so many designs & colours, it’s simple to match to your existing décor whilst still creating an eye catching focal point of the room.


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8. Cover Up

Unless the walls are really well prepared, paint will show up any defects.

Although preparation is still important, wallpaper won't highlight any flaws & can even help to cover up less than perfect walls.

5 Disadvantages Of Wallpaper

hanging wallpaper in bedroom

1. Time

Although modern wallpapers are far easier to apply than in days gone by, it can still be time consuming, especially if you’re not experienced.

To look it’s best, it needs to sit square & the patterns need to match & line up within very thin margins.

2. Permanence

Although this is one of wallpaper's advantages, it can be a disadvantage too if you decide it needs to come down.

Although modern papers are removed far easier than the old type, there’s still work involved cleaning the walls up afterwards.

But there are removable wallpapers on the market which are sometimes referred to as "peel & stick" paper. & some are even reusable.


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3. Getting it Right

If not applied correctly, there's the possibility of wallpaper peeling over time.

This isn’t a huge fix, simply reapply adhesive & stick back.

But bubbles are trickier to repair.

Even some removable wallpapers have been known to come off the wall.

Humidity isn’t the best environment for wallpaper, mould & mildew can form behind it over time.

4. Damage

Many wallpapers are only sold for a year or two before new lines are introduced.

This means if it gets damaged you may have a hard time matching it.

So wallpaper may not be practical in high traffic areas or around small children ( look Mommy...I drew a picture on the wall! )

A handy tip is to buy a couple of extra rolls for emergencies.

Some papers are washable, others can be cleaned with mild detergent.

But with serious stains or scuffs, you may need to replace the whole section of paper.

5. Hanging Art

Although it's possible, hanging artwork over wallpaper can be trickier.

You can definitely minimize any damage to the point of it not being noticeable if & when the art comes down.

Plain wallpaper will accept artwork easier than patterned or vivid papers as the art & paper can compete with each other for attention.


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I’ve put the price in it’s own section, as it’s neither an advantage nor disadvantage.

Like many things, you get what you pay for.

There’s expensive wallpapers, but good quality papers can also be found for around $10 to $15 per roll.

The biggest cost would be if you needed to hire a professional decorator to put it up for you.

But that would also be a cost if you had to hire a handyman for any other home project too.

The Verdict - To Use Or Not To Use Wallpaper?

Of course it's down to each persons preference, but I feel wallpaper is a cost effective way to create a fabulous impact in any room.

Especially modern wall coverings, as they've come such a long way with how much easier they are to apply.

It's probably not much more work to slap up some wonderful wallpaper than it is to prepare & paint a wall.

Choose the right style of paper & it won't look dated for a very long time, if at all.

My own viewpoint is there's many reasons for using wallpaper & in certain situations it may not be practical.

Wallpaper is definitely a decorating choice worth considering.


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Final Thoughts

Wallpaper has been with us since 1785, & the fact it’s still used today by many interior designers is a testament to it’s versatility for creating beautiful & impactful décor.

Just Google wallpaper trends & you'll discover it's popularity.

It’s definitely a decorating choice worth considering.

I hope this article was helpful & as always, please feel free to share.


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