If you were asked about wallcovering ideas, what would you say?

A general response is "I don't really use wallpaper that much. Painting is easier."

That more or less sums up the attitude to wallcovering.

But there's so much more to it than that!

Step back for a second, and take a look at all the options before you rush off with your paint charts. As we pointed out on another page of this website, walls provide one of the biggest surface area in a room, so it's important to give some thought to them.

So, what are your options when decorating a wall? Probably more than you'd think!



Tiles are not often mentioned in the context of wallcovering ideas. But they cover walls, don't they?

They're not necessarily only suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles can also be used on single walls for a special effect in any room. Such tiles tend to be more specialist in nature, and are usually more suited to modern architectural interiors.

There are many different sorts of tiles, including porcelain and ceramic. Their differences are based on how the tiles are fired, and what sort of clay is used.


High up the popularity stakes of wallcovering ideas are wallpapers. Because they come in all sorts of colors, textures, patterns or plain finishes they give an instant effect.

Many of them now mimic paint effects, so if you can't afford to employ a professional painter you can still get a professional paint effect.

Wallpapers allow you to have a traditional, modern or contemporary look. If you find one you really like, you can then use it as the inspiration for the rest of your room design.

Designer wallpapers can be quite expensive, but many of them are very attractive. They'll have a unique individual style.


wallcovering ideas striped wallpaper

Striped wallpapers give an impression of classic interior decorating.

They are also well suited as a background for pictures, photos and other objects.

Stripes can be equal - as shown here - or can vary in width, which results in a less regimented effect. Wide stripes work best in larger rooms.



You can use a fabric effect in a number of ways.

The easiest is to use a wallcovering which is just fabric with a paper backing. This is obviously heavier than a normal wallpaper and is therefore not quite as easy to put up.

There are specialist companies who can paperback fabrics; but don't just go out and buy a fabric you like. You'll need to check that it's suitable to be treated in this way - thin fabrics in particular can cause problems.

Another method is to have the fabric on batons which are attached to the wall. This is often used in Europe, especially in France, and is a very labor intensive and expensive exercise. An easier way is to upholster panels with the fabric and then attach the panels to the walls.

There are also wall upholstery systems you can buy, which use plastic tracks with the fabric stretched between them.


contemporary wallpaper

Wallcoverings come in all sorts of designs.

Here a contemporary wallpaper provides the background for the room.

Notice how the area rug used muted versions of the wall colors. This gives continuity to the room, but doesn't make the rug stand out too harshly against the pale carpet.



Yes, it is an option - it covers a wall, doesn't it? There are many different types of interior wall paint, so check when you buy that you're getting the most suitable one.

As well as paint varieties, there are also a number of paint techniques. Color washes, dragging, stippling, ragging, stencils - all these and more give you a great deal of choice in the sort of finish you'd like.


blue painted walls

One of the advantages of paint is the almost infinite range of colors to choose from.

In this photo the soft blue in the bed cover has been matched for the walls.

Paint is one of the most versatile wallcoverings, as you can change it whenever you want. In this case, as a child grows up, it's easy to change the color to suite their changing taste.



Bricks? A wallcovering?

Well, while they don't exactly 'cover' the wall (they are the wall!), their surface has a unique look.

Whenever natural brick walls are available in a house, you should always ask yourself if they would look good just left exposed. The natural reaction is to apply plaster and turn it into a normal internal wall, but a brick wall can add atmosphere to a room, as long as it is in keeping with the style and period.

There are situations were false brick or natural stone wall(s) can be added, although again this needs to be done with care.


There are many ways you can use plaster in your home. There are lots of different finishes which can be achieved. This can be a very rewarding method to cover your walls, but it does need a lot of practice to get good results.


This is a very effective way of covering walls when used in modern or small rooms. One wall totally covered in reflective glass will add length, width and height.



If covering a whole wall would be too much, you could always cover just one section, such as an alcove. Or use mirrored tiles to achieve a more artistic effect.

Wood paneling

Many think of this wallcovering ideas as only suitable for old properties such as victorian or gothic. But in fact, it's suitable for many homes.

The wood doesn't have to be dark oak - it could be maple or beech, giving a much lighter effect.

The wood could be left plain, stained with a natural shade, painted, or grained to make it look more expensive than it really is.

Explore all the options before you select which of the wallcovering ideas is most suitable for your room.


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