Wallpaper, in one form or another, has been around for ages. With time we’ve developed new techniques that make application easier, we came up with a wide variety of designs and prints like tropical wallpaper and we made it more accessible overall.
That only helped to increase its popularity. So if you’re on the fence about whether or not you should be adding some wallpaper to your home, we hope some of the info we have to offer can be of help.
Types of wallpaper
As you probably know, not all wallpaper is the same. There’s a variety of different types to choose from and they differ in several different ways. For instance, a few criteria we could mention here are the material from which the wallpaper is made, the type of application required and of course all the different textures, prints and patterns available out there.
Paper wallpaper is quite popular mostly because of its low cost. It’s printed over a paper base and in some cases it has a top coating that seals it but that’s not always the case. There’s a lot of versatility when it comes to all the different designs that paper wallpaper has to offer.
Paper-backed vinyl wallpaper is a really cool type. It has a paper base with a liquid vinyl coating over it. The design is printed on this vinyl surface. One of the main advantages in this case is the fact that the wallpaper is resistant to moisture and also easy to clean.
Solid vinyl wallpaper consists of a solid sheet of vinyl which is applied over a paper or a fabric base. The design is printed on the vinyl sheet. It’s a very durable type of wallpaper which is easy to clean and can even be washed.
PVC wallpaper may not have the same refined or elegant look that other types have but it’s one of the most affordable types of wallpaper. Also, it’s moisture-resistant and can thus be applied in areas where other types don’t do so well like the kitchen or the bathroom.
Fabric wallpaper, as you can probably, tell, has a fabric base and a vinyl layer that the design is printed on. It has a distinctive type of look which appeals to many people because of the way in which it makes spaces feel more inviting and cozy.
Non-woven wallpaper is highly appreciated for its versatility as well as for its sophisticated and stylish look. It’s super easy to apply and also to remove which means you can easily change the decor and try new designs. The main disadvantage however is the higher price tag.
How to install wallpaper
Although wallpaper, in general, is super versatile, user-friendly and offers many other advantages over wall paint for example, the installation process can sometimes seem confusing and can deter people from even wanting to give wallpaper a try. Let’s go over the process together and clear the air.
Step 1: Prep the walls and apply the paste
First things first, take a look around the room and make sure the walls are nice and flat and there’s no imperfections that you want to fix or any changes you want to make. Then apply a primer on all the walls that you want to cover in wallpaper.
After that it’s time to prep the actual wallpaper. Unroll it and check for defects and also drag it against the edge of your work table to get rid of the curl. Cut the wallpaper into sheets 4” longer than your actual walls and make sure to cut in the same place so the pattern matches.
Then lay your first sheet of wallpaper on the table face down and apply a thin coat of wallpaper paste using a paint roller.
Step 2: Book the paper
This technique consists of folding the pasted wallpaper onto itself so the top and bottom ends meet in the middle and the side edges line up. Smooth the paper as best as you can without flattening the folds. Then set the wallpaper aside and allow the paste to soak in a bit. Check the label to see how much time you should allot to this process.
Step 3: Hang the first strip
Your first strip of wallpaper should be installed in a corner or near a door so it lines up nicely. Go ahead and unfold the top of the booked paper and then hang it on the wall making sure it overlaps a bit at the top and in the corner. Press it place lightly with your hands, then unfold the bottom and adjust it if necessary so it’s parallel to the door.
Step 4: Tuck and trim
After you’ve hanged and aligned your first sheet of wallpaper, use a paper smoother to tuck it into the corner near the ceiling, then work your way down smooth over the entire sheet. Then trim the excess paper at the ceiling with a taping knife and a razor. Continue until you’ve cut off all the excess paper.
Step 5: Continue hanging more sheets
Now you know the basics about how to hang wallpaper and how to align and cut it. You can continue to install more sheets in order to cover the entire wall. When you’re covering multiple walls, overlap the sheets on adjacent walls and then trim it. When two sheets of wallpaper meet on the same wall, lightly roll the seam to flatten down the edges and push the seam closed with your fingers, then roll down the entire seam once more.
Beautiful Wallpaper Design Ideas
A colorful floral design
The Mcabee Floral Wallpaper has a colorful and busy design with lots of different types of flowers and plants depicted on it. The dark grey background makes the flowers pop and stand out and makes this tropical wallpaper look quite bold without being too harsh on the eyes.
Big banana leaves
If you’re going for a tropical vibe in one of your rooms, this tropical leaf wallpaper should be just what you need. The Reinaldo Banana Leaf Wallpaper has a fresh and bold design and a black background that really helps the green nuances pop.
A fern display
In addition to a really interesting and eye-catching design, the Stowmarket Botanical Ferns Wallpaper is also super easy to install. Thanks to the peel and stick technology you can very easily install each sheet of wallpaper, reposition it if needed and remove it without leaving any sort of residue on the walls.
Tropical palm leaves
The Ault Alfresco Palm Wallpaper has a very fresh design that fills the room with energy and good vibes. This tropical design can look wonderful is airy and sunny spaces but can also cheer up a less open area as well.
Magical garden vibes
Nature-inspired designs and prints like that of the Reinaldo Garden Wallpaper are really nice when you want to make a space look and feel more immersed in nature without actually opening it up towards the exterior or linking it to a garden or a courtyard.
Bold and oversized prints
We mentioned at one point that some types of wallpaper and resistant to moisture and can thus be safely installed in areas like the bathroom. Here’s a beautiful example showing how much a bold wallpaper print can change this space. This bathroom design was done by Studio Geiger Architecture.
Wallpaper as a focal point
Aside from the obvious ways in which wallpaper can be used to enhance a room, a particularly interesting option is to use wallpaper strategically in order to order one portion of a wall or to create a focal point, kind of like this tropical wallpaper was used in this bathroom.
A tropical backdrop
In the case of a bathroom, the wall behind the bed is an ideal surface for applying and displaying a bold and colorful wallpaper. Consider something fresh and tropical like a leaf pattern to create an interesting backdrop for this room. This bedroom could be your source of inspiration.
Cheer up a boring space
Let’s be honest with ourselves, some areas of our homes are just boring. One of these spaces is the laundry room which is mostly function-oriented. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t look fun and interesting. Check out how great this space by studio Jennifer Butler Design looks just with some colorful wallpaper on its walls.
Strong contrasts and vivid colors
Balance out a powerful wallpaper design with another color or a solid wall section. That combo plays beautifully in a modern-retro sort of decor like that of this stylish bathroom by studio CM Natural Designs.
Pairing greens with more green
A tropical wallpaper design like this one is quite powerful on its own. Pair it with some vivid greens and the effect is amplified. Dark colors like black and gray also boost it so it’s nice to also add a more neutral and earthy nuance to ground the whole space.
A bohemian decor
Although quite bold and eye-catching, this sort of floral wallpaper print also has a soothing, delicate and bohemian appeal to it. That’s what makes spaces like this bathroom look so magnificent without a ton of effort. Check out Savvy Interiors for more inspiring creations.
An eclectic approach
There’s a variety of different ways in which you can add freshness and color to a room. A sort of tropical beach wallpaper design is one of the tools you can use but so are fresh and faux flowers and plants, area rugs and carpets, window treatments and wall decorations.
Speaking of tropical beach wallpaper, isn’t this print chosen by studio kate kelley designs inc just the perfect mix of playfulness and style? It makes a statement and it pops without being too vivid or too busy.
Modern with a retro twist
Floral wallpaper is often associated with retro designs and decors. You can take advantage of this association if you want to make a space like the bedroom for example feel more cozy, warm and inviting. That’s not necessarily saying you should use warm colors. How about a fresh green print mixed with some white and light grey accents? Interior design studio Dane Austin shows you here how it’s done.
Florals on a white backdrop
The base color of the room and the design of the wallpaper work hand in hand. These should complement each other, like this beautiful floral pattern is balanced out by the pure white tiles and the ceiling in this bathroom design by studio Shophouse.
A wallpapered accent wall
A lot of wallpaper prints and designs are too bold and busy to look great on all the walls of a room. However, if you limit its use on an accent wall the whole story changes. This bedroom designed by studio JFisher Interiors is a nice example.
Partial wall coverage for added effect
Similar to the accent wall strategy, another idea is to apply wallpaper to a portion of a wall or multiple walls and to leave some of the wall exposed or to cover it with something else. This can add depth to the design and can highlight certain sections of the room while also emphasizing the negative space in between.
Fun and playful
Tropical wallpaper can also look playful and fun, with cartoon-inspired palm trees, colorful birds and so on. That could really cheer up a playroom, a kid’s bedroom or any other space for that matter. Here’s a lovely use for it in a design by Line Architecture.
More beachy inspiration
A tropical fish print can sure lift the spirits and is absolutely ideal for a beach-inspired type of room decor like this lounge area created by Lowcountry Premier Custom Homes. The slanted ceiling, the fun wallpaper and the comfy furniture work in tandem to create an immersive experience.
A playful yet sophisticated wallpaper design
A wallpaper design can be fun and playful and can look stylish and sophisticated at the same time. A great example in that sense is this beautiful powder room by studio Perry D Smith Designs. Black as a background color has a big influence on a room’s overall vibe.
A cohesive display of colors
A good way to make a wallpaper print blend in and look organic in a room is to go with a cohesive color palette throughout the space. The nuances featured on the wallpaper could also be reflective elsewhere in the room, a bit like in this bedroom designed by Everything Home.
A fun way to decorate the nursery room
Thanks to the versatility of wallpaper and all the different designs available, this is a great way to personalize a nursery room and to easily give it a playful and fun aesthetic. Studio Rookery Design used a jungle theme in this room to bring the decor to life.
An immersive decor
It may seem like a really bold tropical design but this wallpaper print is actually quite well-suited for a bedroom. The green tones make it soothing and the nature-inspired theme makes it immersive even if it’s not meant to look highly realistic. Studio Design Loves Detail managed to turn this into of the most inspiring guest bedrooms we’ve seen in a while.