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Cracking the Wallcovering Code

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Wallcoverings are quickly becoming a popular choice among homeowners as a unique and cost-effective approach to customizing an interior space. Wallcoverings can alter the appearance of your home, making it appear brighter, bigger, and even more inviting, but can also do the reverse, if not carefully chosen. The most important principles when choosing a wallcovering are colour, pattern scale and size, as well as texture. Carefully selecting a material based on these three pillars will provide you with an aesthetically pleasing accent that complements your home. Incorporating wallcoverings is a fun, creative, and simple change that will breathe new life into your space!

Image of Gore Mutual Insurance Company in Cambridge, Photo by Wilson Costa


It has been proven time and again, that colour has a noticeable impact on emotional and mental well-being, therefore, choosing the appropriate wallcovering colour to suit your space is essential. Warm tones, such as reds, oranges, and yellows, promote a sense of happiness, liveliness, and energy, while cool tones, such as greens, blues, and violets, can evoke a calming, grounded feeling. Additionally, the wallcovering you choose should complement the flooring, furniture, drapery, and other finishes currently within the space. Pulling colour tones from these finishes will promote a cohesive interior. Consider the vibrancy of the colour in the wallcovering as well. Bold and colourful wallcoverings will have an impact, dominating a space and creating a focal point. Neutral-toned options provide a subtle backdrop, allowing other elements in a space to advance and become the focal point. Your choice of wallcovering allows you to customize your space, evoke feelings, and create a personalized ambience.

Pattern Scale and Size

Scale and size are the most important considerations when choosing a wallcovering with a pattern. Most often, Ta large-scale pattern works best in a larger space, creating a focal point within a room while not appearing overly busy. On the contrary, wallcoverings that feature small, detailed patterns are represented best when utilized within smaller, more intimate spaces. Additionally, wallcoverings that feature vertical patterns create the illusion of a higher ceiling, suggesting an air of formality and decorum, whereas patterns that run along the horizontal, will make a space appear wider. Pattern can also alter the apparent physical size of a space. For example, a large room can be visually reduced in size by utilizing a large-scale pattern that features a dark background colour. This is because dark colours tend to advance, inherently making a room appear smaller and more intimate in size. In contrast, a small-scale, light-coloured pattern will make a room feel much larger and more proportional to the size of the pattern. Utilizing these types of patterns can help to accentuate different physical features and create the illusion of height, depth, or width. Determining what you want to highlight and which feelings you wish to evoke, will help you choose the proper pattern size and scale.

Image of Gore Mutual Insurance Company in Cambridge, Photo by Wilson Costa


Textured wallcoverings can offer a sense of warmth, depth, and interest within a space. Popular options include embossed, textile, metallic, and grasscloth. Due to their three-dimensional nature, textured wallcoverings can help to hide imperfections on a wall surface. A textured wallcovering can be utilized in any area of a home and should be selected based on the current wall colours within the space. For example, a seamless appearance is created when the color of the wallcovering and adjacent walls are similar. Conversely, a focal point is created when contrasting colours are chosen. The wide range of textured wallcoverings provide endless possibilities for application. Grasscloth can often be used throughout an entire room instead of paint, due to its subtle nature, whereas the surface reflectivity of metallic wallcoverings can make a space appear brighter, but should be used more sparingly due to its lustrous appearance. When choosing a wallcovering that mimics woodgrain, stone, or other natural materials, make sure they resemble the actual materials as much as possible, promoting a sense of realism and accuracy. Another advantage of utilizing textured wallcoverings is their ability to dampen sound within a space. Due to their composition and thickness, textured wallcoverings have inherent sound-absorption qualities, promoting a quieter, more peaceful interior.

Choosing the right wallcovering for your home can be a challenge if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve within the space. Adhering to the three pillars will allow you to select the perfect wallcovering that represents both you and your home.

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