Using wallpaper in small rooms

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It's a tight squeeze in this small space but this floral wallpaper works well
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Using wallpaper in small rooms can be effective and even DYNAMITE

There are the rules: Dark colors make a room look smaller; light colors make a room appear more spacious.

Think again: Contrary to expectations, using dark wallpaper and furnishings can work in a small room, turning it into a cozy, enigmatic space where you can be comfortable and cozy, without feeling as though you are in a dungeon. Using wallpaper in small rooms requires a certain design sensibility, but the effect can be stunning.

Coziness and charm versus claustrophobic is what you need to keep in mind when you opt to decorate a small room using wallpaper. No one wants to live in a gloomy cave and that can be the result if you are not careful in selecting your wallpaper and its color and design.

Wallpaper, when used thoughtfully and carefully, can be effective in a small space and even make the area appear bigger. Let the wallpaper or wallcovering be your one big statement in this small area and parse down on accessories or large pieces of furniture or anything that will make the space seem cluttered and cramped.

Perhaps you may choose to wallpaper only one wall in this limited space. And since you are wallpapering such a small area you can afford to buy top-of-the-line wallpaper, add a wallpaper border, or splurge on drapes or a special piece of furniture.


Instead of trying to give the illusion of a bigger space when using wallpaper in small rooms, think about emphasizing their smallness. If done correctly, the room can turn into a very intimate sanctuary. You can always use light sources and lots of mirrors, placed on the wall across from a window so that they will reflect light, to give this small area space some airiness and lightness, which will lessen the chances that the room will seem claustrophobic.

Dark colored wallpaper can create a warm environment. Wallpaper that has a large pattern can add dimension and drama to a small space without overwhelming it. However, a wallpaper that features a large and too insistent (as in-your-face) pattern can dwarf a small room and make it feel and look completely wrong and overwhelming.

One way to make a small room seem more spacious is to decorate it in a monochromatic color scheme that features the same color on the wall (your wallpaper) as well as in the furniture and the carpet. If your wallpaper is dark blue, use various tones, shades and tints of blue throughout the room. A splash of white is a great complement to a monochromatic scheme.

Consider using cool colored designer wallpaper, such as green, aqua or blue, to open up your small room and make it feel more spacious and roomy. Cool colors are calming.


Using wallpaper in small rooms that has a white or light, neutral background will make your room appear larger and lighter.


When you decide to buy the wallpaper for your cozy little enclave, decide on which type of design or pattern you would prefer and then give serious consideration to color. The value of color is its lightness or darkness and is determined by how much gray, black or white is added to a pure color. Another way of thinking of value is in terms of light, medium or dark. Do you want light green for your room or medium green or dark green?


Another factor to consider is the intensity or the brightness of the color. A muted shade may work better in a confined area than a very bright color that can knock your socks off when you enter the room. Intensity is either bright or dull. Bright is better left for accents whereas low intensity or dull color should be the choice for the main color.


The temperature of a color means whether it comes across as cool or warm. The temperature of a color will affect the perception of the size of the room. Warm rooms appear smaller whereas cool rooms appear larger.


One last tip - avoid crazy designs on the walls that make you dizzy and threaten to close in on you while you are sitting in your lounge chair. Make certain that you can live - closely - with your wallpaper selection.


Resources: decorating small spaces

Decor Medley: decorating small rooms

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