7 Key Ways Wallpaper Can Make a Room Feel Bigger This Season
Wallpaper is often one of the most underrated elements when it comes to interior design, but it can actually be one of the most powerful...
If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it’s how important space is for our mental health and wellbeing. And as property sizes continue to shrink, many of us have had to contend with increasingly smaller spaces. From bedrooms that barely fit a bed to living rooms that double as dining areas and home offices, fitting everything you need into a small space definitely isn’t an easy task.
So we have to get creative when it comes to making our homes feel more sizable. But before you consider knocking walls down to open a space up, there are plenty of stunning interior design elements that have the power to completely transform a room in a way that makes it feel bigger and brighter than ever before.
And wallpaper is one of the best. In fact, it can be an absolute game changer.
We spoke to Alex Whitecroft, Head of Design at I Want Wallpaper to provide some key tips for people who want to bring some more light into their lives.
“Wallpaper is often one of the most underrated elements when it comes to interior design, but it can actually be one of the most powerful, especially when it comes to making a space feel larger than life However, as people look for ways to get the most out of their home space, it’s seen a massive resurgence in popularity, which it rightly deserves. With its multifaceted designs and pairing options, wallpaper can work in the same way as an optical illusion, influencing the individual in new and exciting ways.
When it comes to making a space feel bigger, many opt for simple white and neutral walls, but this can often make space feel bland and washed out - there’s so much lost potential. Wallpaper can bring subtle yet powerful elements like texture, patterns, reflection and contrast into the mix, adding a whole new dynamic to play around with.”
We asked Alex to put together some essential tips, tricks and advice on how to use wallpaper to make spring/summer interiors for 2021.
Combine Natural Lighting with Reflective Designs
One of the most powerful elements we have in interior design is natural lighting, particularly in how it can interact with a space. And with wallpaper, the rich variety of materials and textures that define certain designs interact with natural light in a way that can make a room feel bigger and brighter in a truly dynamic way.
When it comes to reflective wallpaper designs there are so many options to choose from. Embossed foil wallpaper combines texture and light to great effect, adding a sense of warmth without sacrificing the light feeling of the room. Light metallic wallpaper is brilliant for adding a layer of sophistication, while shimmer effects are great for catching the summer sunlight, which can make any space feel light and airy.
Dynamic Patterns Can Change Everything
Wallpaper has in many ways, always been defined by its capacity to incorporate patterns into a space - and for good reason. Not only is it a great way to establish a theme or a striking visual, it’s also an excellent way to create depth and scale.
Geometric designs are a perfect way to draw attention across the room, and with its engaging symmetry and angular lines, it can make a room feel significantly bigger and help create a dynamic sense of drama. Repeating patterns are another great illusion of making something look bigger than it actually is.
If you want to incorporate a theme into your interior design, patterned or motif-led designs are a great way to get your vibe across, either as a subtle touch or with a punchy edge.
Go Big with a Dedicated Wall Mural
Not to be confused with wallpaper, a wall mural is a single unbroken image that covers your wall, and they’re a great way to add a sense of size and scale to a room.
Scenic murals can help establish a sense of scale in any room it's placed in. They’re also great for drawing the eye outward in a way that adds depth and distance in a way that's visually engaging and dynamic.
From the vibrant scenes of New York at night to the stunning Italian riviera at dusk, murals can be wonderfully diverse and can really set the scene for any room. Tropical and nature-inspired murals can add a burst of green to your space, while geometric designs pair colours and patterns in a way that feels striking. Alternatively, scenic murals can bring outdoor beauty indoors, transporting you everywhere from luscious forests to white sandy beaches.
Use Stripes/lines to Create Scale
Stripes have long been known for their ability to create and affect virtually any surface. In fashion it’s usually used to create slimming look, while in the world of architecture it’s used in minimalist design as a clear and concise way to create space and symmetry.
Both of these concepts are used in interior design. Vertical stripes can make a wall look taller while horizontal stripes can make it seem broader. Zig zag patterns can add a quirky edge, which makes it a great option for a playroom. It's actually the use of parallel lines that give stripes their space bending abilities, and they can found in a variety of repeating patterns and motifs, so keep an eye out if you even want to change things up.
I’d recommend looking for a design that works with your theme but also has this kind of linearity. For example, if you're looking for a nature-inspired look, search for wallpaper that uses trees or forest motifs; there are even designs that incorporate art deco-inspired geometric patterns. There are so many amazing designs out there you’re sure to find something that works perfectly for your space.
Pair with Other Wall Elements
Remember, when it comes to decorating your walls, wallpaper isn’t the only thing that you have in your interior design toolbox. Combining it with other design elements can be a wonderful way to create a whole new layered look.
Pair lightly painted wood panelling with a beautiful reflective wallpaper to bring light and depth to your walls. Add mirrors either as a central piece or as an accompaniment to your other wall hangings to maximise the way that light is reflected around the room. And last but not least, team your papering choice up with bold, vibrant artwork to add a bit of colour to your interior styling.
Get Rid of Busy and Cluttered Wall Decor
Wallpaper can play a big role in helping your room feel larger than life, but this can be undercut when it has to compete with busy wall decor. Highly decorated shelves, picture frames and artwork are great elements to use to make a room feel more cozy, but too much can leave a space feeling cluttered and overstuffed.
Instead of a dozens of shelves rich in knick-knacks or a gallery of pictures, allow your wallpaper to define the room. If you do want to add wall decor, make sure it helps your room feel more sizable. Add large mirrors and reflective surfaces, and if you want to use pictures and artwork, make sure you make definitive selections that add
Consider Other Decor
It’s important to remember that while wallpaper can be a definitive part of your design plans, it’s not the only one. Interior design by its very nature is cohesive; it’s not enough to simply display different design elements, but to incorporate them in a way that creates a truly unique look and feel.
Mirrors, for example, are a great way to create a sense of space and light in a room in a way that makes it feel bigger than it actually is. And it's not just about what you have, but how you use it too. You can place a large mirror on a wall opposite a light source, such as a picture window, to bring in more natural light and reflect the outdoors back into the room.
Content & Images By
Alex Whitecroft and
I Want Wallpaper is a family-run interior design supplier specialising in wallpaper, murals, and wall decorations.
The site carries today’s most popular interior wall styles, from brick and stone effects to geometric and art deco designs. Additionally, Alex Whitecroft is an expert on all things wallpaper, and is able to draw on years of experience in interior design to offer insights and tips backed by a wealth of industry knowledge.