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How to Choose the Right Wallpaper

August 31, 2022
Primary bedrooms details in Asher at The Orchards by Brookfield Residential in Edmonton, AB

Much like fashion, home design trends are cyclical – what was popular decades ago almost always makes a comeback. And now wallpaper has returned and is chicer than ever. Why? One of the major 2022 home design trends is the use of bold patterns and bright colors to better showcase your unique style. We’ve all spent more time in our homes the last few years and now we want them to have more personal, well-executed representation of ourselves.

Whatever your taste, there are wallpaper ideas for everyone – textures, patterns, colors – and each can be combined to create a room design that is uniquely yours. Wallpaper has a big impact on any room, adding style, warmth, and depth that paint just simply cannot achieve.

Of course, with an almost endless selection, it can be hard to decide what will work best in your space. You don’t want your wallpaper to clash with your décor, nor do you want it making a bold statement you may not love in a few years.

Follow along for our tips on how to choose the right wallpaper for your home.

Home office in Bayberry Plan 4 by Brookfield Residential in Whittier, CA

1. Identify the type of project

Before you jump in and start pasting up some wallpaper, take a minute and think about the type of project you are embarking upon. What is the room you’re designing? How do you want it to feel when you’re using it? Do you want it to flow with the rest of the home or do you want it to have its own unique vibe? Perhaps each room is its own experience, each different from the next.

Depending on the room, you’ll want the wallpaper to be appropriate for its intended use. The wallpaper you’d choose for your bedroom is likely different than your selection in a home office or dining room.

Secondary bedroom with sloth decor in a Brookfield Residential home

2. Decide if you’re creating an accent wall or wallpapering the whole room

Wallpapering every wall in a room is a big commitment. You’re creating a different personality and immersive feeling compared to the other rooms. Because every wall will be covered, you may prefer to hold back on bold elements such as pattern and color. Textured wallpaper is a great way to add warmth, visual interest, and elegance into a room without it becoming chaotic.

Basement with wallpaper accent wall in a Brookfield Residential home

If you’re opting for an accent wall, be as dramatic as you want to be! Depending on which room you’re styling, there’ll likely be a furniture piece covering part of the wall – headboard, media stand and tv, or dining hutch. A bold geometric design, vibrant floral, or an animal pattern might be the “wow” factor you’ve been seeking.

3. Choose a style for the space

Identify your home’s overall style as well as the feel you want the room you’re wallpapering to have. Is your home relaxed and rustic? Glam and contemporary? Depending on the room, do you want the space to feel formal with a Victorian flair? Dark and moody where you can relax? Energizing and fresh to start your day?

Home office in Cascade at Cranstons Riverstone by Brookfield-Residential in Calgary, AB

Some of the more popular choices include:

Contemporary / Modern

A modern style walks the line of chic sophistication and stark glamour. If you prefer contemporary décor, selecting a geometric or abstract pattern may best complement your style.


For this period style, a baroque floral damask makes a beautiful wallpaper choice. Stay true to the trend as it was in 19th century England with the use of purples, burgundy, lavender, gold, and copper.


Every glam home needs some bling. Choose a wallpaper that includes dramatic reflective, glitter embedded, crystal, flocked, or embossed designs.


A casual style evokes tranquility and calm. If you want your space to feel relaxed and casual, try a neutral texture, soft floral, or plant print.


A country feel is different from the modern farmhouse style that has been trending. Country plays more into a “Southern Grandma” effect with plaid, gingham, or country motif pattern.


Rustic style highlights cozy natural textures and surroundings. It celebrates the art of repurposing with reclaimed wood, distressed metals, and antiques.


If you want your space to have a formal feel, choose an elegant design such as a hand-painted print or damask.

Pink secondary bedroom in Hudson 2 at Cranstons Riverstone by Brookfield Residential in Calgary, AB

4. Decide on a color palette

Once you know the goal of the space you’re wallpapering, it’s easier to decide on a color palette. Start by assessing the room’s natural light. If there is plenty of ambient window light, you have a wider range of colors to use as lots of natural light will make darker colors feel less brooding (or even cave-like). In some scenarios, dark and moody may be what you’re hoping for, but it’s worth considering in case that’s not the feeling you want.

The colors you select for your wallpaper should be a good match to the other décor in the space. There should be an element that ties everything together to create an intentional, cohesive look. Soft, cool colors feel more tranquil and relaxing while warm colors feel livelier and more energetic.

Dining area with wallpaper and curved staircase in a Brookfield Residential home

5. Choose additional features like patterns, textures, and metallics

Even if your existing décor incorporates a variety of styles, you’re not limited to plain wallpaper. There’s nothing wrong with plain wallpaper, it’s a perfectly acceptable choice to provide a visual break if your space is already heavily patterned. Choosing a wallpaper with extra embellishments such as pattern, texture, or metallic tone can elevate your space even further – if done correctly.

You want the wallpaper to complement your décor, not clash or fight it. If you have patterns in your upholstery or drapery, opt for something in a different scale so it doesn’t come across as trying to match, but failing. Small-scale patterns create a feeling of spaciousness while large-scale designs make rooms more intimate.

Master bedroom headboard details in the Capella Single Level Residences in Calgary, AB

If you can’t find a pattern you love, try a textured wallpaper to create warmth and depth. Grasscloth is a tried-and-true textured wallpaper that makes any room feel moodier or more peaceful. Added bonus: texture can help hide wall imperfections.

For smaller spaces that don’t have an abundance of natural light, metallic wallpaper is a great solution and a powder bath is a great room to try wallpaper that is more daring. You can test-drive a striking pattern or bold metallic that might be outside your comfort zone without committing to an overly large room. Even better, it makes for a great conversation piece when guests come to visit.

Powder bath with geometric wallpaper in Indigo at New Haven by Brookfield Residential in Ontario Ranch, CA

Discover More Home Design Trends

Looking for more home design trends? Be sure to follow the Brookfield Residential blog for more design advice, homebuying insights, mortgage tips, and more. Explore where we build and connect with our sales team when you’re ready to learn more. We’ll be expecting you!