Design guide


Welcome to the RGI Wallpaper Hub!

The purpose of this page is to educate and inspire our readers on all things wallpaper related. Answering your many questions and creating an online ‘one stop shop’ containing our designers’ knowledge and expertise on the subject.

Why does wallpaper matter? Is it still relevant or dated?

Wallpaper is definitely still relevant; it is however being used in different ways. Years ago, wallpaper would be the obvious choice for most rooms in the house. In more recent times we see our clients being more selective in the rooms they choose to wallpaper. Small rooms are a great opportunity for our clients and designers to become inventive and daring with their wallpaper choice. We love to rotate our showroom bathrooms and cloakrooms with colourful & printed wallpaper to show how effective it can be in more of a confined space.

See here the beautiful wallpaper we have in our Wetherby showroom from Lewis & Wood:

What does RGI take into account before stocking a wallpaper brand?

We stock a wide variety of wallpaper brands at RGI, most of which are world renowned fabric houses where we are familiar with the quality, style and price point. Wallpaper can be expensive as brands are innovating more and more, so price point is important to consider. Our aim is to remain competitive in our offering and appeal to all our clients without compromising on quality. We have worked with many of the brands we offer for years. These relationships allow us to access any exciting new collections as soon as they are available and bring them to you in our our showrooms.

At Richard Grafton Interiors you can see the vast wallpaper books that we have to show and how they can work alongside the fabrics and materials we have selected in our showrooms. We are here to advise on all aspects of your interior projects to make them a reality. Pop into one of our 3 showrooms to begin your interior journey!

What to consider when buying wallpaper:

Location – which room to wallpaper? Similar to our paint design guide, we generally consider more than one room at once. For example, if you have already completed all the surrounding rooms and have one left to do, we would take in to consideration the colours/patterns/fabrics already used.

Tip: Ensuring adjoining spaces link is really important to ensure continuity and flow in your home.

Smaller spaces can look really effective when wallpapered. For example, your cloakroom or WC. These small spaces give you a chance to be experimental with bold, patterned wallpaper which would be too overbearing in a larger room. Some wallpaper can be quite expensive, so the smaller the room the less rolls you need! Bedrooms look great with wallpaper, and again you can play around with colour and pattern dependent on the end user and their identity. See here a recent Master Suite we completed with ornate silk wallpaper on a feature wall.

Wallpaper Preparation

Walls need to be stripped of any old paper and washed to remove any old paste from previous wallpaper. Areas also may need sanding, filling or even plastering to ensure the walls are smooth, dry and cleared of any debris. Always consult a decorator if you are unsure. They will be able to advise the condition of the walls and what suitable preparation needs to be done to ensure you maximise the results. Walls must be primed and if necessary, cross lined with lining paper. This helps to even our imperfections and acts as a base for your wallpaper. Never hand over new plaster or un-primed walls.

At Richard Grafton Interiors we have several fully skilled decorators who complete all our interior projects. They are fully equipped to advise you on your wallpaper journey and how best to begin the preparation.

Do you need to paper the whole room, or can you focus on one statement wall?

This is down to each individual and the look and feel you are trying to achieve in the room. You can get some great feature wallpapers to add a statement to the room. Alternatively, you can make it simpler and go for an all-over design that would be complemented by hanging statement artwork.

Based on trends, we are seeing wallpaper on a single wall less and less. If you don’t want to wallpaper all over, we suggest covering two smaller parallel walls or areas where there is a walkway through to an open plan living space. Despite this, Richard would always say ‘go for it’ if you are thinking about wallpaper and embrace it within a full room.

This isn’t to say there aren’t some great wallpapers which could be used on one wall of a nursery or a child’s bedroom to add interest and a playful touch to the room.

Tip: Opt for timeless designs rather than always be entirely trend driven.

What finishes do different types of wallpaper have?

There are many different types of wallpaper nowadays, from digital printed, textured, plain, vinyl. A very popular choice is a textured vinyl, these not only add great colour and texture to a room, but they can also be a good option if you want more then paint but not so much of a pattern. Arte have really quirky textures but are a high-end brand. At RGI we do use them regularly and they give an amazing result. They do every texture you could think of and also do very ‘special’ papers which give off a metal look or even wood veneers. Another example is Jane Churchill, they do some really lovely textured plain wallpapers.

What look do you want to achieve?

At Richard Grafton Interiors we would always suggest you create the whole scheme planned for the room so consider the anchors of the room:

  • The fabrics, surfaces, floors, furniture styles and finishes before selecting your final wallpaper choice
  • You may have a clear idea of which direction you want to go in and we can pick out fabrics and colours to complement your chosen wallpaper
  • Try to think of the bigger picture and how this will fit in to your whole scheme.
  • We have so many wallpaper options in our showrooms. Use things like Pinterest and Instagram to collect your ideas, we can help to guide you on your journey whether this includes wallpaper or not.

Our designers are here to advise and help with the selection making sure it achieves the perfect results.

Common wallpaper pitfalls/snags to be aware of

A lot of wallpapers are extra wide now so can be more difficult to hang, you need to be aware if there’s a pattern repeat. Our designers do the ordering and technical aspects of your interior project for you. They will be able to advise on the pattern repeat and how much wallpaper you will need to achieve any level of repeat.

Tip: Any wallpaper with a shine can and will show every little bump in the wall so preparation is the key!

A Selection of Wallpaper Brands

Cole & Son – innovative and beautiful designs; reflect their long and distinguished history.

Arte – a high end, more expensive brand but with so many unusual textures on offer you can get a classic, stylish finish..

Jane Churchill – great textured plains which mix into their other collections, they are fairly reasonable, and decorators like to hang this wallpaper.

Designers Guild – Big, bold floral designs, the brand tends to be very colourful generally.

Zinc/Black Edition – very popular with our clients, has a wide mix of colours, textures and prints.

Common wallpaper questions:

How many rolls of wallpaper do I need for a room? Ask your decorator to calculate the number of rolls required. To estimate:

  • Measure the width of the wall and divide by the width of your selected wallpaper. This gives you the number of ‘drops’ required. This number should always be rounded up to ensure you don’t run out.
  • Next, measure the height of the wall. Divide the length of the roll of your selected wallpaper (standard rolls are 10m long) at the height of your wall. This gives you the number of drops you will get by roll.
  • Divide the number of drops required (part 1), by the number of drops per roll (part 2), equates to the number of rolls required.
  • If you have a wallpaper that is marked as ‘half drop’, or has a large pattern repeat, add the size of the pattern repeat to the height of your wall to account for the additional wallpaper required.

Can I use wallpaper in a bathroom?

As long as the room is well ventilated and the walls are in good condition, wallpaper can be used in bathrooms. However, with the exception of contact only vinyl papers, they should not be placed in areas where they are likely to come into direct contact with water.

Tip: To help prevent against problems when using wallpapers in high humidity areas, we recommend using a sealer like Polyvine on top of the wallpaper which will provide better protection against moisture. We advise you test Polyvine on a wallpaper sample to check you are happy with the finish before applying to the wall.

Discuss your project

We are always happy to receive enquiries about your next interior design project. We have design studios in Harrogate, Ilkley & Wetherby so please get in touch, pop in or call to make an appointment.

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