Bored with white walls, but want more than plain paint? We show how wallpaper on a feature wall can create the effect you want.

After decades in the wings, wallpaper has re-emerged as a dramatic design statement. From colourful bold ­ oral prints to shimmering metallic designs, the latest in wallpaper patterns range from innovative to classic prints. When applied in small doses, such as on a feature wall, wallpaper can provide immeditate impact, turning a neglected corner or wall into a space with drama. And it's now so much easier to put up.

CHOOSING THE SPACE

Before you start to look at pattern and colour, evaluate the size, height and natural light or lighting of the room you want to wallpaper. Covering just one wall with your chosen wallpaper will create a dramatic focal point, without overpowering the rest of the room. It's important to remember to use wallpaper in moderation. When it comes to wallpaper design and application, less is definitely more.

CHOOSING A PATTERN

When selecting a pattern, consider the mood you want to achieve in the space. For a soft look, opt for a delicate pattern, but if you would like to make the feature wall a real statement, select a striking graphic pattern in bold colours. Also as a general rule, the larger the space, the bigger the pattern can be. On a practical level, heavily patterned wallpaper can help hide flaws and uneven surfaces. In children's rooms or hallways, select heavy-duty wallpaper, which is easier to keep clean.

Whatneed

WHAT YOU NEED

1. Sponge or cloth - Use to initially clean wall and wipe away excess paste.

2. Sandpaper - You will need this for preparing the wall.

3. Roller - For covering the wall with wallpaper.

4. Wallpaper paste - The adhesive agent used to stick the wallpaper to your wall.

5. Ruler - For initial measuring

6. Scissors - For trimming wallpaper to size.

7. Pencil - To mark droplines

8. Brush - For covering the paper with paste.

9. Wallpaper knife or stanley knife - For trimming surplus wallpaper at the floor and ceiling.

 

Step 1: Prepare the walls for application of wallpaper. The walls will need to be clean, dry, smooth and even. Uneven surfaces will need to be filled or sanded. Use sandpaper to remove loose paint or repair uneven plaster.

Step 2:  Mark a straight, vertical line on the wall to ensure that the wallpaper will be hung straight. Mark the line from the floor, as the floor will generally be more even than the ceiling. Be certain to check that the wallpaper rolls have the same batch number before applying - this will ensure consistency of colour and pattern.

Step 3:  Cut the length of wallpaper required, leaving it approximately 10cm longer than the length of the wall to ensure you cover the wall precisely and are able to match the pattern for the following rounds of application.

Step 4:  Turn the paper over and, using a paintbrush or roller, apply an even coat of paste on the entire back surface of the paper, ensuring it is evenly covered, especially the corners.

Steps 1_4

Step 5:  Fold each end of the wallpaper to meet in the middle and allow the paper to relax for around 10 to 15 minutes. This stage will enable the paper to "stretch" and absorb the glue.

Step 6:  Press the wallpaper onto the wall from the ceiling down. Smooth the paper from top to bottom with a dry cloth to remove any bubbles.

Step 7:  Cut away the surplus paper at the floor and ceiling using a wallpaper knife or sharp blade. Continue with the next piece of wallpaper. Make sure the lengths of wallpaper are butt-joined - edge meeting edge - and not overlapping.

Step 8:  Use a clean damp cloth or sponge to carefully wipe away any excess paste on the surface of the paper.

 

TYPES OF WALLPAPER

* Textured wallpaper can add depth and warmth to a room. Signature Prints, (02) 8338 8400, has a vast selection of textured Florence Broadhurst prints.

* Metallic paper is a quick way to add some glamour and glitz to your space. It's ideal for dramatic dining areas or moody living rooms. Bespoke companies, such as Publisher Textiles, (02) 9569 6044, provide a hand-printed, custom-made wallpaper design service. This means you can have the perfect colour and pattern to match your space.

* Luxurious and paper-backed materials, such as silks, felts and wools, can be used for different finishes that bring a tactile dimension to a space.

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TIPS

* Always check the batch numbers if you're trying to match wallpaper designs - different batches can differ in consistency of colour and pattern. Most rolls of wallpaper are around 10 metres long. Expect to get three drops from one roll of wallpaper. With patterned wallpaper, measure your walls carefully to make sure that you get the right amount of paper to match the pattern repeats.

* Any grime and dust can be gently removed from the wallpaper by wiping with a damp sponge. It's important to remember never to rub or to use any type of cleaning product on the wallpaper.