24 Jun 2016

Create the right balance using colourful wallpaper


If you’re looking to make a simple and easy transformation to any living space in your self-build, then adding statement wallpaper to your design scheme is a way to do so. It can help zone a large, open-plan space, add a theatrical touch to a neutrally-designed room or can shake up a traditional looking area. Here, Quiirk shares some ideas to show you how versatile it can be.


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When choosing any wallpaper, order large swatches and pin them to the wall you are thinking of papering, alongside paint cards. Keep them up for a few days, so you can see how the light plays on them during both the daytime and the evening. Sometimes a design that looks stunning in the day, can look uninspiring or just wrong in situ at night. Also, creating a moodboard or swatch of fabrics will help you plan the most effective colour and pattern combinations. You will find that you can coordinate very different patterns by using a linking colour which will enable you to mix large motifs and small-scale designs.

A whimsical, bold print is an elegant, yet daring way to add a point of interest and difference to a traditionally decorated room. For example, Quiirk’s squirrel themed wallpaper adds drama, but the muted tones don’t clash with their surroundings.

If you have low ceilings, then we would suggest papering upwards from the dado rail, to prevent the room feeling too busy and crowded.

Playing with colour

You can use a colourful wallpaper design to tie an open-plan or large room scheme together or draw the eye to a specific part of the room. For example, Quiirk’s use of its Sweet Pea paper has been used in an establishment to help the eye focus to the end of a kitchen dining room. The colour of the flowers echoes the floor tiles, creating a lovely sweeping design feel. A busy pattern like this also adds dynamism to what would otherwise be a very large, bland room space. If, on the other hand, your room is busy and cluttered, then a simple design in a muted colour will help to soothe the scheme.

Choosing the right colour is crucial for any interior scheme. Colour can be used to make a room appear larger, or smaller and cosier or to give a feeling of warmth or coolness. For instance, keeping flooring dark and walls light helps to create an illusion of more space, or choosing warm, vibrant colours – such as yellow, orange and red – helps to heat up a room and adds intensity.

The rule to remember when choosing vibrant wallpaper, is to use a neutral colour such as white to break up any strong blocks of colour.

It’s also good to rethink rouge. It’s a shade that should never be chosen lightly – but used wisely, it can bring boldness, warmth and an exotic mood to any room. You can cool down hot reds with blocks of pink – as Quiirk has with its Flamingo and Guinea Fowl design – either in the wallpaper design or in the accessories used in the room scheme.

Room schemes

For bedrooms, we would recommend wallpapers in cooler, softer shades. They can still have dynamic pattern and design, but blues and gentle pinks are good for bringing a feeling relaxation.

For those seeking an effortless contemporary look, you can’t go wrong with monochrome. A bold black and white wallpaper, such as Quiirk’s Smirke’s Façade in Anselm, is strikingly modern and fresh and complements furniture, accessories and flooring in natural wood tones which soften its cool edge.

Green is also a lovely colour for a home – particularly for an office as it is known for its calming and stress reducing effect. Choose a paper with added interest for visual stimulation so that your eyes can focus on something other than a computer screen.

We also recommend that you always scale your ideas. Your room proportions will generally dictate the size of the patterns and prints you should use. For instance, a tiny room with a lot of furniture in it would need a much smaller, more delicately coloured wallpaper. If you wanted to make a big design impact in a small room, then a single, bold statement piece of furniture with a large-scale and bold wallpaper print can also look incredible as it will draw attention away from the room size by creating an illusion of space.

Remember that pattern is an easy way to bring energy into a room and create interest, and mixing patterns on the walls and soft furnishings can really make a room design extraordinary and unique. It doesn’t always need to be bold and bright either. Tone on tone, low contrast hues grouped together can create a subtle and interesting look too. Just always remember to look at your swatches together to ensure that the finished look will be harmonious and not a cluttered mess.

Further information....

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