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To Boldly Go Where Your Neighbours Would Not Dare

Jun 15, 2008
With the housing market as tentative as it is, many people are looking to improve and refurbish they're homes as an alternative to moving. It is cheaper and less stressful and still gives you a new lease of life without the hassle of finding enough cardboard boxes and realising how much unused junk you have in the loft that needs moving to a new place - just in case.

So, you take a look around and decide you are going to decorate. The main focus will normally be a change in wall coating as that is the surface you mostly look at so that is what we will analyse in this article.

For a true change in atmosphere and a stylish contemporary look in your room, go for simple, neutral furnishings and a dramatic impact on the walls. Wallpaper is well and truly back in fashion as a wall coating at the moment but designs have taken a huge step back in time. Think big, bold and dramatic. Think large patterns, exotic flowers and scenes from nature such as birds and leaves.

But how do you make a statement of style and taste without making others sick and dizzy? It really depends on the size of your room and what it is going to be used for. It also depends on whether you have minimalist tendencies or like the full on, lived in designs. The amount of natural light that you get into the room in question makes a difference to the boldness that you can get away with and whether or not the room will be mainly used during daylight hours or at night.

If you want to go modern in a small room that doesn't get much light try one of the popular metallic wallpapers as a wall coating. You can use this on all walls and it will have the added bonus of reflecting light back into the room. If you are decorating, say, a dining room where you wish to host evening dinner parties you may want to go for something a little warmer than the metallic look. If the room is used mostly at night, then you don't need to worry about lightness but you should consider putting heavy patterns on one wall only in a small room.

Staying with the small room, you can make one wall a feature with heavily patterned or boldly coloured wallpapers. If, as the example above, we are talking about a dining room, then flock wallpaper in a bold design will look wonderfully dramatic and create a focal point. Pick a contrasting or blending colour to paint on the other walls.

Rooms that have the benefit of extra light can take a heavier design without making the room feel cramped but consider what times of day the room is used. Is it a room you like to frequent during the day? If so, would you want to look at black or red flock while you're having a mid-summer afternoon tea, or see it fade before the next season comes around. You can still decorate in a modern, bold design but try something lighter, maybe a leaf design or something delicately ornate.

For larger rooms with plenty of natural light or larger rooms that are going to be used mainly at night, a modern wallpaper idea is heavily patterned or exotic flower designs. It is still a good idea to keep furnishings simple to avoid the cluttered look. If you favour the minimalist look but still want to be setting trends, there are wall paper designs around that still go with the bold flower feel but consist of texture as opposed to different colours. To make one colourful statement on one wall with an undertone of pattern is a good way of keeping up appearances without giving yourself a disorderly nightmare.
About the Author
Interior design expert Catherine Harvey looks at the use of wallpaper as a wall coating in interior design.
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