Interior inspiration: How to use wallpaper in small spaces
Elizabeth Ockford

Meet Elizabeth Ockford

Elizabeth’s creative talent and passion for colour, pattern, and form saw her study textile design at the Chelsea School of Art before beginning her career, creating fabrics and wallpapers for the fashion and interiors industries.
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There’s a bit of a myth that small rooms require plain, light wall coverings. However, wallpaper with a medium or large-repeat pattern adds a sense of depth that wasn’t there before, making walls appear more expansive and rooms feel more spacious.

Decorating a small room doesn’t mean that you need to restrain your decorative style and creative character. Even the smallest of spaces can be packed with personality if you opt to hang wallpaper…

It’s all in the application

Hanging wallpaper with a medium or large-repeat will create a cohesive look which will visually expand the sense of space:

  • Once you’ve committed to your chosen wallpaper, it’s best to avoid breaking up the space by painting some walls or using other patterns, as this can emphasise tight quarters and make the space feel even smaller.
  • In rooms with short wall runs – such as a cloakroom/downstairs loo – make sure you centralise the pattern. When the design is hung symmetrically, cropped equally on both sides, it makes a big difference to the way the eye ‘reads’ it.
Butia, W-01092, Black/White

Create a visual journey

If you’re decorating a hallway, staircase or landing then lean into your limited space with a decisively bold print. Wallpaper with a meandering pattern, such as Kitts, will lead the eye and create a feeling of movement in a connecting space. In narrower areas, pattern adds visual interest without encroaching on precious square footage.

Kitts, W-01011, Cream

Go all out: be bold and fabulous!

Dressing rooms, en suites and powder rooms provide the perfect opportunity to be fancy or playful and indulge a theme.

Initially it might feel counterintuitive to use a busy pattern, but it often makes a small space feel more luxurious, dramatic and special compared to using simple, solid colour on the walls.

Let your creativity run free by choosing a wallpaper with a large or opulent print to provide the perfect backdrop for a stylish mirror and lighting – something like Bahama lends itself well to this sort of space.

Faroe, W-01062, Dark Blue
Bahama, W-01054, Cream/Red

Add subtle texture to a multifunctional space

In a box room – which might function as a home office and a guest bedroom – add character and depth to walls with a timeless and versatile stripe. The cool, restful colour palette and sophisticated lines of Nevis are ideal for work and relaxation.

Nevis, W-01071, Ginger/Black

Paper a sloping ceiling

Decorating loft spaces that have been converted into rooms is notoriously tricky – often they feature asymmetrical or atypical architecture, such as the eaves, joists, chimney breasts, skylights and sloping roofs.

A delicately patterned wallpaper print can help make this space feel more fluid and cohesive. Something like our Montserrat design can be used throughout the space and all the way up onto a sloped ceiling, highlighting and framing skylights. 

Montserrat, W-01103, Multi
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