A Room Refresh with Wallpaper: Your Step-by-Step Guide

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I never imagined myself becoming a wallpaper person. Growing up, I always thought wallpaper was only for wildly affluent, fancy people with high-end interior designers. Luckily all of that has changed and wallpaper is now a much more accessible design option – a simple way of adding a little fun and whimsy to any space.

Since we own very little in the way of art or decor, I thought adding some printed wallpaper to our bedroom would be a fun way to elevate the room. The big reveal is below (photographed by Vivian Johnson), and I’m outlining the simple steps I followed so you can easily refresh your own space with wallpaper.

room refresh

Step One: DIY or Help Me, Please

Start by deciding if you are game to DIY or want (need) to hire a professional. There are lots of peel and stick wallpaper options (try Spoonflower, WallsNeedLove, or Target) for those of you who are feeling crafty and confident. If you know that trying to install your own wallpaper will lead to disaster (my hand is up) you should probably opt to have it installed by a pro.

Step Two: Pick Your Print

When it comes to making any type of design decision, I always limit my options so I don’t lose my mind. In this case, my friend Ariel suggested I check out Schumacher so I browsed, picked a few favorites to try, and called it a day. Other popular options include Hygge & West, Rifle Paper Co., Serena and Lily, Lulu and Georgia, Sandberg, and Étoffe. My friend Chantal told me about the sweet patterns from Lake August, and she links to some other great selections in this article.

room refresh

Step Three: Get Samples

I’m generally pretty impulsive when it comes to design, but I was told to “please, take a breath,” and order a few samples like a grown up before taking the plunge. I was glad I did because my first choice selection blended into our headboard and didn’t have enough contrast. After seeing the samples in person, I opted for this light, playful cloud-like pattern, which seemed soothing for a bedroom. I feel like I’m sleeping under peaceful clouds.

Step Four: Order Your Wallpaper

Once I’d picked my pattern I realized I really had no idea how many rolls I needed. Make sure to consult an online guide, and/or consult with whoever is installing your wallpaper, to ensure you order the right amount. We ended up being very tight on product (I only ordered two rolls) even though I was only doing one wall, so I would suggest ordering at least 10% more than you think you’ll need.

Step Five: Prep Your Space

We didn’t have much prep work to do since we hired a skilled professional, but we did make sure to move our bed and nightstands out of the way so he would have a nice clear work area. If you’re DIY’ing it you will need to prep and gather supplies like a bucket of water and sponge, level, measuring tape, craft knife, and ladder. You may also need to patch and fill holes, sand rough surfaces, and make sure the wall is nice and smooth.


I was delighted by the transformative results of adding pattern to our wall, and shocked that it only took two hours for our wallpaper to be installed – who doesn’t love a rapid-fire makeover? I’m already contemplating refreshing our bathroom and closets with wallpaper. This might prove to be addictive!

bedroomWhat small, quick design tweaks could you make to change things up?

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