Decorating? Don't forget the Wallpaper Pattern Books! written 13 years ago

Funky wallpaper

Most of you will know that I’ve been working in a Decorating store for the past 3+ years, and even though I’m only a strict part-timer I like to think I’ve picked up a few ideas along the way.

WallpaperOne thing that I think is frequently overlooked is the pattern book ordering service. This allows you to browse everything the wallpaper companies have to offer, and perhaps get something a little different from the norm. Designs that are often too wacky for the average house can be found here, and can easily be used to give your house a personal touch.

WallpaperOne caveat of the wallpaper books is that they’re frighteningly expensive. Being typically around 4 times the cost of the off the shelf papers puts them out of reach for most people, but there are ways and means around this. There’s no need to paper all the walls of a room (infact this could be quite nausiating with some of the designs). Many of the designs are available as borders, many of which have striking designs which can be used to accent certain features of a room.

WallpaperCombining pretty wallpaper and paint can produce a very striking design, which is probably cheaper than using wallpaper alone.

Consider using wallpaper to create features on a wall. Combined with wooden mouldings, a very small amount of wallpaper can create art on the wall, at a fraction of the price of artwork.

WallpaperOnline stores are also a good source of papers. Typically much cheaper than highstreet decorating stores, due to reduced overheads, this puts the papers at less of a premium. The only problem with this method is many papers will not show up well on a computer monitor. Texture effects and Metallic finishes will almost certainly be lost.

The solution to this is ofcourse to use the highstreet stores to browse their books, make a note of the pattern numbers then order online.

Any papers you order will in general be non-returnable, and ordering subsequent rolls of paper are likely to be of a different batch, so be sure to order the correct number of rolls. Never try to “get away” with using different batches of paper, almost always there’s a very slight difference in shade that can only be detected when pasted to the wall.

Matching fabrics are also usually available, allowing you to completely coordinate your room. Another speciality of the pattern books is that unusual paper sizes are available, which won’t be stocked by stores as they don’t fit on the shelves. “Dado” style wallpapers come in 1.5 metre widths, and are fixed to the wall horizontally, avoiding unsightly joints between pieces of paper.

Although dado style wallpaper is inteded to be fixed to the lower half of the wall horizontally, there’s nothing to stop you fixing it vertically to highlight a feature of a room. Chimney hearths, and other features of a room (bed, dining area, windows… ) can be made into focal points of a room using the dado wallpaper in an interesting way.


Consider also modifying the paper itself. Intricate designs can be cut out using scissors from the paper and glued to painted walls. In this manner an entire room can be decorated using only one roll of paper. Again, this personalises the room, and is sure to wow people when they visit.

For inspiration, I suggest visiting your local Fads store, and asking to be shown the book bar. Most stores will have around 50 books, and are sure to have something to tickle your fancy. Books can often be borrowed for a small deposit, for you to peruse at your leisure.

To buy the paper, again your local Fads store is the easiest option, and they’ll be able to supply you with your paper in a few days. Ordering over the internet is cheaper, but beware of postage and packing costs. For small orders (1-2 rolls) the difference in price is often negligable, and the benefits of buying in a store will outweigh a ?1 saving.

Two online stores are:

I hope I’ve provided some insight into both what I get upto on a Sunday, and also some inspiration for your next decorating project.

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 Comments 1 comment made

Oh so THAT’S why you sent me that wallpaper thing the other day. Considering my local Fads store is probably the one where you work (seeing as Huddersfield shut theirs down and that was the only other Fads store I knew about) I would probably have to bumble to Tesco. Plus side, some websites will send you free wallpaper samples :D

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