Complete Guide to Dress Up Your Walls With Country Wallpaper

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Wallpaper has been a staple form of wall decor in a country home for many years. Styles range from simple borders depicting a country motif such as apples or roosters to a mini-floral print hung below a chair rail to an entire room covered in a wonderful toile pattern. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect country wallpaper for your home.

Wallpaper basics

Wallpaper can be pricey so it is important to choose the pattern that is right for you and have proper measurements to avoid any ordering mishaps. To save some money, check out your local home improvement stores for discount prices on discontinued patterns, for example. Manufacturers will often discount entire wallpaper books during a sale, making it possible for you to really save some money.

Wallpaper is sold in single and double rolls. In order to determine the number of rolls you need divide the room’s area square footage (room square footage multiplied by the ceiling height gives you total area square footage) by the usable space number on the back of the roll, round up and that will give you the number of rolls needed. Patterns that require matching will need additional paper. Also, be sure that all the rolls purchased are from the same dye lot to avoid subtle color differences.

Hanging wallpaper

Proper measurement and prep work will make the job of hanging wallpaper much easier.

  1. Remove old wallpaper. This is a tedious job that is accomplished through many different methods. Find the one that works best on your job.
  2. Remove outlet covers and cover them with tape.
  3. Fill any holes with spackle and sand smooth with a fine-grit sandpaper
  4. Clean walls with soap and water, rinse and let dry overnight.
  5. Prime the walls with a wallpaper “sizing” product; not a paint primer. This important step will make it easier to remove old wallpaper when it is time for a change.
  6. Determine placement of your wallpaper panels, mark the walls, cut the paper and begin hanging.
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Lowes.com offers many helpful videos and tutorials on hanging wallpaper so if you hit a snag be sure to check out their site.

Wallpaper styles

As with fabric, there are wallpaper styles that will suit any country decor.

  • Americana wallpaper styles include stars and stripes, flags, quilt squares, and farm scenes just to name a few. These coordinate with country fabrics like gingham checks or plaids.
  • Folk art designs are also a popular choice for wallpaper in a country house. These would most likely be available in the form of a wallpaper border and patterns might include people in local costume, village scenes, flower gardens, etc.
  • The use of wallpaper in the kitchen is common in country homes. Choose a border that features apples or apple pie, or a mix of colorful mixing bowls, teapots, kitchen utensils or other kitchen themes. If you want to wallpaper all the walls in a country kitchen be sure to avoid backsplash areas or choose a paper that is moisture and stain-resistant.
  • Western design is popular in some country homes and wallpaper can really enhance the theme. Western patterns might include horseshoes and other riding paraphernalia, cowboys and Indians, teepees, bucking broncos just to name a few. These are fun to use in a young boy’s bedroom or in a casual living space. Pair the wallpaper with durable western fabrics such as suede and leather and stay true to the theme.
  • French country lovers will enjoy using a toile patterned wallpaper in many areas of the home. A favorite decorating trick for this style is to use toile wallpaper along with the matching toile fabric for upholstery, bedding and window treatments. The more toile the better in this design style!
  • The idea behind wallpaper is to add color, pattern, and personality to your home. If the wallpaper is too expensive or difficult to hang or you live in a rental, for example, hanging a large quilt on the wall can accomplish the same thing. It will cover the expanse of drywall and definitely add color, pattern, and personality.
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Wallpaper borders

Wallpaper borders make it possible to add the desired color and personality without the expense or commitment of wallpapering an entire wall. And they are easy to hang!

Most wallpaper borders are hung at the top of a wall where the wall meets the ceiling. But they can also be hung in some unexpected places.

  • Wrap a room with a wallpaper border that is hung at the center of the wall. This works great in a young child’s space where they can see the colors and patterns or in a room with high ceilings where the border might get lost in all the volume. It also has the added benefit of visually lowering the ceiling in a large space.
  • Place a border along the top of the floor molding. Use this idea in a room that has little wall space such as a powder room or laundry room. For example, a border of seashells placed along the floor in a beach house powder room adds a fun and unexpected touch.
  • Add a wallpaper border to the top of a chair rail or wainscoting. You can also wallpaper the lower half in a coordinating wallpaper pattern. This will draw the eye to the center of the room and the wonderful architectural interest the chair rail or wainscoting provides.
  • Borders fit perfectly around a window or door frame. Be sure to choose a pattern that looks good sideways as well as up and down. Florals, leaves, vines or checks work best in this situation.

Today’s wallpapers are available in beautiful colors, prints, and textures that will suit any country decor.