A design repeat (also called a pattern repeat), which is expressed in inches, refers to the vertical distance on a wallpaper pattern until it repeats again. Some repeats might be as small as two inches, while others can be as much as two feet. Since you’ll need to line up the patterns exactly, you may end up needing to cut off excess paper from the top. “Really pay attention to the material, the width, and the repeat of the wallpaper – all of those will factor into the installation and the way it comes out,” says Morris.
Mistakes to avoid when installing wallpaper
Here’s how to avoid the most common errors when planning for wallpaper installation.
Always order extra wallpaper
Lots of factors—like design repeat but also your own errors—may leave you needing more paper than you originally planned. Or you may decide to make a change to the wall in the future, like adding a set of wall sconces, that would require some tweaks. “Don’t be short on wallpaper—having at least one extra roll is important. If you calculate exactly, and it is your first time, and you mess up a panel, you have extra, which will make you feel more confident during the process, with less pressure,” says Hunt. Morris also says that buying extra in bulk will ensure that the colors stay consistent. “From dye lot to dye lot the colors can vary, it’s just like fabric,” she says.
Lay out complex designs in advance
If you have a complicated pattern, Hunt emphasizes that it’s important to lay out your panels in the proper order before you start installing wallpaper. “Make sure not to cut off key elements from the top and bottom, like birds or other details,” she says. Some people find it helpful to lightly mark the back of each strip with a pencil with a number and also indicate which end should be at the top.
Match the material to the location
Think about your lifestyle as you consider which wallpaper to buy. “If you have kids running around, you might not want a really delicate paper, like a light-color natural that will stain easily, or a silk that can get scratched, especially in a high-traffic place like a stairwell,” says Morris.