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I want to use wallpaper in an open-concept space – good idea or a no-no? Add to ...

The question

What are the rules for using wallpaper in an open-concept space? Can I apply it to an accent wall – or maybe two, going around a corner?

The answer

Wallpaper is a real step up from a paint finish and can truly make a room feel luxurious. As you note, however, placement is key. Typically, ceilings aren’t perfectly square to the walls, and wallpaper can draw attention to such an imperfection.

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My advice is to make sure you have baseboards and cornice moulding in place so that the wallpaper has a straight edge to start and stop at. This creates a frame for the paper and also makes it easier to match up the pattern where the sheets join. Another effective way to frame wallpaper is to hang it in a fully recessed panel; I especially like this look with a heavily textured paper.

As for how much of an open-concept space to wallpaper, I’m just not a big fan of going around a corner, as the paper tends to wear more heavily along the edge where two walls meet.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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