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Ask Jennifer Adams: One wall or all? Is wallpaper right for your home decor?

Should you wallpaper one wall or all, and is it OK to take on a DIY home decor project before the holidays hit? Here are Jennifer's tips.

Use wallpaper to highlight a focal point, like a fireplace, or create a new one.
Use wallpaper to highlight a focal point, like a fireplace, or create a new one.Read more

Q: I didn’t get around to it this year, but I want to put some wallpaper in my living room. What kind should I get? Should I do just one accent wall or the entire room? How long will it take, and can I still sneak it in before Christmas?

A: How exciting that you want to improve your place and make it your own. As with any changes to your home decor, consider how you want your living room to feel, then decide on the kind of wallpaper. If it’s a calm feeling you want, consider a richly textured neutral color. If you want a really big, energetic statement, look for brighter colors and perhaps a bold, dramatic pattern.

These days, wallpaper is anything you can dream up, and a lot of things you’d never, ever consider would work. Trending options include oversize patterns in geometric shapes, botanical prints such as giant plant leaves, and architectural textures including brick, marble, ancient plaster, reclaimed barn wood, or stone. Classic patterns such as stripes or natural textures including grass cloth are good options, too. Or, get quirky with fun themes such as fish for a bathroom or a kid’s rooms. Even if you are renting your place, get the look you want with removable wallpapers — just check with your landlord first to be sure!

Do you already have a strong focal point to your living room? Make it stronger with a single accent wall behind your feature, if it’s a fireplace or piece of furniture. Or, invent a focal point or add drama with this accent wall if you don’t already have one. Otherwise, go for a more continuous, calming effect and do all the walls in wallpaper in a color that coordinates with nearby rooms, your flooring and ceiling.

Regarding how long it’ll take you to wallpaper your room, it depends on a lot of variables. As with most DIY projects, and, really, all the DIY projects involving walls, your surface preparation could consume a lot of time. Or, no time if you have smooth walls ready to go. Any imperfection and texture of the walls may show through the finished wallpaper. If that matters to you, you might have some work to do, and it could get messy.

If I were you, reduce your stress this holiday season and put this project on hold for the new year. But you could get organized and do your research now. Have fun with this, good luck, and let me know how it goes!

Have a design dilemma? Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, TV personality and author of the upcoming book “Love Coming Home: Transform Your Environment. Transform Your Life.” Send your questions to or for more design ideas, visit Jennifer’s blog on her website at