Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas (Don’t Use Peel & Stick!)

When I partnered with Milton & King on my bedroom remodel, I must admit I had such a hard time choosing a wallpaper, because they have so many gorgeous options! I knew I was wainscoting the bedroom in a lighter color, so I wanted a darker wallpaper. After going through a few samples, I chose my perfect wallpaper –  “Brush” in color denim, linked here, if you want to check it out

Wallpaper Installation Types

There has been such an increase in peel-and-stick wallpaper products in recent years. It’s everywhere. At first, I understood why. I’ve used peel & stick in the past, primarily for the lower price, and I can tell you – it was so difficult to install, that I almost swore off wallpaper altogether! (Albeit, it was on a ceiling so that added to the difficulty). The first time I tried traditional wallpaper, I was so pleasantly surprised with the ease of install!

In case you aren’t familiar with these different installation types, here’s why paste-the-wall or even pre-pasted wallpaper is easier to install:

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Pros: The most budget-friendly! Maybe even easier to find, and faster to get. Looking at you, Amazon. This can be a great option for decking out your bedroom walls the affordable way.

Cons: Hardest to install. This type of wallpaper has a sticky back. Just peel off the backing and stick it to the wall. This sounds simpler, but if you need to reposition it (you will) you can’t just slide it over as you would if there was wet paste behind it, as with other install methods. The adhesive can lose its stickiness if it’s peeled off and reapplied multiple times.

Air bubbles are more common with peel-and-stick. This is for two reasons. One, there is no wet paste behind to allow easy readjustment, but also, paste-the-wall and pre-pasted wallpaper are usually higher-quality, thicker, and more rigid, not allowing for bubbles to form easily.

Paste-the-Wall Wallpaper

I used this for my recent bedroom makeover. 

Pros: I’ve tried all the methods, and this is the best option in my opinion. With paste-the-wall, you apply your paste directly to the wall. This is pretty fun – just like painting! Then you apply the wallpaper and slide it around (a bit) if needed. Your wallpaper smoother will help you make it perfectly flat and aligned. You’d have to really mess up to get any air bubbles with the wallpaper I used for my bedroom!

Cons: The only downside is that traditional wallpaper usually means higher quality. This means a higher cost than peel-and-stick. 

An important thing to note: Peel-and-stick is often touted for being removable. Yet, most modern wallpapers, including my Milton & King wallpaper, are just as removable. No, you won’t be stuck with it forever!

Pre-Pasted Wallpaper

Pre-pasted is another option you’ll find in higher-quality wallpapers. I used this type for my foster son’s nursery makeover a while back.

Pros: This method is also easier to install because, just like paste-the-wall, it’s more forgiving to move around over the wet paste. 

Cons: The downside is that it’s messier. You’ll soak the paper in water first and “book it” and it’s a little tricky to get the right amount of water. You’ll get the hang of it (pun intended) but it may be a long day of wallpapering if it’s your first time. I would use it again though, if I found a pattern I loved. Also, just like past-the-wall, there aren’t as many low-cost options as peel-and-stick.

To be fair, a lot of this comes down to personal preferences. The best wallpaper for you might be the most budget-friendly. Opting for peel-and-stick is a great way to get something cheap and easy. And with so many different patterns out there, you’re sure to find something to match your personal style.

Choosing Your Perfect Wallpaper

If you love the look of wallpaper as much as I do, here are some tips on choosing the right wallpaper for your personal space:

Dreamy wallpapered bedroom via erin kestenbaum

Decide On Your Color Scheme

Unless you’ve already found the wallpaper of your dreams (in which case, go ahead and design around it!) it helps to plan out colors first. Don’t forget to take all of the colors of your room design into consideration: The walls (if any) that won’t be wallpapered, your flooring, curtain/shade colors, and even bedding and soft furnishings. Is everything white and beige? Maybe add more visual interest with a colorful wallpaper in floral prints. If there is already a lot of color and/or pattern in your room already, maybe choose a wallpaper with a subtle pattern to contribute to a more soothing atmosphere.

Decide if you want a feature wall, the entire space wallpapered, or wainscoting + wallpaper

This will help you pre-determine a few more things. For one – your budget. If you’re going floor-to-ceiling around the entire room, divide your budget by square footage and you can start shopping with your budget per-square-foot in mind. 

This will also help you determine what size pattern you’re looking for in your wallpaper design. One tip is to choose smaller patterns for smaller areas, and larger patterns if you are doing a large room floor-to-ceiling. For example, the best choice for my room was a smaller repeating print, since only the top one-third of the room was covered.

If you are going for a bedroom feature wall, I’d say the larger pattern rule applies here too, even though it’s just one wall.

Don’t Forget Your Individual Style

My goodness, there are a lot of pattern options out there! It’s easy to get carried away and immediately get drawn to that burgundy vintage floral designer wallpaper you saw on Pinterest… But will it fit your home? Does it fit you?

Your home, your bedroom especially, is your place of relaxation. Maybe a subtle pattern in creamy whites is better. Maybe a bold pattern is best for you. Maybe you love everything funky and modern and a geometric design is for you! Consider your overall bedroom design and your own style.

A quick tip: If you see a wallpaper you absolutely love, but it may be a bit bold, use it for a powder room! This is my own little un-written rule: The powder room is the place to go crazy with design. Small space, small commitment, big wow factor for guests.

Order Samples!

A lot of wallpaper companies offer free samples, or samples at the cost of shipping. I’d order 5-10 samples in the general style you like, but in varying pattern sizes and different colors. If you are painting your room, buy paint samples too! Make sure your paint and wallpaper choices go together in daylight and your artificial light in the evening before you make your final decision.

Amazing Wallpaper Round-Up!

Ready to shop? Here are some of the runners-up I considered when choosing my bedroom wallpaper. Spoiler alert, they’re all floral patterns 🙂

Note: This section contains affiliate links. Read more here.

I hope you that if you’re considering wallpaper for any room in your home, that you’ve found this post helpful. Here’s hoping all your wallpaper dreams come true!

A Closer Look At My Bedroom Makeover

Shop The Look