Which Wallpaper Shall I Buy?

Emma contacted MadAboutTheHouse to ask about choosing wallpaper.

Q: We are looking for some wallpaper for behind the bed in the master bedroom. The walls, floorboards and bedspread are white, and there are accents of canary yellow in the room (bedside tables, photo frames). The vanity unit is black, and the velvet headboard is grey. So the main tones the wallpaper has to sync with (or be in contrast to) are white, grey, yellow and black. But a bit of warmth and colour in the wallpaper would be good too, as it’s pretty cold looking in there. Pip studio has some lovely floral wallpapers which include yellow and grey in them, but I can’t find a UK stockist. Help!

A: I adore wallpaper but it can be hard to sift through the pages and pages of samples without going whatever the wallpaper equivalent of snowblind is. It’s really just a question of knowing where to go to look. One of my favourite places, is They have thousands of papers to choose from. You can narrow it down by colour and/or style and, rather than just a tiny thumbnail image, they will flash up several photos of your choice of paper in a number of different settings which gives you a good idea of the finished effect. This is particularly useful with some of the fussier prints which can look great in small samples but when repeated over a whole wall can make you feel a bit dizzy. And, you will be pleased to know, they have a large range of wallpaper from Dutch company Pip Studio that you liked with one picture behind a bed (although it’s not a grey velvet one).


Here’s their China Rose for £59:     

If you wanted something a bit more yellow to contrast with the bedhead then what about Butterflies by ? It’s £240 a roll but you might only need one. You will need  sample of this as it might start a fight with your yellow bedside tables.


Alternatively, given that you already have three colours with the grey, yellow and white, why not stick to that, which will be very striking and modern and vary the shades of the grey. Here are two pictures of New Mountains by


It’s £59.95 a roll and might be a little too geometric for your taste but it could also be stunning and I like the idea of the sun, which might be either rising or setting depending on whether you are rising or setting, as it were. I have given you two pictures to underline the importance of ordering samples. The yellows are quite different colours on the computer, so it’s only by seeing it in the flesh that you will know if it’s the right one for you.

Finally, let’s pare it right down to just two colours. has a great range of wallpaper. Festival has appeared in all the magazines and you might feel you have already seen a little too much of it, so what about Alice? With just shades of grey and white flowers it would keep your bedroom quite modern and monochrome and really allow the yellow bedside tables to “pop”.

If you went for this one, then Pip Studio also does a large range of bedding so you could have one of their patterns on a duvet cover instead of on the wall.


Tags : wallpaper
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. I recently moved into a house with a stained glass window in the front door. It is an orange setting sun and makes my whole hall look orange. I would like to replace it with some plain frosted glass.Can you help?

  2. Hi Kate,

    A question on flooring. I went to the Saatchi gallery recently and they had the most gorgeous, matt, wide-plank, pale wooden floors:
    I am hoping to get something similar for our reception room. I can’t seem to find many stockists, but when I do they are really pricey. Is there a way I can ‘get the look’ without remortgaging to pay for it?!

    1. Hi Nic, there’s a piece on flooring coming up very soon in Trade Secrets. Look out for it. I will also answer you in a little more detail as soon as I can.

      1. Hi again Nic, the boards you want come from who have that very picture of the Saatchi gallery on their website. Prices obviously vary hugely but the wide Douglas Fir boards are from £103 per sq m. Obviously this won’t include fitting and I don’t know the size of your room. I’m not sure there is a way of “getting the look” cheaply as it will always look cheap. Basically flooring is one of the most expensive interior decisions I’m afraid. Alternatively you might want to paint the boards you have already. Fits with the industrial chic look and is a lot cheaper.

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