Decor

The Best Wallpaper Patterns For Small Rooms

I LOVE bold wallpaper for small rooms.  Not every small space dweller share that love. For some, the idea alone is intimidating. Many small-space-dwellers worry that busy patterns or shapes will be too much for their tiny room, and they don’t want to overwhelm the space.

I get it…

The truth is, adding wallpaper to a small room is a great way to add interest (think focal point!) and a pop of color to the space. More importantly, some wallpaper patterns can visually expand a room space, making it look and feel bigger than it really is.

Patterned wallpaper has the power to create all kinds of illusions. They can make small rooms look taller, and wider, but they can also create depth. If your goal is to make your small room look larger, patterned wallpaper is one of the best ways to do it!

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It may seem counterintuitive to add busy shapes or large flowery elements to the walls of a tiny room for fear of overwhelming the space, but trust me, the result can create the most beautiful, and charming accent for your home. You just have to work smart! That’s what this article is about.

Before we get into the options, one thing to note is that you should only use a pattern that you really REALLY love. Aside from the fact that you’ll be looking at it every day, anything that isn’t super appealing to you will eventually feel overwhelming.

FYI –At the end of this post I rounded up a few online shops where you can find stylish, modern wallpaper & murals. So stick around till the end! 

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links, I may receive a small commission. I only recommend products that I love and trust! See the full disclosure here.**

So What Wallpaper Patterns Work Best For Small Spaces?

1. Stripes!

You may have seen this suggestion in your research thus far. Stripes are one of the best wallpaper patterns for small spaces because they have the power to visually transform a room. Striped wallpaper can create the illusion of height or depth depending on its orientation.

Photo by Beth Bourque Design Studio 

Vertical stripes make ceilings appear higher than it actually is, while horizontal stripes will make walls seem longer/ wider. Either way, stripes help to create the illusion of a larger space, which is the ultimate goal.

Top picks for beautiful vertical striped wallpaper:

Photo by Beth Bourque Design Studio

NOTE: It doesn’t have to be literal stripes like the images above. Any pattern that creates vertical or horizontal lines will do the trick!

Horizontal striped wallpaper picks:

More Stripped Wallpaper Picks:

2. Scenic Wallpaper/Murals

This is probably the best wallpaper for small spaces. Scenic wallpaper or Murals are truly powerful stuff when it comes to creating an optical illusion. The magic is in pulling the eye outward, adding depth and distance. Creating depth in a small room means more visual space. Magic Murals has a huge collection of beautiful scenic wallpaper, and murals for any room, style, and occasion.

Photo by Anthony Baratta LLC 



foggy forest wall mural

See more wall coverings from PhotoWall.

Wine Cellar
Wine Cellar

from: MagicMurals.com

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3. Busy Wallpaper Patterns vs Not -So Busy Patterns

When thinking about wallpaper for small rooms I think this is where people get a little anxious. Patterns repeat, and some repeats can seem too busy for small rooms and run the risk of overwhelming the space. The repeat and the scale of the design make all the difference in the way a room looks and feels. Smaller prints can sometimes make the room look cluttered and chaotic. Larger repeated patterns stretch the eye upward or across the wall, making the room appear larger.

The distance between each repeat is also important.

Consider this: Any pattern with a repeat of 6 inches or less will appear quite busy. Larger patterns with a repeat of 12 inches or more will appear more random and be easier on the eye, especially in smaller rooms.

Image Source: Pinterest / McGinn Photography

black and gold palm leaves wallpaper in small room

Get This Palm Leaves Wallpaper from Anthropologie

If you love smaller repeated prints like the polka dot wallpaper shown above (I think that wallpaper looks stunning in that space!) then consider using it on a single accent wall rather than on all four walls. This way it won’t be too busy for the room. As with any wall treatment, when in doubt, go with an accent wall.

Some examples of busy wallpaper used on an accent wall:

busy wallpaper pattern on accent wall

Photo by Fotograf Lisbet Spörndly

busy wallpaper pattern on small bedroom

Photo by Rethink Design Studio 

On the other hand…

If you’re a maximalist at heart and prefer to cover the entire room in busy wallpaper, then go for it! Who am I to tell you otherwise. After all, Maximalists can do small spaces too!

contemporary busy wallpaper in small room

Photo by Arent & Pyke

seamless geometric wallpaper in small bathroom

Photo by Sarah St. Amand Interior Design, Inc. 

Seamless patterns create an infinite design. You can’t really tell where it begins and where it ends, causing the eye to ‘continue on forever’. This is a good thing for creating visual space.

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4. Textured Wallpaper 

Take the attention away from the size of the room with textured wallpaper. Textured wallpaper is considered a pattern in its own right. They create another level of dimension that’s hard to look away from. Your guests won’t be able to resist touching your new wallpapered walls.

white Subway tile textured wallpaper in small room

SHOP: Magnolia Home Brick and Mortar Wallpaper – at US Wall Decor

Brick Wall Texture
Brick Wall Texture

from: MagicMurals.com

Interior designers have predicted that textured and 3D wallpaper will be big in 2020! Bringing dull walls to life with rich 3-dimensional shapes and designs. See more 2020 Decor Trends Here!

5. Extra Large Wallpaper Designs

We touched on pattern scale earlier, so you might recall that for small spaces, smaller, busier patterns are perfect for accent walls. Extra-large wallpaper patterns are perfect for small rooms because it draws the eye upward, creating the illusion of higher ceilings and therefore more space. If you’re going for a bold and dramatic effect then this is the way to do it.

Large florals are an extremely popular pattern for small rooms. Huge bouquets, towering tropical leaves and plants are all the trend these days. And for good reason too. They’re gorgeous and they have a big impact no matter where you put them!

Vintage Palm Leaf Tropical Removable Textile Wallpaper

Get The Look With These Floral Wallpaper Murals From Amazon

large orange floral wallpaper in a small living rooms

Photo by Coddington Design 



Creating Balance

Balance is everything when working with wallpaper for small rooms. If you choose to use a bold pattern in a small room, tone down the rest of your decor. This includes drapes, rugs, cushions, and other accessories. Doing this will ensure that the wallpaper shines but also helps the room to feel relaxed and calm. At the end of the day, be guided by your personal style and the feeling the pattern elicits. Do that and you’ll be well on your way to creating a space you’ll love.

Where To Buy Stylish Wallpaper For Small Rooms?

  • US Wall Decor – Colorful, elegant, and trendy patterns. Lots of stunning florals.
  • Chasing Paper – For elegant and playful wallpaper patterns.
  • Hygge & West – for sophisticated, modern, and unique patterns.
  • Magic Murals – Huge collection of 3D, cityscape & landscape murals (that create depth). Also offer custom murals.

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best wallpaper for small rooms