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Design Standoff: Wallpaper versus Wall Decals

Updated on December 9, 2013

Groupings of small artwork, large metal art, wrought iron wall grilles and leaf wall art are just a few ways to embellish your walls. However, wallpaper and wall decals are also interesting and beautiful ways of decorating the walls of your home. Both can be used in combination with painted walls to add a nice visual accent to a room. However there are advantages and disadvantages to both materials, which should be taken into consideration when you are choosing between them.

Advantages of Wallpaper

Wallpaper is a good way of adding a lot of design and color to a room. It can be used on all the walls within a room, on only one or two walls, or even on just portions of a wall. Although some people are intimidated by the idea of hanging wallpaper, it is actually fairly easy, especially with today's modern wallpaper choices. Once you decide upon a wallpaper pattern, you don't have to give much consideration to the overall design of the wall, other than to make sure the pattern matches between each strip of paper as it is hung. The overall design is determined solely by the wallpaper pattern itself. Heavy textured wallpaper can also be used to disguise walls that aren't in perfect condition.

Disadvantages of Wallpaper

Especially if you choose high quality wallpaper, it can be much more expensive to wallpaper an entire room as opposed to simply painting it and accessorizing with decals. Also, many people consider wallpaper to be a fairly permanent option, although it is certainly much easier to remove modern wallpaper. Still, it can be a fair amount of work to remove wallpaper from a room if you change your mind later about the room's design.

Image credit to wallcandyarts.

Advantages of Wall Decals

Wall decals are easy to work with and apply, and come in a wide array of styles and motifs. As compared to purchasing wallpaper, decals often cost less, especially since you generally do not need to cover the entire wall with them. They are easier to work with as compared to hanging wallpaper, making them an attractive option for do-it-yourself home owners who simply want to add a little bit of design and color to their walls. There are so many different styles and themes available that it's hard to imagine a room design that couldn't be accentuated with wall decals. They are also generally easy to remove. In fact some wall decals are even designed so that they can be removed and re-applied multiple times. If removal and re-application are important to you, make sure to check before purchasing the decals to make sure they offer those features.

Disadvantages of Wall Decals

Although using wall decals is fun and easy, they do generally take a bit of creativity to place them on the wall in a pleasing fashion. For those who lack the artistic creativity to come up with an interesting arrangement for the decals, there are also large wall decal sheets that can be applied in the same way as wallpaper, instead of as individual decals. This style of decal is generally paper-based, and is less likely to be repositionable after being removed.

Deciding Between Wallpaper and Wall Decals

In the end, making the decision between these two popular wall treatments is a personal choice. Both are decorative and could be a good choice. The best way to decide is to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both, choosing the one that best fits your decorating needs.

This article is written by Maria Harris, who writes for .


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    • Maria Harris profile image

      Maria Harris 7 years ago from Houston

      If you love wallpaper, you will adore the new wall decals. Have some fun with them, and thanks for reading.

    • suzielopez91 profile image

      suzielopez91 7 years ago from Colorado, USA

      I love wallpapers and I didn't know much about wall decals. I think I will give it a try next time. Thank you for a nice and informative article.