Wall design is more than an exercise in aesthetics; it involves a substantial amount of time and cost. So, whether you choose beautiful wallpapers to adorn your walls or paint them in the old-fashioned way, you need to make sure that your decision is an informed one. 

As we are predominantly addressing Indian homeowners, it makes sense to understand how wallpapers are used in India. Unlike in the West, where wallpaper is often used all across the house, Indians typically use wallpapers only to create accent walls. This aesthetic choice impacts the availability, price and cost-effectiveness of wallpapers in India. 

If you have any questions related to choosing beautiful wallpapers for your home, we have got you covered! Let’s begin by checking out the types of wallpapers available in India. 

What are the types of wallpaper available in India?

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Six types of wallpapers are available in India

#1: Paper

For paper-based wallpapers, a decorative design is printed over a paper base. The sheet may or may not have a top coating to seal the design. It’s cheaper in comparison to other types of wallpapers.

#2: Paper-backed vinyl 

The base paper here has liquid vinyl coated over it on which the design is printed. It is often wipeable, resists moisture and is affordable too. 

#3: Non-Woven

This type of wallpaper is composed of natural or synthetic fibres that give the final design a sophisticated appearance. These are easy to apply as well as to remove, but are expensive in comparison to the first two types of wallpapers. 

#4: Solid Vinyl

In this type of wallpaper, a solid sheet of vinyl is applied over a paper or fabric, and the design is printed over the vinyl sheet. This makes the wallpaper more durable and washable.

#5: PVC or coated vinyl

One of the most-affordable options, this kind of wallpaper is moisture-resistant because it’s essentially a layer of acrylic sprayed on or coated over a paper base. However, the designs for this type of wallpaper won’t have a refined finish.

#6: Fabric

Either it will be a fabric-based wallpaper with the design printed over it or fabric-backed that has a vinyl layer with the design on it.

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If you are looking for an aesthetically superior as well as durable solution, non-woven is a good choice.

Why should you consider using wallpaper?

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Wallpapers can be applied much quicker than paint

#1: It can be applied really quickly. Covering your walls with beautiful wallpaper is a job that can be done within a couple of hours. This is a sharp contrast to paint, which takes time to apply, requires several coats and also time to dry. 

#2: Unlike during painting, your house won’t smell or be covered in dust after applying wallpaper. Technically, you don’t need to move your furniture or cover them with plastic sheets or move out for a day to apply wallpaper to your walls. It’s a cleaner process than painting.

#3: It gives your home an instant makeover. All it takes is one striking wallpaper to change the entire look and feel of your room. The effects are decisively instant. 

So, are wallpapers really cost-effective?

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Wallpapers in India are mostly used for accent walls

The simple answer to this complicated question is that cost and cost-effectiveness are not the same metric. It will always be cheaper to paint the house. But cost-effective means that you are getting your money’s worth. Wallpapers are a cost-effective option because they are durable, have hassle-free application and when used just for accent walls, they are cheaper than special types of paints like texture paint. 

Wallpaper Vs. Paint: Which is the better choice for Indian walls?

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The unending debate

Both paint and wallpapers have their own pros and cons for Indian walls. One of the important aspects to consider specifically pertaining to India is heat and moisture. You cannot use wallpapers on walls that have proximity to moisture or too much heat (like the walls near the kitchen or bathrooms). Moreover, if you are living in a hot and humid climate like in Mumbai, you might want to consider paint for areas that get plenty of sunshine. 

For a complete breakdown of the pros and cons of paint vs. wallpaper, click here

How to choose the right wallpaper for your purpose?

#1: Wallpapers can make the room look larger

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Neutrals and abstract patterns for compact spaces

A wallpaper that haslighter colours and subtle patterns can make a room look larger than it is. Abstract or diffused patterns tend to give compact spaces an air of roominess.

#2: Wallpapers can help a space look lit up

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Pastels and whites for dark spaces

You can make a dark passageway or cramped corner look well lit if you choose the right wallpaper for it. Pick a shade that reflects light instead of absorbing it. Pastels and whites are excellent for bringing a sunny disposition to dark spaces. 

#3: Wallpapers can hide flaws

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Real or faux texture for hiding flaws

Texture, both real and perceived, can help to hide undulations on the wall or architectural flaws. For instance, this wallpaper with its 3D effect pattern covers up the dents on the wall beautifully. Paints typically don’t work in this regard unless you sand the wall and cover imperfections with putty. 

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#4: Wallpapers can make the room look taller

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Vertical designs in monochrome or contrast for a taller vibe

Vertical lines tend to make the ceiling look taller than it is. Naturally, some designs with repeating vertical lines are an excellent way to make spaces look taller. These designs can be monochrome or in contrasting shades. 

#5: Wallpapers can segregate space

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Dividers that don’t eat up space

Wallpaper can be used effectively to segregate space without adding physical dividers. And unlike dividers, they do not consume floor space. 

#6: Wallpapers can set the tone for a room

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There is a wallpaper for every mood

Plain wallpaper designs or ones with very subtle patterns can give your space an air of formality. Similarly, a bright wallpaper with geometric patterns or block prints can make a room appear casual and informal instantly. So, it can be said that there is a type of wallpaper for every kind of room. 

#7: Wallpapers are not just for walls

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You can use it for cabinet finishes too!

Did you know that wallpaper can be used as finishes for cabinets too? In this home, the Tv unit and crockery unit have a customised wallpaper finish that is very affordable. 

You can explore the full home here

Similarly, wallpapers can also be used to cover up ceilings to make a unique statement! 

How long do wallpapers last?

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They can last up to 15 years!

Depending on the material and quality of a wallpaper, it can last up to 15 years. This makes wallpapers an exceedingly cost-effective option for your walls.

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A wallpaper that is pasted properly tends to last three times longer than one that is done amateurly. So get an expert to do up your walls with beautiful wallpapers.

What are the dos and don’ts of using wallpapers?

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Wallpapers last longer if protected from too much sunlight and moisture

#1: Wallpapers tend to fade when exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, don’t use them on walls that face the sun directly. 

#2: Moisture-prone walls (like those in the kitchen, bathroom or outside the house) are not ideal for wallpaper.

#3: Wallpapers are not only for walls. Use it to enhance ceilings or even furniture pieces for an impressive detail in the house.

#4: Working on a tight budget? Use good quality wallpaper to highlight only a column or a niche in the wall. That’s all it takes!

#5: Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Combine bold painted walls with neutral shades or fine print wallpapers for a different type of contrast. 

If you need inspiration for picking beautiful wallpapers, check out our stunning new designs.

Send in your comments and suggestions.

— editor@livspace.com