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Hirshfield's Wallpaper


from the staff at

Have a question? Let our experts answer them. From design to decision, Wallpaper Council spokesperson and interior design expert Sharon Hanby-Robie, as well as wallpaper artists and product developers, are here to answer all of your questions.


How can wallpaper make a small room look bigger? What are the best patterns?

In general, light colors add a feeling of spaciousness. In particular, striped wallcoverings are a sure bet for adding height to a room. Stripes visually raise the height of the ceiling by drawing the eye upward.

At the same time, pastel colors broaden the room, and make the expanse of the wall seem larger. Together, subtle stripes and pastel colors can make a room seem bigger overall by drawing the eye both upward and sideways.

If you want to achieve a feeling of spaciousness in a small area, a hallway or throughout an entire room, stick to neutral and light colors.

When and where can textured wallpaper be used?

Textured patterns can be used almost anywhere in the home. A textured pattern is a wonderful color carrier to bring together a study or den.

What wallpaper looks are ideal for making a kitchen cozy?

Small prints help define a space and create a cozy, inviting atmosphere, as in the kitchen. Mini-florals, fruits and nature elements are "busy" designs and keep the eye focused within the room. These make the kitchen feel more intimate. Borders can also work in conjunction with the small patterns.

Is it true that some patterns and colors can actually make us feel better?

Yes, the key is to recognize your personality traits and complement them with the right color and pattern. If you find yourself feeling stressed out at the end of the day - then decorate your resting space, i.e. your reading room, bedroom, or den, in paler colors that will help you calm down. If you suffer from lack of sunlight, use sunny yellow as your color of choice; it will perk up your spirit.

How do you choose a color scheme?

Think first about practical aspects of the room such as:

* Function: How is the room used? Warm colors work well for active rooms, cool colors for relaxation areas.
* People: Who will use the room? Consider their color preferences when selecting your color scheme.
* Location: What is the exposure to sunlight? Northern and eastern exposures benefit from warm color schemes; western and southern exposures from cool schemes.
* Size: Do you want to increase or decrease the apparent size? Warm colors advance, making the room seem smaller; cool colors recede, making the room appear larger.

Choose a print you love. This will be your "signature print" that will set the color scheme for the room. Signature prints usually contain several colors and large scale pattern.

Let one color from your signature print dominate. Use this color in as much as 2/3 of the available area. Pull 2-3 other colors from your signature print to act as support or accent colors. Use them in smaller areas and in accessories. Carry your color scheme throughout the entire house to create a strong visual continuity. Varying the dominant color and patterns you use in each room --while remaining faithful to your basic color scheme -- will keep your home interesting, yet unified.

How can wallpaper stimulate your baby?

If you want to encourage your baby's ability to recognize objects -I think that wallpaper in a larger scale pattern is the best choice. Obviously primary colors are best for young children - the pastels are best used for "sleeping" only. If you want to give your child a learning advantage - then choose bright colors - be sure to include red. By combining both primary and secondary colors, the scheme will last through to kindergarten age.

Choose a variety of nice shapes - remember baby can only see 8" - 15" in distance. Use a large-scale pattern near the crib, such as one of the wonderful new large vertical borders. Another option is to use a horizontal border - if you place it near the crib, the baby will have something to look at when awake - giving mommy a little breathing time.

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