How to choose patterned wallpaper to create a bedroom feature wall

Wallpaper patterned with a jungle theme by Emma J Shipley in my master bedroom

Happy New Year and welcome to 2024! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful festive break. I tried really hard to take some proper time out over the Christmas period. But the work never stops with a project property like mine, and I couldn’t resist updating our master bedroom with a new feature wall!

Cost-effective changes with a striking feature wall

Full disclosure: I love a feature wall. It’s the perfect way to refresh a room quickly without breaking the bank. And with the cost of living still rising, I’m determined to budget sensibly for all of my interior renovations this year.

 Creating a calming bedroom scheme

You may remember that the husband and I first revamped our master bedroom during lockdown. It kept us occupied when there was precious little else to do, and was a welcome distraction from the general awfulness of everything. While I’m still thrilled with my boutique hotel room scheme, more recently I’ve felt that the space needed a lift. A feature wall adds instant impact and interest, with very little disruption to the rest of the room.

I decided to use patterned wallpaper to create mine. I love wallpapers and I just don’t have enough in my own home. So, after a little online research, I called in a selection of samples, before making my final decision: the Rousseau in Jungle from Emma Shipley.

New patterned wallpaper in the master bedroom
Green and pink is one of my favourite colour combinations, so I simply couldn’t resist Emma Shipley’s Rousseau Jungle (£66 per roll) for my new bedroom feature wall

Patterned wallpapers for statement walls

Why did I choose this design? First and foremost, I absolutely loved the pattern, which features hand-drawn elements of winding foliage, peacock feathers, and small birds and creatures. The Jungle colour option was also perfect. It combines an off-white background with subtle greens, blues and pinks. This complements my existing bedroom colour scheme, bedding and accessories so beautifully. And I think this wallpaper’s wildlife motif works especially well with my fun kissing Flamingo velvet cushions from Elizabeth Scarlett. However, I am now planning to switch up the headboard…although the details for that could be in a blog post for another day!

Master bedroom with pattern wallpaper
Not sure which wall to feature? Always choose the space the eye is first drawn to. In my bedroom, that was clearly the wall behind the bed, and the two alcoves either side of it

Why choose pattern wallpaper?

You might be wondering why I went for patterned wallpaper, as opposed to paint, for my dream feature wall. After all, I’m a big fan of Farrow & Ball, and choose the brand’s Peignoir paint for my bedroom walls and Wevet for the woodwork.

 Wallpapers can make strong style statements

But if you want to make a statement, as I firmly believe the best feature walls should, wallpaper is hard to beat. Patterned designs especially have personality and pizzazz. After all feature walls are meant to be bold and bright. Wallpaper adds colour and texture, catches the eye, adds movement, and creates the right type of drama.

Pattern wallpaper by NAT MAKS
Nat Maks’ bespoke hand-marbled Suminogashi wallpapers take feature walls to the next level. Resembling abstract paintings, these stunning wallpaper panels measure 55cm by 280cm and are priced at £190 each

Dream feature wall do’s and don’ts

I think being brave with your choice is top of my ‘do’ list. Think fab not drab. So don’t be afraid to choose a design that grabs attention. Colour is important but so is pattern, print and texture. On the subject of colour, don’t be too random. The wallpaper you choose does need to work with everything else in the area. You can complement or contrast – but try not to overpower or engulf.

 Making the right choice

Choosing the right wall to highlight is also very important. The best one to pick is the space your eye is first drawn to when you enter the room. My bedroom’s feature wall ‘frames’ my bed, and the furniture either side of it. In other rooms, you could pick an area with a fireplace, or above a splashback and behind a bathroom basin. If possible, avoid creating your feature with doors or windows, as they tend to detract from the overall effect.

 Using experts for patterned wallpaper

Lastly, where patterned wallpaper is concerned, don’t be too reticent to call in the professionals. I hired an expert decorator to put up my paper, to ensure the patterns on each section would perfectly match.

Wallpaper patterned with a jungle theme by Emma J Shipley in my master bedroom
A feature wall should make a statement, but without jarring with the rest of your room. So make sure the wallpaper you choose works with other elements, such as bedding and accessories

Wallpaper patterns feature wall advice

If you’re a fan of florals, you’re sure to love Olenka Design’s Alice Tea Rose wallpaper. Inspired by traditional eastern European design, this palette of soft pinks, lavender and violet works perfectly in the bedroom environment. And the soft shimmer adds a touch of subtle glamour!

Company director Olga is a big fan of patterned wallpaper for feature walls, for a variety of reasons. “A patterned wallpaper feature wall enhances the overall look and feel of your space,” she explains. “It’s also an opportunity for you to be creative and express your personal style.”

 Transforming rooms with wallpapers

Importantly, she agrees that introducing a patterned wallpaper feature wall is a cost-effective way to update and transform the look of a room. “Choose wallcoverings that complement the overall design and colour scheme of your bedroom to tie together various elements in the room, such as furniture, textiles, and accessories,” she advises. “It’s a quicker and more budget-friendly alternative to completely redecorating the entire room.”

Wallpaper patterned with Alice Tea Rose by Olenka Design
Pretty in pink: Olenka Design’s Alice Tea Rose wallpaper is PVC-free, FSC-certified and sustainably made in England. It features a 147gsm non-woven composition is priced at £155 per roll

Do you dare to apply pattern wallpaper to all four walls?

Staying with the floral theme, what do you think of this eye-catching Bloomin’ Marvellous wallpaper in Duchess Pink. Part of the Divine Savages’ Nana Nostalgia collection, this peony wallpaper print was inspired by St James’s Park.

 Four walls perfection

I like the idea of extending a feature wall to all four walls (including the ceiling) – perfect if you’re feeling daring! “Don’t be shy and trust your gut,” is the advice from Divine Savages Co-Founder Jamie Watkins. “If you like it, lean into it.

 Pattern and bold design choices

“We’re on a mission to nurture a passion for daring design and to help others be braver in their choice of pattern and bolder in their choice of colour,” he continues: “Colour and pattern have the magical ability to transform any room, and by bringing it into a space that serves to be practical and functional, it can work wonders. Likewise, using wallpaper in unexpected places, such as on the ceiling, is guaranteed to create maximum impact.”

Divine Savages wallpaper patterned with peonies
Divine Savages’ Bloomin’ Marvellous wallpaper in Duchess Pink isn’t for shrinking violets – but it’s perfect for peony lovers! It combines soft dusky pink with tones of cream and mellow yellow, and is priced at £150 per roll

Adding pattern to a bedroom

Botanicals are another popular choice for a patterned wallpaper feature wall for the bedroom. Deux Ex Gardenia’s Little Eden wallpaper in Tansy really enlivens a neutral bedroom background, without overpowering it. It features a pretty wild plant motif that combines palms, climbing jasmine and Andira tree flowers.

 Sustainable living

I try to always shop sustainably, so I love that this wallpaper is FCS-certified and printed with eco-friendly water-based ink. This means it’s non-toxic and very low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) so it’s a great choice for a children’s bedroom or nursery too.

Deus ex Gardenia wallpaper patterned for a delicate design in a master bedroom
Deus ex Gardenia’s Little Eden wallpaper in Tansy works well in both bedrooms and living rooms. Priced at £250 per roll, it’s printed on a bespoke basis, which significantly minimises waste output

Design options filled with style

If, like me, you’re sticking to a strict budget for your feature wall project, don’t despair. There are plenty of bargains to be had, such as Beautiful Walls’ New Walls Mosaic design, featured below in Grey.

Priced at just £35 per roll, this two-tone, faux tile design features geometric shapes and delicate shadowing to create a subtle 3-D effect. It’s a great way to add pattern and texture a bedroom, while keeping your colour scheme muted.

Beautiful Walls adds depth to this bedroom with the New Walls Mosaic collection
Feature wall wallpapers don’t have to break the bank. Check out Beautiful Walls’ New Walls Mosaic collection, available in five different colours and priced at a bargainous £35 per roll

Contemporary styles with pattern wallpaper

My final feature wall recommendation is Nat Maks. This brand’s Marble wallpaper is hand-printed using the traditional Japanese Suminagashi (floating ink) technique. You can see the image if you scroll further up towards the start of my blog.

This means that each piece is unique, with no pattern repeats. Instead there are individual painting-like panels, each of which is signed by the artist. I love the way these colours swirl organically – and offer a way to make your bedroom feature wall truly exclusive.

Planning a bedroom makeover? Don’t forget the floor! Click here to read my blog on how to choose the best bedroom rugs