Wallpaper choices for wonky walls

A while back some friends of ours invited us round to their new cottage in the country. It was (and still is) picture postcard 18th Century stuff: big beams, small windows and almost impossible to heat properly. As far as we could tell there’s barely a right angle in the place, which makes wallpapering a bit of a challenge.

The previous owners had chosen a striped wallpaper for their bedroom. They’d probably regretted it almost immediately. If your walls aren’t straight, your wallpaper can’t hope to be, and these walls were anything but straight.

The result was a striped pattern as if viewed in a hall of mirrors – all dodgy angles, with the natural lumps and bumps in the wall playing havoc with the clean lines. “What do you suggest?” they asked.

What we suggested was this: in a house where the walls are appealingly wonky, you can’t hope to make a wallpaper which relies on straightness work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go for geometric designs – they just need to be designs that won’t be thrown out by irregularities in the wall – like this Teal Glitter Wave.

Small floral patterns can also work wonderfully in an older house. It’s not only because of their cottage charm, but because you can wallpaper over the most obstinate of surfaces and still achieve a result that looks as if you didn’t have to fight the wall to achieve it.