Design

Help! Which Wallpaper Would You Choose?

dining room

We have a small but cheerful dining room in our house. Right now it has white walls, and we’d love to mix it up with wallpaper. But it’s so hard to visualize different prints! Would you mind weighing in? Here are three very different ones…

We could do this lovely marble paper.

calico wallpaper

We could go with this trippy outer-space-looking paper.

swedish wallpaper

Or we could go with pretty Swedish paper with flowers.

Thoughts? Which would you choose? (Also, aren’t these trapeze and women wallpapers cool?)

P.S. All our home tours, and a Scandinavian bedroom trick.

(Top photo from our house tour by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Kate Jordan.)

  1. I love the blue of the marble and the flower paper is beautiful. I like looking at samples of them very much. I don’t think that I would replace your painted walls with any of the papers. I think that painted walls are so much easier to live with and to paint over when the mood strikes. They are also easier background for any kind of art. You might want to consider another paint color (light or dark).

  2. The flowers for sure! I‘be also been considering that one…

  3. Liz says...

    I think the flowers are the most you! If I remember right, you have a large pillow with a similar design? I’ve tucked that away for a while as design inspiration for my bedroom some day :)
    My one hesitation is I’m not sure how they would look at night, like during a dinner party. I think they would be glorious during the day though and probably beautiful in the evening too.

  4. Lindsey Young says...

    I don’t think any of them, they all look like great bathroom wallpapers to me!

    I think you should do a soft color for the dining space, something warm, or calming.

  5. Laki says...

    Spacey wall paper. Impactful but not overwhelming.

  6. Karen says...

    Aaaawh we have the tulips paper by Josef Frank in our dining area (we live in Sweden). It was here when we moved in and I loved it from the minute I saw it, though I feel I probably never would have picked it. It’s beautiful and fun and looks even better in person. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

  7. Alex says...

    That Josef Frank Vårklockor wallpaper has been on my Pinterest “dream house” board for years in the black color.

  8. Em says...

    Space is the place! It opens up opportunity to mix up the room’s accessories, widens the room, and looks modern and interesting. I love a good print that doesn’t scream for attention, but if you pause on it, is something to look at and is pleasing to the eye.

  9. Jennifer Love says...

    Have you looked at Icelandic-born artist Kristjana S. Williams’ wallpaper? Think you might enjoy!

  10. Liza says...

    My vote is for the trippy outer space paper, for sure!

  11. Amber says...

    Can we interrupt wallpaper votes for a minute and talk about your incredible fiddle-leaf fig tree? Holy cats, it is THRIVING. Do you dust the leaves? Sing to it? Please tell us your secrets.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha it’s all alex! he has a green thumb, it turns out. he dusts the leaves and doesn’t overwater it. i think that’s about it — i’m sure there’s some luck involved too!

  12. Annie says...

    I actually have that Josef Frank floral wallpaper in my daughter’s tiny, box-like bedroom! It is stunning, esp. in a small space — somehow it makes the room feel twice as big, which is counterintuitive. My daughter loves it so much she won’t move to the much bigger, white-walled room now. I do wonder if it’s too much for a dining nook though. We also have some of the Voysey wallpapers which are ridiculously expensive (not that the Frank isn’t) but so, so, so lovely!

    http://trustworth.com/wallpaper.shtml

    My advice would be to do the whole room — some people say just to do a feature wall if it’s a prominent paper, but I think that’s far worse and ruins the effect. But then again I obv. love wallpaper!

  13. Cheryl says...

    Which one would you put in a frame?
    Judging by the artwork in your home I’d say the Marble one. To me wallpaper is just another piece of art… just much much more of it.

  14. Jackie says...

    Please don’t do it! None of these! The marble is dizzying, the space looks mushy, and the flowers are too busy and childish. Go with custom curtains in a blue gray velvet and you will get the warm feeling without the headache.

    • Leah says...

      I agree, Jackie! Some beautiful curtains would be perfect. I absolutely love a beautiful curtain in a bold print.

    • Rachel says...

      Third-ing this comment! Coming from an architect…balancing white space is key! ;) I think the addition of some ~fun~ curtains would achieve the effect you’re looking for without muddying the space (or for an alternative – a decorative rug!)

  15. Michelle says...

    The Swedish flower wallpaper would look best in that space. I don’t think the other two would compliment the table and flooring.

  16. Nicole says...

    Has to be outer space for me. It feels organic and interesting without overpowering. I think the only way to really test it is to compare them on the wall in the space. It’ll look great with any option though!

  17. Katrin says...

    I vote for the flowers, but mostly against the outer space one. It absolutely looks like mould to me! I can‘t even see anything else but a mouldy wall even if I try. So NO to that, haha!

  18. Silvia says...

    The Swedish flowers!!!!
    Impossible to get tired of it (even if not everyone would agree with about this) ?

  19. Lindsay says...

    Outer Space paper! It’s so low-key while being AWESOME at the same time.

  20. Marty says...

    Spacey URSA for so many reasons: reflection, soothing, organic appearance and the subtle tones that will allow for your artwork. ALSO your kids will love to find images in the paper.

  21. Eva says...

    Outer Space! The marble is great but I’m afraid your paintings will argue with that… With love,

  22. Stephanie says...

    Swedish botanical wallpaper for sure! Love it. Would brighten your days and with mood lighting at night could be cozy.

  23. Malia says...

    Outer space! It’s a showstopper, it goes with anything, it will still look stylish in 10 years.

  24. Heather says...

    The flowers!! (I love it..mom living in a home with 4 boys and a husband..I’m always looking for something a little feminine) But I think the space paper is more you guys..it’s shiny and classic looking..

  25. Margaret says...

    Flowers! Or marble.

  26. Sarah Kennedy says...

    I absolutely love the marble paper! I think it would look so great, but really any of the options will be beautiful! Can’t wait to see what you all end up with!

  27. Leen says...

    Definitely Swedish! But maybe the marble trend has just over-saturated me with that pattern.

  28. Kathryn says...

    Space gets my vote! As some people have already said, the light bouncing off that will be gorgeous, and I think it would be a good base for the room as a whole; with the flowers you might find yourself restricting what you put on the table or any other colours introduced, and whilst I thought I’d like the marble it looks a bit busy for me once it shows it on the wall.

    • Madi says...

      I agree with literally everything Kathryn said!

  29. Kelly P says...

    I vote Marble! Can’t wait to see what you decide :-)

  30. for some reason these really surprise me for y’all!

    space!

    second choice: flowers.

  31. Tricia M says...

    Definitely the marble one especially with the big print you already have on the wall. Have you considered painting your room a colour say a warm grey (I live in the UK) or a characterful blue? Do you know which way the room faces as that can make a big difference when painting?

  32. Rachel says...

    Flowers. Always flowers!

  33. anna says...

    space one!

  34. I love the Silver Spacey option. It’s beautiful!!

  35. Lexi says...

    I would choose the marble.

  36. Alex says...

    Flowers seem most “your style” and could really work if the space is open to other rooms, like the kitchen. Space one is amazing, more sophisticated in feel.

  37. Tina says...

    Definitely the Swedish paper with the flowers!

  38. Alison says...
  39. Sara says...

    Silver spacey is my vote!

  40. Kate the Great says...

    Will you hang the red, white and blue print behind you in the first pic back on the wall when you’re done hanging the wallpaper? If so, the space print will look the best.

    If you won’t hang it back up, I’d go with the marble. I try to decorate my home with gender-neutral stuff in the common areas because it’s everyone’s living space, and as much as I love the flowers, I don’t like it as wallpaper for a dining room.

  41. Kate says...

    Love the #2 wallpaper (Ursa)!

  42. Amanda H says...

    Outerspace wall paper! It is almost a neutral!

  43. Anna says...

    So fun! I love the middle “cosmic” one but think the marble would work best in the space? Can’t wait to see what you choose – good luck! :)

  44. Holly says...

    The Swedish wallpaper with flowers : )

  45. Colleen says...

    Keep it white! I love the print you have up now.

    • Charity says...

      I agree with Colleen. I think the marble is too busy, the space one the boys probably will vote for because of the name but it isn’t quite on point for a dining room and the flowers are push back against winter blues. Sit on it a little longer. My vote is keep it fresh with the white.

  46. Katie says...

    Space! or maybe marble. the florals are a bit juvenile for a dining room.

  47. Nitu says...

    Try wall papers from Black Crow studios ….they do amazing stuff

  48. Laureb says...

    Marble or flowers!

  49. Shannon says...

    Rebecca Atwood marble, forever and always!

  50. Kim says...

    I honestly don’t like any of them. I think you could do something cool with a fabric textured wallpaper or some kind of new paint/plaster combo. The metallic and the Swedish print are A LOT. I would use those maybe on a small wall or in shelving or something.

  51. Naomi says...

    Long time reader, first time commenter here inspired to break my silence by how much I love the flower wallpaper. Haha! Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  52. Anneka says...

    Marble for sure!

  53. Morgan says...

    My first choice is #3 the swedish flowers! It’s so happy and reminds me of an English country garden, which seems to be a nice connection to your background!
    My second choice is #2
    The marble is lovely too but I think it might feel like a lot.

  54. K says...

    Swedish flowers!

    • Kris says...

      Love the space wallpaper but feels like it might be formal. I think the Swedish flowers look like they fit the personality of the space. If you want more neutral, then the marble.

  55. Heather says...

    I’m sorry, I don’t think I care for any of them! I’d go with something a bit more classic/timeless personally.

  56. Salina says...

    #1 marble all the way!!!

  57. Caitlin says...

    #3 for sure! fortune favors the BOLD! :)

  58. Tricia says...

    Swedish flowers! But are you going to paper the whole room, or just a wall? I remember your home being open concept and one accent wall of paper can be tough

  59. The marble!!!

  60. Swedish flowers! They’d be so bright and cheerful for a dining room.

  61. Becca G says...

    I’d say the metallic, space one for sure! To me, the other patterns seem too busy to have longevity. I love the marble up close, but the pattern repeats so often it seems to lose its effect. It’ll be a fun change whatever you choose!

  62. 3! I love the fun florals

  63. Rachel says...

    The marble, it would make your dining room chairs pop!

  64. Emily says...

    I love your home and your style, but I have to say, I am not a fan of any of these wallpapers. The room looks beautiful as is! I’d leave it that way!

  65. Elizabeth says...

    The marble feels most classic and timeless. I think the cosmic one could go either way…look striking and original…or look kind of dirty. I adore flower prints, but that is just too much on a wall.

  66. Diana says...

    marble 1000000%

  67. Janel says...

    I honestly don’t care for any of them. There are some amazing papers out there though, so I would keep looking. Also, any reputable paint and wallpaper store will allow you to bring home books of samples so you can hold them up to the wall.

    I think wallpaper is super fun!

  68. Eleanor says...

    Option 2 for sure, for a small dining room. Unless you’re only doing one wall, and then maybe marble.

  69. Kat says...

    100% the middle one. I am a SUCKER for cosmic print anything!!

  70. Jessica says...

    Marble! Metallic, kind of meh, and I fear the flowers will seem dated fast.

  71. Lucia says...

    I love the dining room as is now – white and simple. It is nice, bright and minimalistic, and I would keep it that way! :)

    • Cyn says...

      I agree! I love your artwork. I always tire of wallpaper eventually. Artwork is easy to change out for a fresh look.

  72. Adrienne says...

    The marble!

  73. Julie says...

    I like the marble the best, though the flowers are sweet.

  74. Carol says...

    The marble!

  75. Nicole says...

    Love the marble!! The color and pattern are soothing. But I’d also consider keeping the wall white!

  76. Emily S. says...

    # 1 is my vote.

    Second choice is # 2.

    # 3 is too busy, visually — you’d get tired of it, IMHO. It’s not versatile enough for a dining room. (I could see it working nicely on an accent wall in a powder room, for example. But that’s totally different.) I like the colors and style, but it’s just not a good fit, in my view.

  77. Wallpaper can add so much to a room. Personally, I am leaning towards the “trippy outer-space-looking” wallpaper.

  78. Alicia says...

    I think for your dining room, the Swedish with flowers option, but I think if you were doing a bedroom, the space looking paper and marble paper would be a great option. I used to nap in my grandmother’s room as a kid, and her wallpaper had some weird streaky pattern, I think maybe trying to be multicolored cacti? I would stare at it while I fell asleep, and some of the brush strokes would have points, so I thought each “branch” was actually a depiction of the person, and the larger branches were just Mom and Dad holding their kids in the lap. Ambiguous patterns are great for letting the imagination go wild. :)

  79. Whitney Olson says...

    Marble. No question.

    • amanda says...

      Love the silver. It’s super cool, the kids will dig it, and for evening dinner parties it will be very elegant reflecting candlelight.

  80. Outer space! The floral one seems too obvious, like everyone expects you to get that one, and the marble, while cool, is also a little dizzying. The trippy outer space option is a really cool, very different take on neutral patterns. It’s super cool!

  81. Laura says...

    I seem to be in the minority here, but how lovely would that metallic one look when you have people over in the evening, lit up by candlelight?!? UGH, I DIE.

    • Heather says...

      Agreed! The metallic makes it seem more fancy and dining-room esque, and would be so pretty in candlelight. The marble is too done, and the flowers are cheerful but I feel like they would be better situated in a breakfast nook.

  82. k says...

    #3!!!

  83. Leah says...

    Marble all the way…

  84. Beth says...

    #2 although I love the idea of Swedish flowers, it seems to clash w/ the very relaxed simple vibe your house has going

  85. Nicole says...

    ohh that’s tough! I like the marbled best, followed by the flowers!

  86. Debbie P says...

    I prefer the first option.

  87. Tali says...

    The flowers! The other prints feel far too serious for a kitchen and your home.

  88. Jeannie says...

    I think #3 seems to fit best with your house, followed closely by #1. The marble blue might look best with everything else in your dining room (plant, table, and chairs).

  89. Jess says...

    Flowers!

  90. Kellie P. says...

    Have you thought about doing a metallic paint? We just did a coppery metallic and it gives the most beautiful glow, like candlelight.

  91. Karrie says...

    The flower print is my favorite! Can’t wait to see which one you go with!

  92. Colleen says...

    The Swedish flowers are so sweet and fun. I think the pattern is much more inviting and laid back than the others. I like the marble close up, but on a full wall it doesn’t look right. And the space one feels too cold with the grey color scheme. I say embrace your inner child/ funky grandma and go floral!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      embracing your inner child/funky grandma sounds like a great way to make any life decision!

    • v says...

      Agreed! Something about the marble pattern repeat is too concentrated. Love the floral

    • Judy says...

      My first thought was of your wonderful grandma and aunt in England–so definitely the floral (or another floral) as an ode to them and your heritage. (Everyone is doing marble now, so venture out!)

    • Mimi says...

      I love embracing your inner child/funky grandma! Gooooo #3.

  93. Rozanne says...

    Swedish flowers !

  94. Heather says...

    Marble!

  95. Claire says...

    Swedish flowers – there is both color and light in the pattern, that seems like it would be extra cheerful and uplifting on a cloudy day with gray light through the windows, and for a bright day with sunlight flooding the room. The white background works well either way.

  96. KL says...

    do all three but framed like paintings against the white wall so when guests come over, they can pick which decor they’d like to imagine themselves in like a Willy Wonka-Mary Poppins-esque choose your own adventure. Hippy Victorian blue, Mid-Century Swedish Chic, or charming Grandma Cottage!

  97. Courtney Smith says...

    That marble one really gets me – it feels calm but still interesting!

  98. Courtney says...

    Flowers!

    Also a very important question, did you ever find the remote to your big black bedroom box or is it still on the run?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Haha yes! An electrician took apart the box and the remote was inside! Anton said it was him :)

  99. ekbnyc says...

    Marble. The flowers are pretty too but with 3 guys in the house, I’d go with the marble for sure.

    • Christina says...

      Why? I’m genuinely curious! What has there being three guys to do with that?

  100. Denise says...

    I love the flowers! They are so cheerful and on dreary days especially will bring the joy of nature inside. I also think they coordinate with your dining set better than the other two.

  101. Amanda says...

    I vote for the marble or the celestial-look papers – they both add subtle interest and would age well :)

  102. Maranda says...

    Love the floral wallpaper!

  103. Deb PS says...

    Love all these papers (and love your home — it’s so fresh and light-filled!) The space paper is my out-of-context favourite, but I think the Swedish floral would be amazing in *your* space. It would really complement everything else y’all have going on :)

  104. Heidi says...

    I’m in the keep it white or change to a bolder paint color camp… but if I had to choose, I’d pick the outerspace/trippy looking one. The others are too busy and for me, I’d fear it would be too chaotic to my eyes.

  105. Gillian says...

    Swedish flowers!

  106. Christine Hart says...

    Anything but the flowers. Too childish.

  107. Sarah says...

    Big fan of the marble!

  108. Emily says...

    I love the blue marble of the first, and think that is the most grown up and appropriate for a dining room, HOWEVER, I present you with this anecdote: My mother in law is a young-ish grandmother to 8 and I think she will always be remembered as a magical Mary Poppins-esque figure in her grandchildrens’ eyes (I mean, she is in mine and she’s my MOTHER IN LAW). She has some really busy and fun wallpaper in her kitchen and has started something of a legend in the family: One day, years ago, she drew something somewhere on the paper, but she “forgets” where, and always says it with a twinkle in her eye. We only go up there 4-6 times a year, but every time, someone young or old has a magnifying glass out at some point searching for whatever it is she drew in there. I tend to make decisions in my house for “resale” or what is pleasing to my eye in the long-term. I love the playfulness of her decision, like she picked it just for the kids, and think that it inspires me to say CHOOSE #3!!!!

    • margaret says...

      OK, this is the cutest comment and makes me feel like a stick in the mud b/c I’m going to recommend the marble. I just went back through your house tour, and it seems like the adult rooms in your house have a lot of bright space in between visual elements. As pretty as I think the flower wallpaper is, I think it would feel very visually dense and exhaust me after awhile. I suspect the same might be true for you, given the rest of your house. If you really like the flowers, I’d suggest white walls with framed photos or paintings of flowers. Or ignore me and listen to Emily because this comment is awesome.

  109. Audur says...

    I like them all but I personally think your dining room is perfect as it is! It has such fun pops of color and the white walls make it look so clean and fresh…

    • Y says...

      I agree! All of those patterns are pretty but not at all calming. I love her clean and fresh room as is.

  110. Deb says...

    all great choices but leaning towards the second choice. I think the pattern would spark the imagination of the boys!

  111. Laura says...

    Swedish flowers! This to me feels more timeless / less trendy than the other two!

  112. Hayley says...

    I would definitely choose the Swedish paper with the flowers! So cheery, colorful, and whimsical!

  113. Jessica says...

    Love the Svenskt Tenn one!

  114. Henrietta Bancsov says...

    I’ve been admiring wallpapers too. Another option that would be fun to consider is patterned paint rollers to add character to walls instead of wallpaper. It goes on without the mess that comes with wallpaper and you can just paint over it when you get tired of it. I actually just ordered a paint roller today for our dining room and at the top of our stairway. Etsy has very cute ones.

  115. Blue marble one!

  116. Tessa says...

    Definitely the Swedish wallpaper!

  117. Cait says...

    The metallic would look beautiful in dim light with candlelight (since I know you have said before you love actually lighting candles at dinner) :)

  118. Jessica Melindy says...

    Ahh I love the outer space one! Looks like it would feel light in the space and is still quite neutral!

  119. Kristin says...

    I like the Swedish one. The repeat on the first one is too tight and I think the second one will look way too trendy (and go out of style the quickest). Look forward to seeing what you choose!

  120. Kate says...

    Outerspace metallic :)

  121. Sam says...

    Not really a huge fan of any of them (white paint all the way!) but if I had to pick one it would be the marble.

    Always fun doing a little home decorating!

  122. Andrea says...

    I know I’m in the minority here, but you couldn’t pay me to wallpaper ANY wall and I bout spewed my coffee sitting here reading comments and the one that said “taking it down is worse than childbirth “. Oh she hit the nail on the head! I live in a much older home that was covered in it and what we went through to get it off the walls was a nightmare. I know times have really changed with wallpaper and I’m sure it’s improved drastically, but I’m as anti wallpaper as you get! I loved one suggestion as framing a large piece. Then you’re not so committed to it.

  123. Constance says...

    I don’t like the marble, I’m not fond of the space effect, and while I do enjoy the flowers, I don’t think it belongs in an entire dining room. I think a fun post to read would be about major regrets in home decorating that readers have had.

  124. Alice says...

    Absolutely the marble. I think the flowers would look nice in the day, but wouldn’t be atmospheric at night- and the reverse would be true of the space-y one, which would look cool at night but would be a bit much in the day! Marble would look awesome in daylight AND candlelight! But to be honest, I’d actually suggest you just paint in an awesome dark colour- maybe like a british racing green? That looks great by day AND by night, and particularly gorgeous by candlelight!

  125. Anna says...

    definitely the flowers! And you already have a josef frank pillow I recall from a previous post so there is a link there

  126. Ceridwen says...

    I love the flowers! Also, is that a fiddle leaf plant in the first picture? We are getting into having houseplants and have a (very) little version of that one. I’d love to have big one in our place. Although our plants have nats! Sounds ewwww…but they are like tiny flies. My husband is really working on all kinds of ways to get rid of them. Potatoes are involved. And post-it notes covered in Vaseline. Yep.

  127. Lindsey says...

    I love what you have at the moment. Why not get large samples of the papers you’ve picked and put them in a frame or similar to see how they actually look in your room; where the light and shadows will fall.

    • Camille says...

      I love the marble. The cosmic one could be pretty too! I also think something black and white or gold and white, like an Art Deco pattern, could be really pretty… visually interesting and both masculine/feminine looking, but fades into the background a bit. Something you could still hang art over without too much competition.

  128. Jess says...

    Swedish flowers! Perfect for a bit of the outside inside.

  129. Julie says...

    Muralswallpaper.com have a great range.

  130. Inbal says...

    I would go with the trippy one!

  131. Ramona says...

    No, no…..keep it white! Neutral, calm walls. You and your family are the ‘focal’ points of the room. Perhaps a white wallpaper with texture (like a raised pattern or grass cloth) or artwork which is much easier to change out. just my personal opinion though; you have to do what makes your heart happy.

  132. Nina says...

    I don’t love the outer-space-looking wallpaper, but I really like the other two!

  133. Tanja says...

    Well, I don’t know… The marble has the repetitive pattern that would personally drive me crazy, the round blobs are all the same, in the same order, rhythm. Then the outer space makes it look as if your walls belong in a really old house and are not done, and the flowers I think are just overwhelming. But that is my taste, which of course can be very different from yours :)
    I would advise you to maybe check Young House Love, they have plenty of advice and linked resources, you just take from it what you need. If I may add a link (one of many posts on walls).
    https://www.younghouselove.com/how-to-install-removable-wallpaper/
    In any case, I hope you will be happy with whatever you choose.

  134. Victoria says...

    Marble paper! will never get boring….

  135. Jil says...

    I would leave the wall exactly as it is. The white is so stylish in combination with this tasteful picture!

  136. mina says...

    You can’t go wrong with Swedish flowers!!

  137. Bonnie says...

    What art do you want to hang on that wall? That’s always my fear with wallpaper– that it will clash or distract from the art I want there… I think the flower paper is my favorite, but it could really take away from a cool piece…

  138. Nigerian Girl says...

    Ursa – the trippy outer-space-looking one – for sure. I love her soothing, dreamy, ethereal vibe. She’ll compliment your blue chairs perfectly.

  139. Kelly says...

    I like the marble one, but maybe just on one wall. I am afraid its too much for 4 walls.
    The flowers are nice, but too much for all of the males in your household.
    How about a beautiful blown up photo of the sea where your Grandma and Aunt live? That is my vote. That cliff photo would be so soothing and beautiful.
    How about a cool plaid? You should ask Jenny Komenda.

  140. I love the Swedish with flowers option!

  141. Hi Joanna,

    I work for Spacejoy.com an online interior design studio and we help people visualise their designs in 3D. If you share pictures of your dining room, all 4 walls, I can share a photorealistic image of your dining room with both wall paper options so you don’t have to visualise.

  142. Lee says...

    Keep it white!