Nonetheless, with some creative thinking, historically appropriate wallpaper can be surprisingly affordable. For example, there has been a rash of new, paintable patterns (often embossed or raised) that can be decoratively painted or color-matched in such a way as to offer customized wall treatments at a fraction of the screenprint cost. With handprints, you are paying for patterns and colors. Sixteen colors means 16 screens, so if there are no colors and no patterns, the cost can be reduced drastically.
Another way of reducing cost is through careful study. If you can identify a certain documented look, then find no-name papers to re-create, for example, a paneled effect with a textured paper in a field surrounded by plain rails or stiles, you may be able to save big time.
Don’t fall in love with a pattern, then shoehorn it into a room; take time to find the paper that is right.Good reproduction wallpapers, like good reproduction lighting fixtures, are not interchangeable. An elaborate frieze that may perfectly set off the front hall of an 1890s town house would be a disaster practically anywhere else. Your house will provide plenty of stylistic hints but, again, take time for a bit of study before you buy. The key is to link up the clues in your interior with documentary evidence so that you have a sound direction before wading into the marketplace.
Remember too, don’t be too uptight about upkeep or the “cleanliness factor.” Wallpaper is meant to be enjoyed. Nothing is sadder than seeing a fine room that has been fussed over to the point that it resembles a museum. In fact, museums have learned to make their rooms “homey,” so don’t forget to keep your rooms livable.