The pattern on wallpaper has a noticeable effect on the general atmosphere of a room. A pattern that is large, bold or busy overwhelms a space, especially if the pattern covers all walls in a room or if the room isn't very large to begin with. When redoing the walls isn't an option, a few decorating tweaks can help the wallpaper add to the comfort and enjoyability of the room, rather than causing the space to feel cramped and small.
Mirrors and Lighting
Mirrors add an almost immediate sense of space and light to a room and are often used to make small spaces feel larger. Place a large mirror on a wall opposite a light source, such as a picture window, to bring in more natural light and reflect the outdoors back into the room. Small mirrors placed on walls around doorways or small spaces give people a sense of depth as they walk past. Mirrors can also be used around paintings and wall art or on opposing walls to reflect the art back into the space, rather than reflecting more of the wallpaper pattern back into the room. Open curtains during the day, and provide ample light sources such as floor lamps at night, rather than keeping the room dimly lit.
Too many patterns within view, especially in a fully wallpapered room, seem a bit harsh on the eyes. If the wallpaper is "busy," as in full of a pattern that overwhelms the room, remove other heavily patterned objects in the room, such as area rugs, and replace them with plain counterparts, such as a beige area rug. Solid colors will tone down the effect of heavily patterned wallpaper in the room, so swapping that floral armchair and plaid sofa for solid-colored replacements will give the eyes a break and visually open the room up a bit.
Too much "stuff" in a room can make a room of nearly any size feel uncomfortable and smaller than it is. Instead of a dozens of knickknacks on shelves in the room, reduce the number to several favorite pieces. Remove all but one or two accessories from the coffee table and side tables. If items such as shoes or blankets belong in another area of the house, put them away. Simply removing items that do not belong will open up the space tremendously. This includes extra furniture pieces that make the room feel cramped rather than useful and comfortable.
One plain wall covered with a light colored fabric fitting of the room's decor will open up the space visually; attach the fabric with an expandable curtain rod hung from rod holders or ceiling hooks. Create panels of solid fabric colors over cardboard as nearly instant wall art, displaying several at a time on one wall to ease the effects of the wallpaper pattern. Hang paintings and photographs with large matting or frames to add more empty space to the walls. Keep frames to a simple color scheme, such as only black or silver frames with little ornamentation, to tone down the wallpaper and open up the room space.