Off the wall thinking

Moordale wallpaper in mustard, �50 per roll, from www.minimoderns.com. Also available in other colours.
Moordale wallpaper in mustard, �50 per roll, from www.minimoderns.com. Also available in other colours.
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Paper is an obvious choice for walls but there are alternatives. Sharon Dale reports.

When it comes to papering your walls, there’s a vast and sometimes overwhelming array of prints.

Denby Monsoon plates from �9, www.debenhams.com

Denby Monsoon plates from �9, www.debenhams.com

Have a look at www.wallpaperdirect.com and you’ll see what I mean. It is a great website and you can slim down the offering by specifying colour, design and style, though you may still be bog-eyed after browsing.

If the thought of choosing wallpaper fills you with dread and you fancy a change from the feature wall, then here are some alternatives:

*Murals. Little Greene has a small and elegant selection, www.littlegreene.com, and there are specialists, such as www.wallsauce.com and www.surfaceview.co.uk.

You can also make a mural from one or two of rolls of wallpaper if you choose the right pattern. Mini Moderns designs lend themselves perfectly to this treatment. Check out the gorgeous Moordale print, £50 a roll, inspired by the countryside in the designers’ native Yorkshire, www.minimoderns.com.

Monkey wall shelf, �55, www.audenza.com

Monkey wall shelf, �55, www.audenza.com

*Plates. The practice of hanging plates on the wall is enjoying a renaissance. My favourite decorative plates are from Anthropologie. You can see them on display at the Leeds city centre store in the Victoria Gate shopping arcade or online at www.anthropologie.com

The blue and white Denby Monsoon range at Debenhams is also attractive. It’s pictured here and starts at £9. You could also hunt down vintage plates at charity shops, on eBay and at specialist fairs and shops.

Hanging them on wires is a no-no. The tension can break the plate and the wires make plates hang away from the wall, which looks odd. Instead, use an adhesive disc with a hook attached. They start at about £1 each and hold plates flat against the wall. www.discplatehangers.net

*Rugs. Some rugs are works of art and far too beautiful to stand on. Hang them on a wall instead, using a small curtain pole/rod. The examples pictured are by Bohemia Design rugs and are woven by hand by Berber tribeswomen in the Middle Atlas Mountains of northern Morocco. They start at £325. If you can’t afford the real McCoy, then La Redoute has some Berber style rugs from £75, www.laredoute.co.uk

Berber rugs from a selection at www.bohemiadesign.co.uk

Berber rugs from a selection at www.bohemiadesign.co.uk

*Wall shelves. The monkey wall shelf by Audenza, pictured, is a great way of displaying houseplants. A set of three or four with trailing ivy and ferns would fill a wall and keep your home healthy. Plants help purify the air, though if you can’t face the responsibility of keeping them alive, there are some excellent fakes.

*Gallery wall: Fill the wall with pictures or buy Ikea’s Mosslanda, super-slim picture ledges, which are a great way displaying framed prints/originals.

* Mirrors. One large mirror or a collection of smaller mirrors looks good and works especially well in narrow hallways as the reflection makes the space appear bigger.

If you buy antiques, such as beautiful Art Deco mirrors or vintage French versions, they should also be a good long-term investment. You can find them on eBay or in antique shops. The French House in York always has a good selection, www.thefrenchhouse.co.uk