06/08/2015 08:42 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Wallpaper Mistake Everyone Makes

The number one regret people have after redecorating a room? Playing it too safe, says design expert and Decorate Fearlessly! author Susanna Salk. "Great, exciting rooms draw you in. They make you want to linger in them," she says. "That doesn't mean you have to go crazy, it just means you have to play it confidently."

One of the best ways to make sure your room doesn’t fall into the "boring" trap, Salk says, is to use wallpaper. In the above #OWNSHOW video, she explains the right -- and wrong -- way to use this versatile material.

A common mistake is to think of wallpaper as the focal point in a room. In fact, Salk says it's merely the foundation. "Don't just put wallpaper down and call it a day," she says. "Really layer in a room -- that's very, very important."

That means adding artwork, framed photos and other elements over your new, patterned walls. "Pretty soon the wallpaper almost becomes like a neutral, because it's really like a stage, a backdrop for all of the other accessories brought into the room," she says.

Another misconception, Salk finds, is that many people believe wallpaper can't be used in little spaces. "Sometimes the small rooms are the ones that really can take a lot of 'wow' on the walls," she says.

If you're ready to go bold with wallpaper, Salk says to play with pattern, but pay attention to the colors you choose. "Don't over-worry about everything matching, but definitely take the time to say, 'Is the coloration on my wallpaper somehow echoed either in pattern or the hues with what I've got going on in the furniture and the accessories around it?'" Salk says.

More: Unexpected ways to add a pop of color to any room.

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