If you want to liven up your walls, look no further than a roll or two of wallpaper. Once seen as a little old-fashioned, wallpaper is well and truly back on the style agenda.

Style doesn't have to mean money though, and there are fantastic wallpaper designs for all budgets. You can also save money because these days many of us prefer to paper one feature wall rather than opting for wall-to-wall papering.

Wallpaper is always a great way to inject colour, pattern and texture into a room but with a feature wall, you can really go to town on your wallpaper choice without it overpowering the room. It’s generally obvious which wall is most suitable for the feature wall – the wall behind your bed or sofa, for example, or it could be part of a wall, such as an alcove or chimney breast.

You can create another ‘feature’ with wallpaper by placing it horizontally between a picture rail and coving, between a picture rail and dado rail or, more traditionally, below a dado rail. If you like the idea of breaking up the space visually in this way but don't have these original features, you can always add them.

Remember wallpaper has more than just a decorative function though. If you don’t want the hassle and cost of replastering, the right wallpaper will improve the appearance of uneven or otherwise imperfect walls. Thick wallpapers, especially textured ones, and lining papers are ideal for covering up such imperfections, and many are designed to be painted.

Wallpapers with a shiny or reflective surface will highlight lumps and bumps, so avoid these unless you have perfect walls.

Walls in period properties often aren’t perfect and if they're not straight, this will be accentuated by patterned wallpaper.

You can therefore either avoid it altogether, choose a pattern that won’t look too bad (straight-across patterns should be avoided with wonky ceilings, and vertical ones with wonky walls) or simply accept that it won’t look perfect.

Wallpaper can be used in pretty much any room, including kitchens and bathrooms, apart from full wet rooms. There are special vinyl wallpapers designed for kitchens and bathrooms and you can also use conventional wallpaper, although it’s advisable to protect it from damage and damp with a clear varnish designed for paper, or a glass or Perspex panel.

Hanging wallpaper can be a bit tricky for novices and takes some getting used to – the easiest option is to use a paste-the-wall wallpaper.

As the name says, you apply wallpaper paste directly to the wall using a roller or brush and then stick the dry lengths of wallpaper onto the wall.

Unlike conventional wallpaper, you don't have to wait for the paste to soak in and you don’t have to handle soggy lengths of wallpaper, which are tricky to deal with and easy to damage.