Whether you live in an old period style house or a new modern house, wallpapers will work, for the best result and impact, try and choose a design that suits the scale of the house. i.e. small pattern papers on a old style period house with high ceilings could look lost, where as a large pattern paper on a modern style house with lower ceilings could overwhelm the room.
Have you thought of a feature wall with a wallcovering and picking out a colour from the design and having the remaining walls painted in that colour, then accessorise with fabrics of the same tone.
For older period properties then my advice would be to look at the heritage and period colours, places like Laura Ashley, B&Q, Homebase etc. If you follow the links below for more ideas. http://www.lauraashley.com/home-furnishings/wallpaper/icat/hfwallpapers/