Some thaughts about wallpaper...

Is wallpaper making a comeback? Today's wallpaper is nothing like your grandma's! Innovative patterns, designs, and custom papers make any home pop.

Those Old Wallpaper Days

Wallpaper can be traced all the way back to Renaissance Europe. Historically, wallpaper was created in order to replace the expensive wall tapestries that were so common. As the trend grew, different wallpaper patterns became available.

People enjoyed plastering their walls well into the 1980's when wallpaper suddenly became boring. Wall paintings quickly took the place of the former paper. Drab and flowery patterns simply didn't entice the average consumer during the Eighties - then again, who can blame them?

The Revival

Within the past two to three years, wallpaper has begun to resurface. Modern wallpaper is quirky, colourful, and chalk-full of divine design. As more and more consumers grow tired of regular old paint, wallpaper is quickly gaining in popularity.

Here are some wallpaper designers that you'll want to check out:

  • Ferm Living: this Danish designer has created various shades of papers that you'll love. Black roses, family trees, bustling blue squares - this designer can't be passed up! If you're after something truly unique, look no further than Ferm Living.

  • Flavor Paper: handscreened vintage (or contemporary) wallpaper can be yours when you shop at Flavor Paper. These designs easily jump off of any wall creating an unforgettable space. Take a look at "Fleur de Saveur," "Party Girl," and "Monaco" designs.

  • Graham & Brown: designs from this manufacturer are a bit tamer when compared to Flavor Paper's patterns, but they are innovative all the same. The Eco Collection is soothing and calming, while the Mode Collection is everything that you'll want and more.

  • Olli and Lime: with a name like Olli and Lime, you know that this English designer has fun lots of fun with wallpaper. Billie and George prints are perfect for any bedroom that needs a bit of spunk - don't forget to look at this designer's other bedroom items too.

  • Studio Nommo: Even if you aren't in the market for wallpaper, you must look at these designs! Studio Nommo (an Istanbul design company that works with other designers from around the globe) creates wallpaper that looks like drawings. You'll find cartoonish cityscapes, colourful penguins, whimsical flowers, and many other designs that you really shouldn't live without.

Papering Your Space

Keeping in mind that just because it's called "wallpaper" doesn't mean that the paper you choose has to go on your walls. While surrounding a room with any of the designs you find is a great way to add spice to your home, consider some newer papering techniques:

  • Add an accent wall to a room by selecting a small swatch of paper, and applying it to one wall. Then paint the surrounding walls in a complimentary, or contrasting, color. This works especially well with designs that were meant to catch the eye.

  • Look up towards your ceiling, and think about adding some paper to an area surrounding any light fixture.

  • Paper an object inside of any room for a bit of instant glam. Matching an accent wall to a particularly interesting wallpapered piece is a fun way to change the look of a room.

  • Wrap a bit of your favourite paper around a decorative column. You'd be surprised at the way that some simple paper really makes columns stand out.

The best part about all of these techniques is that purchasing a small amount of designer wallpaper is not as expensive as buying enough paper for all of your walls. Yet, you'll still be able to express your love for great wallpaper designs.



Wallpaper Renaissance.

Many remember the wallpapers of the 1960s and 1970s, when bright geometric patterns, pop-art designs and vinyl were all the rage. But by the mid-'80s, wallpaper slowly began to fall out of favor. Instead, homeowners stripped their walls, opting for a more minimalist look. 

According to the Wall Covering Association, the downward trend for wallpaper took a noticeable plunge in the mid-'90s when homeowners began painting their walls in neutral colors. 

Now, wall coverings have once again come into vogue. 

Helping this trend gain momentum is the high-end interior design community. Today's designers are realizing that well designed interiors should include a variety of wall treatments: painted walls, faux finished walls, and wall covering. Designers are re-acquainting themselves with the array of options available in wall coverings. The choices are almost endless and the impact almost limitless. 

In addition, tremendous technical, design innovations have been made in the wall covering industry in the past ten years. Wall covering manufacturers today offer so much more than what was available to your grandmother's generation. Designers certainly have taken notice. 

Timeless, classic wall covering designs are being rediscovered by "main stream America." Traditional homes are once again enhanced by classic stripes, damasks, and toiles. Contemporary environments are embracing retro geometrics and bright color. 

Designers say the right wallpaper can make a room appear larger or a ceiling feel higher. Wallpaper can add interest where there are no architectural features, and it can help disguise damaged walls and other structural imperfections. Paper can bring out a homeowner's personality and create atmosphere. And there are enough choices, including large-scale graphics, metallics, silks, linens, velvet flocking, leather, grass cloth, bamboo, lacquer and burlap, to please almost any taste. Some faux-finish designs resemble silk, suede or marble, and others mimic metal, natural stone or brick. 

And talk about versatility: Use wallpaper on all four walls, one accent wall or just the ceiling. Paper the inside of a closet or kitchen cabinets or use paper to line shelves. Frame leftover pieces for use as art on painted walls. 

And say so long to your paper scraper, because many styles have non-woven backing, which allows for easy removal. Grab a corner, pull it and it comes right off. 

Leading trends include murals, coverings with an aged elegance or gentle worn look, and especially textured looks. Others are pushing the design envelope, adding all sorts of tactile dimensions. In fact, some cutting edge wall coverings are made of anything but paper. Grass cloth is especially popular. It's been around for 100 years, but only the wealthy could afford it. Now, it's easily available on the mass market. 

Mural Wall Coverings

Be it a Parisian street scene, a baseball field or a children's storybook fantasy, murals are a popular choice in customizing any room. 

Textured Wall Coverings

Anything textured in wall coverings is extremely popular. Elements range from grass cloth to sand to animal textures and even glass. Almost any element that can be glued can be made into a wall covering. The sky is the limit, and so is the price. Although the average wallpaper may cost between $20 to $30 per roll, "couture" wall coverings can cost more than $200 a yard. Many of these looks, however, are being knocked off and sold at much lower prices. 

Some Wallpaper Q's & A's
(From the Wallpaper Council) 

Q: How can wallpaper make a small room look bigger? What are the best patterns? 
A: In general, light colors add a feeling of spaciousness. In particular, striped wall coverings are a sure bet for adding height to a room. Stripes visually raise the height of the ceiling by drawing the eye upward. At the same time, pastel colors broaden the room, and make the expanse of the wall seem larger. Together, subtle stripes and pastel colors can make a room seem bigger overall by drawing the eye both upward and sideways. If you want to achieve a feeling of spaciousness in a small area, a hallway or throughout an entire room, stick to neutral and light colors

Q: When and where can textured wallpaper be used? 
A: Textured patterns can be used almost anywhere in the home. A textured pattern is a wonderful color carrier to bring together a study or den. 

Q: How do you choose a color scheme? 
A: Think first about practical aspects of the room such as:

  • Function: How is the room used? Warm colors work well for active rooms, cool colors for relaxation areas.
  • People: Who will use the room? Consider their color preferences when selecting your color scheme.
  • Location: What is the exposure to sunlight? Northern and eastern exposures benefit from warm color schemes; western and southern exposures from cool schemes.
  • Size: Do you want to increase or decrease the apparent size? Warm colors advance, making the room seem smaller; cool colors recede, making the room appear larger.


Wallpaper has made a comeback in interior design


In the 1960's through the 1980’s, wallpaper was the wall covering of choice for interior wall space.

But soon, paints become the preference, and wallpaper became a passé trend. It was unattractive, didn’t last long, was difficult to remove and had to be replaced often.

But wallpaper has made a comeback in a big way. From contemporary to traditional, bold and graphic prints, wallpaper, and the different ways they can be applied is simpler, and the patterns and designs are more stylish than ever before.

Some designers even argue that wallpaper can give more of a wow-factor than regular paint. This is because they are printed in so many colourful and unique patterns that they can transform the look of a room in a much more dynamic and stunning way. It’s also cheaper than adding tiles or other textile fabrics to re-do a room.

And it’s not just the patterns that differ, it’s the actual material the wallpaper is made from. There are so many choices such as cork, wood grain and woven grass and cloth for a more textile look, to name a few. 

There are also unique styles like hand-painted metallic that are harder to hang so you may want to hire a professional. But it makes a room unique because of how it reflects and plays off of the lighting.

Wallpaper is an easy way to give a room a facelift without redoing an entire room and to avoid the hassle of prepping for new paint. You could do an entire room, but you can also purchase a wallpaper mural, which is becoming a popular choice in wallpaper.

If you’re one of those people who like change but not the commitment, reusable and repositionable wallpaper won’t damage your walls and is an ideal choice for you.