Wallpaper is one of our more venerable design traditions with a storied tradition that has carried on for centuries. Yet despite its beauty, conventional wisdom on wallpaper holds that it can be a little bit of a challenge for most homeowners and apartment dwellers. Unruly reams of paper, paste that gets everywhere, patterns that don’t line up and an uncomfortable conversation with your landlord when the time comes to move out are just a few of the highlights that had, at one point, pushed wallpaper into the undesirable category for many. But it’s a new day, and not only has wallpaper experienced a powerful resurgence in popularity, but it’s being propelled by a wave of new technologies that are making it easier than ever to apply and remove your favorite paper – even in a rental. Here’s 7 great ideas to help you bring a beautiful wallpaper pattern home.
A feature wall is a great way to get into wallpaper without having to commit to covering your entire space. Instead, choose the wall that a you want to receive the most attention and give it a colorful boost that sets the tone for the entire room. Because feature walls are intended to stand out, it may not be the time to go subtle with your choice of paper. Instead, look for bright, colorful or strongly patterned papers that are sure to make a splash.
Artsy digital prints
Digital technology has changed home decor in a lot of ways and wallpaper is the latest home element to have enjoyed a digital boost. Where geometric pattens and floral designs once ruled the majority of wallpaper patterns, digital printing technology has made it possible to print nearly any image onto a wallpaper material. The wallpaper shown in the image above was originally a watercolor painting. Printed digitally it retains the same light, airy feel as a wallpaper that it had as a work of art.
Designs that mesmerize
When covering an entire room with wallpaper, don’t be afraid to go big. Strong patterns can make a big statement in any room. Here, black and white wallpaper mesmerizes with an intriguing pattern – hidden cameos that are in the design. Look for wallpaper that can be more than a backdrop, but a conversation piece in your home. This is a great approach to take in a room that you feel is lacking a bit of personality.
Scale is everything when picking a pattern for your walls. While you will find many wallpaper patterns that focus on small elements, like diamonds or other geometric elements, oversized patterns can be used bring a modern feel home. Oversized patterns like the one in this bathroom offer big pops of pattern that can keep a space looking cool and contemporary. Large patterns like this star motif can also mimic tile. And don’t fear. No matter what the scale, today’s wallpaper can be featured in bathrooms as well, with substrates that work well in humid conditions.
Looking for wallpaper for a rental but are not sure how to achieve it? Look no further than removable wallpaper. Hands-down the most exciting innovation for renters has been the addition of removable papers. Acting essentially as a giant sticker, the paper is easy to hang, can be removed and replaced until everything lines up, and comes off easily when it’s time to move. Removable substrates can be applied easily. They are pre-pasted and ready to hang in an instant. They cut down on installation time with a pro, and can be installed by the adventurous DIYer. When it’s time for the paper to be removed, a solution of soap and water will do the trick for these temporary wallpaper solutions that can be found at Flavor Paper, Tempaper and most online home decor sites.
Along with digital printing and removable wallpaper, the last few years have seen quantum leaps in both the materials that wallpaper is printed on and the printing process itself. At the same time, new developments in paper and ink have allowed for the creation of wallpapers with patterns that vary in texture, have scratch and sniff features, or only become visible as daylight moves through the room. These create a wonderful array of new possibilities that will take the look of your room not only into new stylistic directions, but into the future as well. Here, a black on black design is achieved when a matte black and glossy black printing combination meet. With today’s technology, you can customize a pattern for texture, color and depth.
With some much new technology available in wallpaper today, there is the ability to get playful with designs. Moving beyond a single hue or two-color papers, wallpaper can now sport a variety of colors easily. The digital printing allows for colorful layers that can be applied in an instant, rather than screen-printed, as was done in the past. You can find layered wallpaper patterns that are full of a variety of hues, perfect for designing a room around. For great sources for wallpaper in all types of shades check out Cole & Son, Genevieve Gorder’s Tempaper Collection and AphroChic’s line of eco-friendly wallpaper designs.