Did you ever think wallpaper would be in style again? Believe it. Embrace it.
Story by Meredith Coopman
Believe it or not, wallpaper’s bad rap is over. Modern technology has done wonders for its reputation. Installing and removing wallpaper used to be a notorious headache (think scraping and steaming). Thankfully there are new adhesive formulas and stick-and-peel fabrics that strip off walls easily without leaving residue. Not to mention, wall covering has never been more affordable or more convenient.
I’ll say it again, because it’s a little hard to believe: Wallpaper is definitely making a comeback. It has resurfaced (pun intended) over the last decade, with a distinctively modern twist. Innovative patterns, designs and custom vinyls and papers can add wonderful texture and make any space pop. Contemporary wallpaper is quirky, colorful and chock-full of amazing designs.
This renewed interest is a complete 180 from the wallpaper we grew up with — the kind that we swore we’d never put in our homes. People are more willing to show their personalities than ever before, and wallpaper is easier to install (and uninstall) than it ever has been. Pinterest, Google and other online resources are also responsible for this shift. Knowing what’s out there, seeing it in real life and knowing other people have tried it makes it far easier to decorate today than ever before.
Wallpaper is like contemporary art for the mass market. It’s kind of a risk, but it sure can pay off. People understandably want their homes to feel special and unique, and wallpaper does just that by offering a personal touch. And the good news is that there is something for everyone. However, the truth is, wallpaper can make or break a room, rendering it eternally chic or forever tragic.
Bold wallpaper is a 2019 home décor trend. If that’s not your thing, the classics are still out there. Wallpaper is available in diverse supply and design with countless palettes, textures and prints available. Of course, there are your iconic motifs (abstract and literal), including botanicals, florals, geometrics and animal prints, as well as your timeless classics, such as plaids, stripes, faux marbles, linens, solids and many more.
Even though there are countless options for patterns and colors, choosing is easier than you think. You need to take the following questions into consideration: What speaks to you? What is the room used for? What is the scale of the space? How bright is the room? What is the overall look you want to achieve? How many square feet are you planning to cover? How big of a statement do you want to make? The same design rules that apply everywhere else apply here. Trust your instincts.
Today’s consumer is smarter and busier than the last time wallpaper was popular decades ago. Low maintenance and price point are crucial factors. Designed for maximum durability, today’s vinyl varieties look as good as the real thing for a lot less money. They are great for both high-traffic and high-moisture areas, like muggy bathrooms, kitchens and hallways, in part because they’re easy to clean. In most cases, you just wipe and go. Wallpapers are surprisingly durable, and these days, maintaining them is easy.
Can you do it yourself? The removable kind is extremely easy to apply. Typically, you don’t need to put down glue — just peel and stick. But for anything else, you will not regret calling a professional. Working with traditional wallpaper can be a nightmare for a novice, and once something goes wrong, it’s hard to get the project on track without starting over.
Did you ever think wallpaper would be in style again? Well, it certainly is. Believe it. Embrace it. It has come a long way over the years. And as society grows tired of regular old paint, wall covering is quickly gaining acceptance. Wallpaper is a dramatic way to express yourself. It can easily set a scene and transform a space. It’s similar to adding an accent piece like a patterned rug or pillow, just a little more permanent.
Meredith Coopman has over 20 years of experience in architecture and interior design. She is currently the Design Director at InnSpace in Kalispell. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.