Does the mention of wallpaper transport you back to grandma’s house in the 1980s and 90s, where chintz wallpaper reigned, cheeks were perpetually pinched and the smell of mothballs overwhelmed the senses?
Thankfully, wallpaper has come a long way since it was a hit with the elderly and it’s no longer synonymous with daggy feminine décor. In fact, wallpaper is cool again. Read on to see how easy it is to incorporate a splash of wallpaper into your pad.
#1 Perfect Patterns
Forget florals and pretty pastels, there are mountains of modern (masculine) wallpaper designs available. Striped wallpaper is effective at opening up and elongating rooms with low ceilings, while geometric prints are particularly effective at making a bold statement. However, care must be taken when furnishing the rest of the room. For example, a wallpapered bedroom should forgo a fancy or elaborate bedhead.
Regardless of the pattern you decide on, decorate the rest of the room in colours featured in the wallpaper. Pick two or three shades that appeal to you and stick with these when furnishing and decorating.
#2 Off The Wall
Wallpaper is versatile and doesn’t need to be relegated to walls alone. A popular trend sees wallpaper splashbacks in the kitchen. Covered with Plexiglas, a wallpaper splashback is an interesting and cost effective way to update your kitchen.
Ceilings are another place wallpaper has been cropping up. Think like Michelangelo and create your own Sistine chapel at home. Resist the urge to wallpaper the ceiling of every room in your house, as it will be too busy and counterproductive in some rooms (particularly living or media rooms where there is a lot going on already). The bedroom ceiling is a good place to start, as it will enjoy more attention than any other ceiling in your pad (we can only hope), and make an interesting focal point for yourself or any horizontal companions. Keep surrounding walls stark and plain to draw the eye up and create an intimate atmosphere.
Doors also work well when wallpapered, as do stairs (the underside, not the surface you walk over every day) or even furniture like desks, bookshelves and chests of drawers.
#3 Trompe L’oeil
Tromp l’oeil is the French phrase for ‘deceive the eye’ and the printing techniques available today have made these optical illusions more realistic than ever. Perfect for murals or on doors, tromp l’oeil wallpaper is a fun way to inject some personality into your home.
#4 Feature Wall
If wallpapering an entire room sounds too much like hard work (and it can be tedious and fiddly), consider a feature wall in the living room or bedroom. Bold, bright prints work best when applied to a single wall, so don’t be afraid to go loud. Incorporate pillow covers and blankets with similar patterns or colours for a sleek and cohesive finish.
Tip: Always paint the walls surrounding a feature wall white or with a solid colour found in the wallpaper (lighter hues are preferable and allow the feature wall to enjoy the limelight).
#5 Size Matters
For those going down the feature wall path, it’s always advisable to wallpaper smaller walls. Vast, sweeping walls will be overwhelming and overshadow anything else in the room.
#6 Go With Grasscloth
Grasscloth wallpaper is making waves in the design world, and is produced using arrowroot, jute and reed fibres. The natural and raw appeal of this type of wallpaper combines perfectly with modern interiors. It looks great paired with wooden floorboards for a classic look, or concrete floors for a striking result.
#7 Metallic Wallpaper
Metallic wallpaper is another D’Marge favourite thanks to its decedent masculinity. Deep bronze hues with pops of gold and silver are lush and stylish without looking feminine. Plus, they transform low-light rooms into fresh spaces that reflect light.
#8 Paintable Textured Wallpaper (Anaglypta)
Paintable and customisable wallpapers are growing in popularity. Choose any colour and texture you desire, or paint directly onto the wallpaper yourself for a personalised product that will act as a focal point and conversation starter.
Tip: Unless you’re a Mr. Handyman DIY god, employ a professional to install wallpaper. The extra cost is worth avoiding the expense and annoyance of poorly prepared and laid wallpaper.