Dating back to the ancient Chinese who invented paper, wallpaper had humble beginnings as simple rice paper sheets. During the middle ages in Europe, small but colourful sheets of paper were popular with royal courts and lead to the founding of paperhanger guilds. By the 1700’s London had become the hub of wallpaper fashion, eventually influencing colonial America. Wallpaper hit the mainstream during the Victorian era of the 1800’s when machine produced papers made this type of wall treatment much more affordable. Whether this interests you or not one thing you will definitely be very excited to hear is that wallpaper today has certainly moved on from the student bed-sit styles of the 1970s! Read on to find out about some of best examples currently on the market.
Similar to painting a room, wallpaper is an immediate way to change the look and feel of your space from top to bottom. Wall coverings have the extra bonus of adding texture to the walls, either as faux texture or as actual three dimensional or embossed papers. Even grass cloth is fashionable again.
The resurgence of wallpaper in interior design has a lot to do with the flexibility of the product to withstand wiping and cleaning and daily wear and tear. What’s more, the myriad of available patterns and colour-ways is truly inspiring, no matter what your personal style may be. There are also many themes covered with wallpaper designs such as Tuscan landscapes or fairy princesses, so that you can showcase your desired motif.
New ideas for wallpaper include using wall coverings for entire rooms, just on single feature walls, or as accents on painted walls. You are sure to love the designer wallpapers which are hand-painted or embellished with beads and crystals, companies such as Cole & Sons and Laura Ashley are particular favourites amongst fans of upmarket papers at the minute whereas those wanting something a little different would do well to check out hot new company Absolute Zero. Metallic finishes in gold, bronze, copper, and silver are also very popular at the moment and a real must-see at your local wallpaper store or studio. Realistic photo quality murals and hand-painted look murals are available at great price points, and provide the unique opportunity to transport your room anywhere in the world or even encapsulate a favourite personal memory if you have photographs that can be used.
For texture, try using one of these types of wallpaper:
· Grass cloth
· Reed cloth
· Jute weave
Unique wallpaper products:
· Wall-size murals
· Accent murals
· Borders with shaped or cut edges
· Large-scale borders
· Appliqués or cut-outs
· Hand-painted or hand-printed
· Designer wallpaper (e.g. Cole & Sons, Laura Ashley, Absolute Zero)
· Licensed children’s designs (Disney, Barbie, FA Premiership)
· Wallpaper for ceilings (replicates ceiling tiles)
For total success with wallpaper always remember to take into account the style of your existing furniture and any fabrics (e.g. curtains, duvet covers etc) you already have or wish to include once the room is complete. Cheap Cushions and throws finished in a similar pattern will also help to create a holistic and matching scheme.