Wallpaper has changed since the days of mustard florals and flocked prints. Modern wallpapers are created by artists, designers and even celebrities, clean and quick to install, and new technology in papers and pastes now make it much easier to remove. From hand-painted watercolours inspired by Africa, muted tones of textural delight to botanical prints of New Zealand and Australian natives, the world is your oyster when it comes to wallpaper.
Heather Yiannos from Annandale Wallpapers in Sydney’s inner west says pastels and thick foliage are her most popular. “We’ve noticed a trend toward softer pastel shades, with some of the wallpaper brands launching new colour palettes every season much like fashion labels do, like LIVING from Denmark. Large scale wallpaper murals are making a comeback – they offer more dramatic results without the repetition of design you find in wallpapers, and foliage and botanicals are still trending; the more dramatic the better and sometimes played off against gem-bright colours and metallics.
Clare Scanlan, Assistant Brand Manager at Porter’s Paintssays it’s not just a decision between painting or wallpaper – it’s more like choosing at artwork. “We’re seeing more clients choosing wallpaper as the finishing touch for their home. Our clients fall deeply in love with a certain design, in a way that seems more akin with choosing an artwork to invest in. In fact, printing methods for fine-art and some wallpapers are quite similar.”
“It really has to be a design that transcends trends, fits the space, and makes you fall head over heels.”
Committing to wallpaper, rather than paint, can feel more permanent and is often more expensive. As a result, the decision making process tends to take longer. “It really has to be a design that transcends trends, fits the space, and makes you fall head over heels,” Clare shares. “A client might consult with us over a period of days or weeks to find the perfect paint colour, but with wallpaper it can be months of visits before the client is ready to commit to ‘the one’. The perfect wallpaper instantly completes a space, even before any furnishings are added. It adds a feeling of refinement, character and warmth that is very different to a standard paint, or even one of our decorative finishes.” Helen also adds, “Wallpaper is a clean, quick install with the scope to totally transform a room. One of its advantages over paint is its multidimensionality – within the same design you may find a graphic overlayed on a relief texture with metallic or beaded accents.”
“It’s slightly different when choosing wallpaper for a house you’re considering selling. In this case think very long-term, and look for something that fits the era and feel of the home. For example, a beautiful textural grass-weave will perfectly complement and elevate a mid-century home; to bring a modern feel, try it in a deep navy. Geometric prints are classic and will never date, or you could go as far as researching traditional wallpaper styles that fit the period of your home.” Clare Scanlan, Assistant Brand Manager, Porter’s Paints.