Not Your Grandmother’s Wallpaper 3

Wallpaper and wallcoverings are making a comeback in home and office interiors. Despite wallpaper’s grandmotherly leanings, designers are using these old-fashioned accents in new ways to add drama, energy, texture, shine, nature or other sophisticated touches to any room.

Today’s modern wallpaper designs come in a rainbow of striking patterns, textures and looks, like fabric, wood, brick, natural stone, cement or metal. Thanks to digital printing, wallpaper designers are able to stretch their creative visions, incorporating images of ancient art, contemporary crafts, historical events, favorite places or other inspirations into their designs and your room décor in unique ways.

With these bold designs, wallcoverings aren’t just a backdrop, but an integral part of the design scheme itself. Every wall is a blank canvas, and wallpaper can turn that entire canvas into a work of art. Incorporating some unexpected textures and bold patterns into your room via wallpaper adds a creative spark and creates a more dynamic space, giving your room a layered look that draws the eye around.

There are so many new ways to try wallpaper in the 21st century home. A popular trick among designers is to create a single accent wall using wallpaper. A large-scale wallpaper design will be more like an exclamation than an accent. If you want even more bang for your buck, incorporate a vivid wallpaper into your powder room; in that small space wallpaper will have a big impact. When used on the ceiling with crown molding, it can add great architectural detail.  Lining the back of bookshelves is another decorative use for wallpaper that makes a storage space seem special.

Many of us have chilling memories of hours spent meticulously tearing off old wallpaper, prompting us to worry about the hours of labor if we grow tired of our new look; but fear not—today’s wallpapers are so much easier to handle. There are even temporary wallpapers that you can pull off and wipe clean with a damp sponge. York Wallcoverings, for example, has an entire collection of pre-pasted Sure Strip Wallpaper that is completely removable, guaranteed. Called Inspired by Color, each sample book focuses on a single color, making for a wide variety of designs that will coordinate well with your choice color. These are environmentally friendly, non-vinyl wallpapers with new removability technology that are breathable to prevent moisture from being trapped, plus they’re washable. That’s even easier than painting!

As a child, were you ever told not to touch the walls? New wallpapers encourage you to break the rules and touch to your heart’s content. Grasscloth was popular in the 70s, but today’s versions have a more refined look and may even have fine metallic threads woven into their thick fabric. Available in a variety of colors and textures, grasscloth can be incorporated into just about any design concept. There’s even the option of creating your own patterns and designs by simply cutting it into the shape and size you envision. Grasscloth is also eco-friendly since it’s produced from natural elements.

Other textured wallpapers include recycled wood, glass and sand, and embellishments with embroidery, crystals, metallics and even hammered metal discs. Also fun to the touch are the shimmering wallpapers made with specialty inks that create luminous shades of copper, bronze, silver, platinum, gold and brass. Tactile and visually rich, these accents add texture without distraction, glamour without glitz.

Today’s flocks are another wallpaper grandma won’t recognize. While it was a luxury product at the turn of the century, flock descended into a cliché by the late 1970s, when most were made of brittle viscose rayon. Now flock designs made of velvety-soft, fade-resistant nylon incorporate a wide variety of materials that are flocked—or stitched—onto the surface, making for walls that provide dimensional interest.

Whether you call them wallpapers or wallcoverings, you’ll find a fantastic range of materials, the opportunity to reflect your personality and interests, and numerous ways to make your space special and meaningful with today’s modern options.