Just as fashions in the colours and fabrics used for clothes change, so do trends in the world of wallpaper design.
In the 1960s, Modern Wallpapers Giving a Glimpse of the Past, like fashion, embraced both monochrome Op art and the joyful colours of Flower Power. In comparison, in the 1970s, the milkmaid look popularized by Laura Ashley sent sprigs of tiny blooms spreading across our walls. The 1980s saw densely patterned floral papers with accompanying borders start to make way, in the 1990s, for a minimalist look with wallpaper often being ditched in favour of plain painted walls. As the decade went on, a partial revolt against minimalism saw the introduction of techniques such as sponging to add texture to the walls.
Since the dawn of the new millennium, and in today’s tighter financial conditions, many firms, including an interior design company in Leicester, are reporting a rise in nostalgia and growing interest in all things vintage and handmade, as people look for ways to stamp their individuality on their homes.
So, retro prints copied from original 1960s or 70s pattern books are big news. The bold geometric designs, often in greens, oranges or browns, are best kept to one wall in a small room, with a complementary or contrast colour paper on the other walls. Carry the theme through with cushions or ceramics in key colours from the wallpaper.
Botanic is another current trend, but, unlike the tiny floral prints of the 1980s, the 2014 wallpapers often feature much larger blooms, combining well with bold modern furniture or adding a striking backdrop to a deliberately mismatched, retro-chic scheme. You’ll find flowers featuring heavily on ‘oriental’ inspired papers, too, and if you choose one with a dark background, these can work well in a contemporary, minimalist home.
If you prefer plain to patterned walls, introducing texture is a great way to individualize your room. And it has the further advantage of helping to disguise any imperfections on a less-than-perfect wall surface! Go for a 30s throwback anaglypta paper which can be painted or left plain, or look for a paper with a metallic finish that will reflect light and make the room seem bigger.
Children’s rooms have been transformed too. The latest trends see an end to the TV tie-ins and, instead, a wealth of beautiful vintage-inspired designs, featuring stylized animals, cars, brightly coloured Paisley patterns and bold geometric stripes that suit both boys and girls and which won’t date as the child grows.
Wallpaper has been part of our homes and our lives for generations, and, as with so many things, wallpaper design trends seem to be coming full circle. But experiments with the latest 3D printer technology have already seen wallpaper being produced. We may be on the threshold of a completely new era that could one day see us all able to produce our designs for our homes within our homes.