This may be hard to believe to those who like to move, renovate and redecorate, but up until I left home after college I have always lived in the same house. In fact, my parents still live there. They are avid DIY enthusiasts and they undertook nearly every single home improvement and redecorating project themselves. My mom's signature talent was to hang wallpaper, a project she preferred to tackle by herself – no kids running around – and she did so with an almost zen-like concentration and determination. My two sisters and I would leave for school, and by the time we returned, the living room had an entirely new look. So, I tend to think of my childhood in terms of wallpaper trends. My early years are very much associated with our living room clad in a cutting-edge seventies geometric design in bronze and gold, while my early teens immediately recall the pretty blue and white Laura Ashley floral – with matching curtain fabric! - I picked out myself.
It makes me so happy that wallpaper is making a big comeback. A backlash against the simple minimalism of the nineties and early aughts, wallpaper is a great way to layer some real character and personality into a home. Here are a few ideas:
A textural pattern with distressed layers of colors is the perfect antithesis for clinically white walls, and the richness of its variegated palette will makes this one a breeze to mix and match.
Canadian designer Candice Olson reinterpreted classic designs and traditional luxury into a wallpaper collection that is simple, sophisticated and modern. Case in point: her palatial Paradise design, a dense web of shimmering arabesque tracery set against a pearlescent color.
Homestead, designed by Joanna Gaines for Magnolia Home, is a scenic toile depicting a rural life of fields and farmyard in a picturesque vintage style. A charming take on a traditional Toile de Jouy, this pattern is perfect for both urban and rural spaces.
Dwellstudio's Plume wallpaper is a modern classic pattern featuring a muster of peacocks draping their lush trains across flowering branches as they nest among shimmering leaves. Alive with vibrant color and contemporary style, this is most definitely not your granny's wallpaper...
Leave it to the charming and well-traveled gents of Madcap Cottage to delight us with Lake Agawam. Think English country house meets a relaxed, easy-breezy American sensibility, and add a healthy dose of whimsy and decorating pizzazz.
These bold and beautiful wallpaper designs work remarkably well for an instant facelift of smaller spaces: think dressing rooms, walk-in closets, powder rooms, even bland and boring staircase risers can look amazing when wallpapered.
Contrary to what you may think, extra-large patterns work wonderfully well in small spaces. Using small designs will only make the room look smaller. An oversized design creates the optical illusion that the walls are bigger. Do pay attention to pattern placement and install so that the pattern is cropped equally on all sides.
By all means go ahead and mix-and-match different wallpaper patterns throughout your house and piece together your own multicolored, multi-patterned house.
If you're not really a floral person, there are plenty of other wonderful wallpaper design options. Magnolia Home's The Daily features archival newsprint from the 1930’s resulting in a look of repurposed modern industrial. And that's all the news that's fit to print :).