Decor Diva: Wallpaper – To Be or Not To Be?

A very thought provoking comment made on the last Decor Diva post, “Damask Is Dead”,  the likelihood that wallpaper may be suffering the same fate as Damask, has prompted me to deliver my opinion on the matter.

From Harlequin Fabric's Boutique Collection

During the last decade, wallpaper as an interior element was brought out of retirement.  It had been hovering somewhere in the background and with the rise of the clean linear minimalism style, it was the last thing on any decorator’s agenda, unless your project was along the more Country English traditional lines.

Harlequin Fabric's from the Amilie and Anoushka Wallpaper Collections

Then the trend in textures began to grab the attention of both the interior trade professionals and the public.  Texture was to be found not only in accessories, but in fabrics and wall finishes as well.  The result was that wallpaper was revived and brought out of retirement.

Some lovely blues also from Harlequin

Like with any other revival it was better than ever before, with the patterns being bold, upgraded modern images – we were suddenly able to apply pattern to the wall in a contemporary context as well.  The furniture, fabrics and wallpapers were blended to facilitated settings and styles that retained authentic contemporary genre.  Naturally it followed that all sort of patterns were available, including that glamorous Hollywood style, with glitter and all things bling.

Geometric patterns are very trendy

Wallpaper was once again enjoying the limelight as a macro trend. SA Trend Guru Dave Nemeth pointed out that a macro trend is something that sticks around for a good couple of years.

Some beautiful stripes

The question is whether, like Damask (and property), the wallpaper ‘bubble’ has burst?  I am no trend forecaster but from where I sit it does not seem like it.  I spoke with one of our very popular local wallpaper suppliers and their business within the design trade seems still to be flourishing.

These gorgeous wallpapers are from Wall & Deco - beautiful hey! Love the concrete-ish background.

I was also reminded what Gary Searle, of the fabric house St. Leger & Viney, had to say at one of his recent trend talks.  While on a trip to the UK he observed the Nostalgia trend taking hold.  All things English, such as draped tables (again) nostalgic floral patterns AND MATCHING /COMPLIMENTARY WALLPAPER.

Also for Wall & Deco (so funky - it's a shame we can't get these locally)

Then there is yet another and completely different wallpaper application happening.  Graphic Designers and Photographers are converting photo images into full-scale images that cover a whole wall.  Customised and not too badly priced neither.  We have used this application via Cara Saven.

Lovely monotone wallpapers (these are from Anthropologie)

I think that wallpaper has some life left to live.  Dave Nemeth may or may not agree with me, but that is my gut feeling.

Bold black, white & silvers

Due to the fact that most paper has to be imported, the price becomes a drawback and this could slow down its popularity.  Unlike in the UK & Ireland where you can get wallpaper in your local Homeware store.

So pretty!

So, I guess we are just going to have to watch and see if Wallpaper is: TO BE OR NOT TO BE.

I would be very interested to know what the general take on this topic is.  Love to hear you.

DD – over and out.

All wallpaper from Harlequin (except where otherwise stated), check them out: here. Harlequin wallpaper can be found locally at Black Fabrics.

Wall & Deco website: here (it’s a must! They’re Italian so be sure to translate the page)

And of course, the lovely Anthropologie: here.


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