What? Wallpaper is back?!

Hi Lesslie,
I am doing some re-decorating in the house I recently purchased. I had lots of wallpaper (probably 25 years old) removed, and now I’m hearing that wallpaper is in again. Is this true? – Isabella T.

Isabella, it is true that many designers are installing wallpaper. And here are a few of the reasons and things to note.
Wallpaper can make a surface dramatic with its patterns and colors more easily than that of a painted surface. It also may be less expensive than installing something like a Venetian plastic or properly executed “faux” paint job.
New coverings are often full of texture, good graphics and may have tactile finishes. Gina Shaw, a VP of product development for Your Wall Coverings said “many of the collections are tactile, incorporating glass beads, sand or raised ink that give the papers an added dimension and value.”
Jackie Jordan of Sherwin-Williams says “younger buyers are stunned to the natural environment. Natural wall coverings like linen and grass cloths bring the outdoors in. They are not afraid because they have never had to deal with the horror of installing and removing old wallpaper.”
Some of the new applications include:
Papering the wall behind the bed—perhaps in place of using a head board.
Using molding to frame wallpaper like a picture or a piece of artwork.
Using a wall paper that includes a “trompe d’oielle”—a trick of the eye—like a window that is open and lets you view a landscape in perspective.
Using photographic murals on one or two walls.
Choosing big fat stripes in muted colors instead of having them precisely painted.
There are lots of tips about wallpaper for novices and here are a few from Rosa Colucci of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
1. Anything small-scale denotes “country” and is OUT.
2. Research. Look through books and the room scenes in them so you have an idea what the finished product will look like.
3. Get an idea in your head of what you want to accomplish.
4. Know the kind of paper you are hanging. You don’t want “fragile” in a bathroom.
5. Pick out paper, color palettes and prints that you are comfortable with.
6. Do choose a simple one-wall project. Murals are coming back.
7. Hire a professional installer for natural wall coverings and specialty papers.
8. Don’t be afraid to put large prints in a small space, or use a bold print in a small room—it will add impact and drama.
9. Don’t mix too much patter within one home. A scheme needs to hold together and flow from room to room.
10. Forget about the 5th wall-the ceiling.


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