The evolution of wallpaper is the story that keeps on giving. New colours, new techniques, new patterns, new technical innovations, new ways to render metallics… and now a return to more sustainable materials. if you haven’t got into wallpaper yet you are in for a treat.
Firstly, it works absolutely everywhere. Bedrooms, especially, benefit from the texture, luxury and individuality wallpaper brings. I sometimes think walls look naked without it.
As we prepare to cosy up for autumn nights, make your bedroom your sanctuary with a design that fills you with joy as soon as you open your eyes in the morning.
After the minimalism of the last decade, wallpaper is seeing a real renaissance, with designs and quality so good it’s like papering your walls with art. Do you want your wallpaper to be restful or playful, vibrant or serene, sensual or floral? The only limit is your imagination and your budget.
The best place to start is to order samples and see them in situ under the changing light of your rooms throughout the day. Whittle down the field by deciding what mood you want – perhaps define it in three words, and then go on your search.
Divine Savages (divinesavages.com) makes statement wallpaper, allowing you to live out your fantasies through a few rolls and some glue. For Art Deco with a twist, the fan motif is a classic, adding glamour to a room, especially bathrooms, where you may already have some complementary brassware. Divine Savages has just added a metallic finish to its Deco Martini rolls to make it shimmer and pop, and if you want to really push the boat out there is a Cat-titude Green Envy wallpaper, in which the martini glasses are accompanied by cats in formal wear (£150 a roll). Surely a talking-point.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are heritage wallpapers, exemplified by Hamilton Weston in Richmond (hamiltonweston.com). Their historic reproduction wallpapers span 1690 to 1960 (from £153 a roll). This collection has been a labour of love, rescuing fragile and faded fragments from corners of old buildings.
But designs from a century or more ago can look surprisingly up-to-date. Bird and Blossom (1910), for example, is much imitated by today’s designers, who know that wallpaper featuring birds and flowers instantly brings nature into the home – something that’s only grown in popularity after lockdown.
Mini Moderns has a passion for social history and is the go-to brand for lovers of playful mid-century style. Their wallpapers deliver a striking and graphic punch to a room to lift it above the ordinary (minimoderns.com). None more so than two new colourways to their iconic Whitby print: High Tide (a marine grey-aqua) or Midnight and Copper (above, £60 a roll), a spectacular blending of inky dark background overlaid with a vintage print in copper that’s perfect for a dramatic living space or cosy nook.
Whitby is printed in the UK by Surface Print, which has introduced its first range of non-woven papers that are plastic-free, and uses water-based inks on paper sourced from FSC-certified forests. This trend away from plastics in wallpapers is more good news for devotees.