Pulchritudinous Paper

That word got you thinking didn’t it? Pulchritudinous – a synonym for beautiful. And that is my next interior design topic. Beautiful wallpaper!
Wallpaper has previously been seen as a bit old fashioned. Maybe it conjures up the thoughts of old school florals or mango tango mixed with a bit of mission brown of the ‘70s. Well, wallpaper is back in fashion and 2018 is predicted to be a strong year for this wall covering. With new technology and digital printing, anything is possible and the results will give your space that “wow” factor. If you are in the mood for something new, something bold or something captivating, this blog will help by providing a few ideas.
Before I get started, it’s quite interesting to note that wallpaper is very much a cultural thing. It’s very popular in the UK and Europe but not so much in places like Australia and the US. Perhaps it’s a weather/climate issue or purely just taste? But it is interesting that here in the UK we have loads of companies and retailers who are selling wallpaper compared to Australia.
With so many wallpaper varieties out there, I thought I would summarise a few to make it a little less overwhelming. There are two main types of wallpaper backings – paper and non-woven.  These are the subtrates upon which the ink and coatings are applied. Traditional paper is made of cellulose (wood pulp or cotton) and comes as simplex (single layer) or duplex (double layer – more durable). This type of paper is versatile, relatively cheap and allow the walls to breath. But, they are not water resistant, easily tear, are tricky to apply and fade in direct sunlight. Non-woven is a mix of pulp and synthetic and is more expensive than paper. It is breathable (no mould or mildew), are tear and fade resistant and a good heat and sound insulator. It is also easy to apply as you paste the wall and hang it directly, rather than soaking and pasting the paper.
The coatings on either of these subtrates/backings also come in a large range of styles. For this blog, I have opted for non-vinyl/PVC. The reason is that the coating is a thermoplastic and made up of a few nasties including chlorine. Personally I am not so keen on my family breathing this in. This is not a lecture and by all means there are benefits to using PVC coated wallpaper, particularly for longevity, water-proofness and for hiding wall cracks and bumps but I am going to focus on non-woven wallpapers.
If you want a bold or large patterned wallpaper, I would use it as an accent. Feature walls look stunning in a larger size room and are used to draw attention to a focal point. If you have a small room, I would paper each wall. If you have neutral furniture, go big and bold. But if you’ve already picked strong coloured furniture and accessories, pick a toned-down wallpaper and instead pick something with interesting texture. Wallpaper on all walls looks lovely in this mid-century modern meets country dining room. The bold and colourful natural motif is well balanced with simple grey, white and oak furniture and accessories. The wooden floor also keeps with the natural theme.

Source: http://eumolp.us

Equally, this lounge has a sumptuous finish, with a duck egg blue dynamic print feature wall while the others are painted a greyish white. I am loving the blue crushed velvet sofas with a clean cream carpet accented with white and silver accessories. Very calming and luxurious.
Source: https://revolutionprecrafted.com

Geometrics are gaining traction in a big way. The patterns, colours and textures are endless. You can also get some cool metallic ones. I would definitely use geometrics on one wall and use either a neutral or matching bold coloured paint on the other walls. To ensure you can live with this print, buy a large sample first and lay it out to ensure it doesn’t make you feel like you’re being hypnotised.  I’ve picked this lounge as an example because it incorporates some of my favourite colours and finishes. Don’t you just love the richness of that teal wallpaper accented with a gold geometric pattern? The teal lounge is neutralised with the yellow and grey cushions, gold accessories and black lamp.  This Graham & Brown Zen Teal wallpaper is definitely something I would choose to give that wow factor in a formal sitting room.
Source Graham & Brown

Florals are making a comeback too and they are really pretty. You can use flowery prints in any sized room. The key to floral success is the colour. If you have a smaller space, softer/pastel shades are your best bet. Floral papers can either be traditional in style or be relatively chic with a bold pattern or background colour. You can make a traditional wallpaper look contemporary through the use of modern furniture. But, if you have furniture with opposing patterns, I would strongly suggest opting for another wallpaper style. I chose this modern French-country style bedroom with a yellow, grey and cream floral print. This colour scheme works well for a couples’ bedroom as it isn’t too feminine in colour and style. As always, yellow, grey and cream just go together. End of story.
How To Use Country Yellows
Source: Ideal Home UK – Simon Whitmore

Textured wallpaper can provide depth and a lovely contrast, particularly if you buy a plain paper and paint it. Textured papers can include flock (made from cotton, silk or synthetics), string effect, foils, embossing, mouldings and cork to name a few. One type of textured wallpaper which is pretty old-school but is making head waves is anaglypta. This is an embossed paper and was developed in the Victorian era. While it has traditionally been used for the section of wall under a dado rail, it can look very striking in a contemporary setting. This mid-century modern desk area looks very inviting against a blush coloured anaglypta, accentuated with a warm glow from the ceiling light. The simplistic and wooden nature of this space is softened by green plantation.
Source: decorclever.com

Still on textures, imitation brick is a very striking wallpaper and quite realistic nowdays. It’s a great way to bring unique character into any room – from a bedroom to a kitchen or even a bathroom. This study is given a rustic look through this non-woven brick wallpaper from Graham and Brown. It looks like the real deal and even better it’s less risky to create and more simple to clean and maintain compared with exposed brick.
Source: Graham & Brown

My final example is a mural wallpaper. Personally, I would employ a very experienced decorator to apply this as it’s difficult to do so and could be an expensive experiment.  In the right setting, murals are breathtakingly effective. I have fallen in love with this traditional style bathroom. I love the colours, the motif, bathtub, furniture…..everything! So beautiful – I would definitely spend more time in the tub if that was my bathroom!

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Apologies for the delay in getting this one up. Please send me a message below in the comment box if you have any questions or just want to say hello! Also, if you sign up to my blog, you’ll get a notification when I post my next blog. Thanks for stopping by!