Wall­pa­per is back—but this time, nov­elty bor­ders need not ap­ply.

Wall­pa­per is not scary (or tacky) any­more.

ELLE (Canada) - - Contents - By Carli Whitwell


grudge against wall­pa­per since the age of nine— the re­sult of a fleet­ing fas­ci­na­tion with a pur­ple flo­ral pat­tern that looked like it came straight from the wardrobe depart­ment of Lit­tle House on the Prairie. I begged my par­ents for it but hated it af­ter six months (duh) and was put to work scrap­ing it off.

But wall­pa­per—and its rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing dated and dif­fi­cult to deal with—has changed. Thanks to new for­mu­la­tions, it’s eas­ier than ever to re­move and move on from. “Wall­pa­per is much more user-friendly,” says Maria Raco, founder of Toronto-based lux­ury wall-treat­ment im­porter NewWall, about the new eas­ily strip­pable types— from breath­able non-wo­ven fab­rics to pee­lable pa­pers. “So if you buy a crazy ba­nana-leaf wall­pa­per that you love but a year later you’re see­ing it in all of your friends’ homes, it’s easy to [switch it up].”

To­day’s wall treat­ments are also far more vis­ually ap­peal­ing. We’ll al­ways have a soft spot for greige and white paint, but in­te­rior de­sign is mov­ing away from the toned-down min­i­mal­ism of years past—a wel­come change for a nest­ing-ob­sessed gen­er­a­tion who see their apart­ments as an ex­ten­sion of their evolv­ing per­sonal style. “Peo­ple to­day take the act of cu­rat­ing their own homes as a true cre­ative ex­pres­sion,” says Al­li­son Pol­ish, pres­i­dent of Spoon­flower, an Etsy-type wall­pa­per and decor on­line mar­ket­place. As a re­sult, “home decor is trend­ing in a way we haven’t seen in years,” she says.

Help­ing the cause? Pin­ter­est, for one: Decor in­spo is just a scroll and a click away. Also, we are no longer lim­ited to the se­lec­tion on of­fer at our lo­cal hard­ware store (the source of the dreaded afore­men­tioned pi­o­neer-es­que pur­ple flo­rals). Spoon­flower, for ex­am­ple, car­ries over 500,000 dig­i­tal de­signs from ven­dors around

the world, and if that Drake print you dreamed of is MIA, you can up­load your own de­sign. If you pre­fer be­spoke de­signs of the non-DIY ilk, there are lots of cus­tom­iz­a­ble treat­ments on of­fer, like those at La Scala Mi­lano, an ate­lier in Milan where ar­ti­sans hand paint ev­ery swirl. Mu­ral treat­ments—non-re­peat­ing pat­terns cus­tom­ized to spe­cific di­men­sions—are pop­u­lar in Europe and gain­ing trac­tion here in Canada. (The brand Mu­rals Wall­pa­per’s dig­i­tal pat­terns are in­sanely re­al­is­tic—from the de­tailed “is that ac­tual mar­ble?” to an ex­treme close-up of a creamy-white knit that will make your bed­room look like you’re liv­ing in­side a Brunello Cucinelli sweater.)

Fash­ion, of course, got into the home-decor game early. Count­less de­sign­ers, from Os­car de la Renta to Her­mès, have home lines, and more are join­ing the ranks each year. Of note in 2018: Etro’s baroque-pais­ley and bro­cade prints and Cyn­thia Row­ley’s fan­tas­ti­cal col­lab with Tem­pa­per, which is all vivid golds and greens rem­i­nis­cent of Klimt’s The Kiss. Pol­ish sees more of these sat­u­rated colours in our fu­ture. “Largescale wa­ter­colour flo­rals, trop­i­cals and green­ery are all re­ally pow­er­ful right now,” she says.

If you’re wor­ried about mak­ing a mis­step like mine, start small. Line the backs of book­shelves or the ris­ers of stairs with prints. More ad­ven­tur­ous types can try ma­jor over­hauls, like pa­per­ing the ceil­ing, doors or kitchen back­splashes. There are also com­pa­nies like Wall & decò that of­fer rain-re­sis­tant treat­ments that can be in­stalled over ce­ment and paint. “Fol­low your heart and your per­sonal style,” cautions Raco. “If you end up go­ing with some­thing that is too for­ward for your taste, you may never be com­fort­able with it.” Pur­ple flo­rals in­cluded. n

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