San Diego Union-Tribune (Sunday)
PATTERNS THAT POP: WALLPAPER IN HOMES IS HOTTER THAN EVER
Fresh paint isn’t your only option when you are eager to reset the vertical and horizontal canvases in your home that constitute the walls and ceilings. For a vibrant new look, consider wallpaper, which is more in vogue today than you might think.
According to a recent survey by Fixr.com, 39 percent of interior design experts say wallpaper is the primary way consumers implement color in their homes. And were are they using it? Powder rooms are the most popular spot (chosen by 88 percent), followed by ceilings and dining rooms (each with 28 percent). The Fixr.com study also found that nature-inspired or green wallpaper, chinoiserie, and geometric designs were the most in-demand wallpaper patterns this year.
“Although wallpaper has been gaining popularity during the last few years, it surprised me that almost 40 percent of the experts polled agreed that wallpapering a whole room would be the most popular way of adding new colors and designs into homes this year,” says Cristina Miguelez, a remodeling specialist with Fixr.com.
“People often find wallpaper risky because it’s a more permanent commitment than paint,” she said. “Moreover, many tend to get sick of some patterns more easily than with a plain painted wall. But the results of this survey are proof that homeowners are more willing to take risks and try new things in their homes this year.”
Jennifer Carter, an interior designer with Studio Envie in northern New Jersey, can testify to the increasing popularity of wall
paper among her clients.
“Homeowners are starting to realize that the wallpaper applications of today aren’t necessarily the same as those in the 1990s, which tend to get a bad rep,” notes Carter.
Oshri Adri, an interior designer and co-founder of Adri + Dahlman Interiors in Long Island, New York, says all homeowners are good candidates for wallpaper because there are so many styles and types that can benefit virtually any home.
“For homeowners who are looking for their walls to make a statement, patterned or colorful wallpapers can be used,” Adri explains. “Homeowners who are hesitant to embrace colors or patterns can benefit from textured wallpapers that add an element of interest to their home’s walls.”
Powder rooms are an ideal place to add wallpaper for several reasons, Miguelez says.
“First, it’s a small space, so it is less likely for the wallpaper to compete with other design elements within the room,” she says. “Moreover, powder rooms are often more formal spaces compared to bedrooms or bathrooms, so it’s a perfect spot to try more luxurious designs as well as bolder patterns.”
Ceilings are also a great spot to place wallpaper “because it is unexpected and also draws your eyes upward, making a room feel larger,” adds Adri.
“Dining rooms are another popular area for wallpaper because it is a formal space meant for entertaining, and this is a location where people want to present their best design aesthetic to their visitors.”
In addition to these areas, bedrooms can be a perfect zone to incorporate wallpaper, whether it be a fun, patterned accent wallpaper in a child’s room or a textured wallpaper in a serene master bedroom.
“Smaller, enclosed rooms are a fantastic place to apply a bolder pattern,” Carter continues. “If your home has a more open concept, it takes a little more consideration. You need to take into account how the rest of the spaces are impacted and how the colors coordinate.”
Wallpaper accent walls are best reserved for particular rooms, such as bedrooms.
“When implementing an accent wall, a bold wallpaper is preferred to a textured one,” says Adri. “And in terms of wallpaper styles, I recommend abstract patterns for those who want a contemporary spin on patterned wallpaper. Abstract pattern options are endless, ranging from abstract interpretations of floral designs to graffiti to neural style wallpapers that take on the look of nature, such as clouds.”
Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Chicago-based Improovy, recommends that before committing to wallpaper, “remember that it can affect the way your other wall decorations look. Wallpaper is bold and striking, so when pairing it with artwork it’s important to think big. Opting for larger pieces means that the art will be able to withstand the energy of the design behind it without looking overwhelming to the eye.”
Nervous about leaping into wallpaper? You can ease in gently with a textured option, like a grasscloth.
“This allows you to bring in color and texture, making the room more dynamic without having to commit to a pattern or worry about how the rest of the house will be affected,” says Carter.