From botanicals to brick and stone effects to metallic hues and social media-inspired prints, wallpaper continues to remain popular in home decorating.
Vibrant colours and designs as well as modern application techniques are finding favour on the home front, the newest technologies allowing for both creative expression and functionality. Where rooms lack ambience, wallpaper can quickly and easily add character, something that interior designer and colour consultant Debbie Abercrombie subscribes to.
“Some of the new builds and apartments I have visited recently lack colour, possibly to be cost effective,” she says. “They are very white – white walls, white kitchens and white washed floors. They are stark and uninteresting and the perfect reason to add warmth, character, mood and personality. Wallpapers are exciting, innovative and full of personality. They are the perfect solution to taking ownership of your new environment.”
There are literally thousands of designs to choose from. In previous years, greenery and botanical graphics have been rampant; the future of wallpaper lies in a blend of these and other natural elements, brand new geometric patterns, as well as revived retro prints, and metallics.
“Resene has just relaunched the Mason Handcrafted wallpaper range, for example,” says Resene colour consultant Rebecca Long. “Using the original Mason screen printing screens from the ‘70s, the Mason Handcrafted wallpaper range (an internationally acclaimed collection of its day) is alive again using the latest in paint technology. Resene SpaceCote Flat and Resene FX Metallic are used to bring the original, luxurious patterns back to life. While the base coats are pre-determined, we have the ability to change the screen colours to any Resene colour. Customisation is key to expressing your personality and creating a unique, one-of-a-kind wallpaper.”
Just look to Mason Tosca MT02, which features Resene Nero, Resene FX Pearl Shimmer, and Resene Gold Dust in its design, while Mason Tosca MT05 uses Resene Pure Pewter and Resene Inside Back. Mason Poppies MPP01 features Resene Nero, Resene White, Resene Bedrock and Resene Gold Dust, while Mason Poppies MPP05 uses Resene Rice Cake, Resene Toto, Resene Bedrock and Resene Gold Dust. We also see larger botanicals in the range, like Mason Mayfair MM02 and Mason Mayfair MM01.
The strong calling of ‘back to nature’ in recent years will continue to provoke a move towards nature motifs. Natural wood grains and plant patterns will continue to surge in popularity. Besides showing up on stools and hand-carved accessories, these natural designs will feature in artwork and furniture forms – and wallpapers, of course (try Komar Photomural Vol 14 4-910, 8-700 and 8-741 for wood, stone and brick 3-D effects). Patterns including leaves, flowers, trees and subtle variations of these will prevail throughout the year, with the designs varying hugely. Ibiza 330268, for example, a natural grass cloth wallpaper, provides a rustic feel, while Yasmin 341757 and 341752 provide a very contemporary geometric leaf pattern with metallic colours. Mason Bamboo MBB03 gives a retro feel in modern colours, also with metallic hues.
The currently strong presence of short social media-like messages will manifest in homes with an increase in typography, similar to the iconic EAT sign within industrial kitchens. These one-word statements will mostly appear on retro signs but we’re seeing the inclusion in wallpaper designs too. Fun kitchens may incorporate messages like ‘Eat up’ and ‘Enjoy’ (the wallpaper City Lights 828108 includes the words ‘Cuisine’, ‘Spices’ and ‘Bon Appetit’), while master bathrooms might don a soothing reminder like ‘Soak & Relax’.
Longer messages are appearing on more playful wallpaper designs, especially for children’s rooms (like Boys & Girls 8982-10, Boys & Girls 93553-2 and Jack n Rose LL-12-06-5) and commercial spaces (think newspaper prints like Elements 46562; the stencilled letters of Intenz 48902, and the café scene from City Lights 831818). Classic quotes and even song lyrics may be featured in home offices, teen rooms, or for keeping guests amused in powder rooms.
New wallpaper designs will also feature geometric patterns enhanced with the year’s bold palette and pearlescent qualities. Textures will also be prevalent.
“We are seeing very textural papers... more texture than the original linen look,” says Debbie. “They now are so woven they read like fabric and can look like they have been stitched together or edged with a selvedge. The wallpapers may be beaded to represent a heavily beaded lace, and they range from large scale paisley to an aboriginal pattern. They are perfect as well for an older home where the 40-year-old paper is splitting from the wall.”
Yasmin 341703 has a sumptuous velvet feel with a rich flock finish on a platinum champagne texture, while Yasmin 341794 features a rose gold metallic woven texture. Textilis 25808 has a linen effect with a rush basket-style weave.
Embossed wallpapers are still going strong, with the range of anaglytpa wallpapers featuring heavily. These papers are a great alternative to mouldings, and provide texture and intrigue to an otherwise bland interior.
Besides featuring all the new favourite patterns for 2018, wallpaper will be trending in regards to its very application as well. After falling by the wayside for a few years, wallpaper is making its comeback fiercely. Design forecasts are calling for entirely wallpapered rooms again, something we have seen only scarcely since the late ‘80s.
Accent ceilings will likely sport wallpaper as well. And a simple trick favoured by the non-committal homeowner is framing a piece of wallpaper and hanging it like artwork, or adorning furniture, such as free-standing wardrobes, chests of drawers and even refrigerators.
However, new technology and research within the adhesive industry has a promising outlook for those who prefer to go all out with renovations. Some papers have peel-and-stick options that promise to last as well as their old-fashioned counterparts. The new vinyl wallpapers are very easy to clean and available in a wide variety of patterns and textures.
Whether you choose to embrace all of these trends, a select few, or just sit back and spectate other displays, we anticipate 2018 to be a memorable year full of fun colour combinations and gleaming design elements.