If your experience of wall papers is limited to that bland, textural wallcovering in most offices, are plagued by the floral prints from the 1970s and 80s, or worse, have been duped by wall coverings that mimic brick and concrete, it’s time to press the reset button. Here we pick the hottest trends for wallpaper designs this summer that are bound to dispel your interior blues.
Inspired by the tropical evergreen, imagery of lush forests and the most fantastical creatures inform this trend. A direct consequence of Pantone’s Colour of The Year (Green), and fashion’s obsession with tropical prints, brands such as the masters of hand painted wall coverings, De Gournay, have heavily invested in designs that interpret the jungles in a painting-esque manner. The lines are fluid, but sharp, and the tonalities contrast a bright, deep foreground against a pastel backdrop.
I don’t blame anyone if they abhor the Victoriana wallpaper from their granny’s home. The prints, the colours and that sickly glossy texture — what were people thinking? That gave way to contemporary designs, but then, design trends are cyclic. Victorian florals are back in favour but in their 2017 reincarnation, they are bold, vivid and on a pop-art trip. Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest designs for Lelièvre are all that, and in trademark Gaultier manner, seek inspiration from tattoo art. Other recurring themes in the Gaultier universe — plants, hearts and sailor stripes — also feature.
Ink and Watercolour
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming familiarity of brush strokes and inkblots. This season they pack a strong design punch, perfect for accent walls. Inky blues, deep greys, moss greens and scarlet reds — the colour palette stays true to traditional inks, but it is in their application that these colours become the design itself. Large scale blots, the kinds you would make if ink was dropped on wet cartridge paper deliver fluid, organic shapes. UK based Murals Wallpaper have extracted these designs to create statement wall art- from authentic representation or in designs made from digital manipulation of blots and ink folds. Watercolour strokes deliver a deconstructed ombre effect that belies its simplicity.
Minerals and Metals
Living in the Middle East, I feel a little excess is warranted. Rare metals like gold and minerals come together to deliver wall art that is just as precious. Brooklyn-based bespoke wallpaper studio Calico has already put its stamp of glam on the region — their metallic paper murals line the Gold on 27 lounge at the Burj Al Arab. Inspired by a rare sample of antique paper found by chance in a New York curiosity shop, Calico’s inaugural collection experimented with contemporizing the pattern, melding traditional marbling techniques with modern designs to create a series of unique signature styles. To adapt their handcrafted creations to customisable wallpaper, the studio partnered with Dieu Donné, a celebrated workspace dedicated to papermaking as a contemporary art form. The result is a collection of the largest marbled papers that exist today.
Vinyl prints, skylines, brick walls — in fact, flat reproduction of any photograph is a thing of the past. If it’s a graphic print or image that you are after, invest in designs that project distinct depth. Add familiar textures to the mix and you have wall coverings that leap out of flat vertical frames. The only thing that is better? A custom-printed high resolution print of a picture you took yourself!