Kya deLongchamps sticks it to us with the latest in wallpaper trends
Choosing wallpaper takes confidence. It’s a commitment, there’s paste involved, and it reveals a more determined aesthetic inclination in full, opulent, often repeating metres than a typical clutch of drab emulsions. Mind you, this year’s trends and established classics are so toe-curlingly gorgeous — like great art, you might find you simply cannot live without them.
The bespoke, non-repeating wallpaper and move to wall screeds like terrazzo follows on our desire to celebrate honest, one-of-a-kind, artisan-informed materials. There are even highly expressive, abstract wallpapers appearing, signed off by the maker. If you cannot settle on a product, have you considered having your walls hand-painted? We love the work of Nat Maks of Margate. Hand-printed using the traditional Japanese art of Suminagashi, this wall-covering takes our love of book-matched marble and throws it straight up the walls. The firm can “curate individual rolls or sections of paper” with the happy inclusion of watermarks and gaps by in-house designer and painter Natascha. Acrylic on paper, from €113 per roll, natmaks.com.
To avoid repeats, a vast wall panels using the latest digital printing technology is an economic, eye-watering alternative. Wall Sauce Swirl shows a single slice of geode minerals — fabulous for one wall in a mid-century room of floating furniture and jewel colours. Ideal for rentals and kids’ rooms in a peel n’ stick choice; from €45 per square metre, wallsauce.com.
Turn it any way you like? Explore the paper designs under the Glasshouse Dawn Rise system by Glasgow design studio Bespoke Atelier. From €180 per roll, housology.com.
We are downright daring with pattern and colour in the bathroom compared to the soup of greys washed over every other surface in our homes. With water resistant wall coverings, the bathroom offers an intimate space of high-quality finishes — 2020 is the year to tickle it up. If you don’t want a canyon of tiling – consider a waist-to-ceiling feature wall with the outrageous tropical bling of a resort hotel behind your counters, wall mirror and glass shelving. Go all out in Hawaiian shirt print styles and the tangled mysteries of the jungle.
Palm Springs by Romanian design house Mind the Gap, is just the side of Hollywood eccentric, with a witty botanical up-thrust to throw back the ceiling on that shell pink ground feted for 2020. Go sexy baroque with their intense, complex Tropical Wanderlust Exotic Menagerie or dive into their Atoll Coral Reef Ultramarine – perfect to mix up with this year’s decadent plated brassware.
When decorating a small guest WC, a smaller repeat right up in your face acts as a swarm of irritating visual wasps. Look for larger repeats and scale up to crank back the walls. Sticking with Mind the Gap, Abstract Pseudomorph in Blue is a curious story-board of bubbles and boxes — a real conversation starter when visitors return to the dinner table. It is priced from €175, order through aprilandthebear.com.
There’s a division of dreamy-eyed romantics who long to wade through trembling bouquets of chintz. It’s a very English country house affair, a perennial plant by the house of Colefax & Fowler in the 1930s and referencing Chinoiserie. Graham & Brown has dived into the archival, country house border with their paper of 2020 — Bloomsbury. There are several ground colours, including Pantone’s trending Neo Mint and its 2020 winner Classic Blue. Written high, this 18th-century vertical trellis of tea roses, dahlias, butterflies and lilies will buckle your knees or make you queasy. Around €72 per roll, grahamandbrown.com.
Designers Guild is the royalty of floral illustrators and do a fine line in melting watercolour landscapes if you’re into heritage prints. Their new Poeme de Fleure is described as “hand-painted, brooding blooms in sensational shades, effortlessly layered against a dark and climactic ground for amplified drama”. Sheer, fainting nostalgia for intimate snugs and bedrooms.
Far from stuffy, Designers Guild largescale drawings include a trio of magnificent ranunculus — fabulous for a spring decoupage, suspended behind a low sofa, Tourangelle, Scene 2 Peony. Samples €5.95, papers from €72 per roll; see designersguild.com for suppliers. Broke? Try IKEA’s Kinnared wall stickers in Pink Peony, just €9 a set.
Dangerously boring in six months, or contemporary classics — you decide. With sleek, unfussy furnishings, the spiky paper with metallic accents is the stuff of magazine illustrations and every hairdressers shop in the Western world. Belting psychedelic patterns in metal follows on the 1970s groove with an Art Deco underpinning that’s shaping this year’s market in interiors. Throwing together marbling and geometric shapes? A step too far if you ask me.
What geometric, pulsing papers do achieve better than any blank paint colour or soft repeat is wall manipulation — stretching those metres out with a horizontally inclined design or pushing it back with the columns of print drawing the eye upward.
Choose a white ground with an over-lay of a delicate monochrome or metallic sketch. Try Apex Geometric Trellis, €11.98 a roll, rightpricehome.com or the classy but affordable Superfresco Easy Losanges Filaires on a deep Navy €23 a roll, littlewoodsireland.com.
Otherwise, just go for it: The bigger the pattern, the better, including colour linked to the fuller room scheme. Mid-blues, mustards, pale shell pinks and a chalk mid-green are doing the moodboard shuffle this year. Look up the embossed, toffee-dark wood patina styling of Marburg Lyra Geometric Stripe, a thin wave-stripe pattern, finished with a metallic motif, and set on an embossed textured background, or its croc’ skin Tapete; €21.45 per roll, iwantwallpaper.co.uk.
The global decorating trends is written large this year. From intriguing cultural clashes sumptuous in natural dye colours to fragile and receding dream-scapes, the Caspian collection is new to the design house of Sanderson. It references everything exotic and far-flung, from Ikat to the Ottoman Empire with familiar iconography and cartoon cavorts that pluck at the subconscious.
If you’re drawn to Asian or even ancient Mediterranean stylings and colour, Caspian is nothing short of a trip up the Silk Road linking civilisations. Ideal for anyone wanting to mix up wall coverings and fabrics with the guide of a samples book — irresistible.
For 1970s boho, try The Caspian, Pamir Garden: “An oasis scene of floral sprigs, stylised trees, tigers and antelopes has been repainted in a fresco style with a crackle glaze effect in the ground to give a time-worn look.” It’s €82 per roll, suppliers nationwide; Sanderson collection at stylelibrary.com.
Staying with nostalgia, rubbed prints and acid-washed carpeting introduce lightly distressed character. Littlewoods offers a plank wallpaper with the ghosting of Edwardian flowered paper at €14.99 a roll. Use bowers of flowers and Renaissance landscapes with the designs of Pearl Lowe and Nina Marika for Woodchip & Magnolia, from €371, woodchipandmagnolia.co.uk. Finally, explore the fantasies of Sian Zing in their popular Hua Trees landscapes in Chinese ink, and magnetic wall-coverings that can truly come to life with magnetically applied woodland creatures; from €218, sianzing.com.