Wake up the walls with pretty papers to celebrate International Wallpaper Week

Wallpaper is the ultimate interior ‘fast fashion’ and can transform a room overnight. Gabrielle Fagan reveals the experts’ choice of new patterns to hang with style.

Wallpaper from the Charleston Wallpaper collection, featuring Swarovski crystals, from 499.90 a metre, available from JAB Anstoetz

Walls have never been so spoilt, with an ever-growing range of designs and effects made possible by modern digital techniques. 

Wallpaper experts reveal their wall wisdom and a guide to trends for now and the year ahead...


“People are becoming more adventurous with their interiors and giving the same priority to wall coverings as they would furniture and lighting,” says Paula Taylor, colour and trends specialist at Graham & Brown, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary

“There’s literally a look to suit every taste. While the popularity for traditional floral and stripe designs endures, we’re noticing an increase in demand for more dramatic papers — this is in line with the desire to mimic artisan materials and textures, and there’s also a focus on ethnic patterns.”

Paula Taylor, colour and trends specialist, Graham and Brown.

The division between masculine and feminine style will blur. 

So, there’ll be a mix of effects featuring industrial materials as well as geometric patterns, but in a more gentle colour palette of blush pink or pale blue shades.

“Botanical elements will be key in 2017, with a move towards savage nature, incorporating jungle foliage, insects and tropical plants,” predicts Taylor. 

“Those trends will be tied together through pattern and texture with tactile, natural materials, such as cork, grass cloth and weaves acting as back drops.” 

Look out out for intricate marquetry patterns, splatter designs and sky effects.

Wake up walls

Conjure a jungle effect with Fresco Palm paper, £10 per roll; mimic stone with a striking Stone Rose wallpaper, £50 per roll, which gives the illusion of a 3D sculptured floral trail, or opt for a slice of woodland with Eternal Chocolate And Bronze design paper, £15 per roll, Graham and Brown. 

The company’s collaboration with design duo 2LG (2 Lovely Gays) has resulted in the Perry Rise collection, which sings with fresh florals and pattern. 

Joy blue wallpaper, approximately €50 a roll, available from Graham and Brown, www.grahamandbrown.co.uk

A Joy Blue wallpaper, £50 a roll, is one of the gems.

Harlequin is renowned for stunning designs and its new Standing Ovation collection doesn’t disappoint. 

It includes Epitome, £56 a roll, which has an autumnal design of pine cone-laden branches. 

Alternatively, embrace exotic glamour with a stunning Leopard’s Prowl by Santorus, paper, £270 a roll, Limelace.


“Overall, there’s a new confidence in using wallpaper and that’s shown in the trend for decorating a whole room with lively, detailed prints,” says Kerry Nicholls, who is a buyer for John Lewis, who’ve recently opened an interiors concession in Arnott’s.

“There’s a desire to emulate a natural feel for the home, with papers reflecting the irregular patterns found in materials such as stone and concrete. 

"It’s part of our passion for texture and dimension, and in harmony with that, we’ve launched a Design Project, No 030 vinyl wallpaper which replicates the stone surface of modernist architecture and comes in an inky blue or deep steel palette.

“Vinyl papers are particularly popular because they create a luxury look, give an impression of depth and are hard-wearing. Those in soft, linen textures are ideal for a calm, sophisticated setting, while a metallic finish brings opulence and hotel-style chic.”

Wake up walls

Turn to texture with Design Project by John Lewis No 030 vinyl wallpaper, in Night Sky, £30 per roll. 

Harlequin has a delightful Persico paper, in its Standing Ovation collection, £62 a roll, which features birds. 

Autumn’s characterised by a dazzling display of foliage and that’s evoked in the russet and brown shades of the Shand wallpaper, Liberty Fabrics, £115 per roll, from Wallpaper Direct. 

Roses wallpaper mural, by Sterk Design for Behangfabriek, 75, available from Limelace.

A gentle Classic Hua trees Mural in Grey, from £175 for a 10m roll, is just one of the sophisticated designs offered by wallpaper company, Sian Zeng. 

And if you’re looking for an innovative interpretation of florals, Limelace has a brilliant Roses wallpaper mural, £75, which resembles a charcoal and pastel drawing.


“We regard our homes now as fashion statements, where we reflect the trends of the season, and wallpaper is a ‘fast’ way to make that happen,” says wallpaper designer, Debbie McKeegan. 

“Wallpaper literally transforms the landscape of a setting and is the perfect quick fix for a room which needs refreshing with a dash of pattern, a splash of colour or injecting with the energy of an eye-catching feature wall.

Copper collection from the Grandezza Charleston collection, from 54.90 a roll, available from JAB Anstoetz.

“Bold florals — vintage and vivid through to cottage pretty — are very much in vogue this winter. 

"There’s a growing demand for our trompe l’oeil effects, particularly French decor gilded ‘panels’ which instantly evoke grandeur, while at the other end of the style scale, we have Scandi-style painted wooden boards, for that pared-back contemporary look.”

Wake up walls

Debbie McKeegan’s Russian Florals collection features the vivid and darkly dramatic Romanoff and its paler, prettier cousin, Amelia, from £120 each. 

Her Marie Antoinette Old Gold gilded French panel, starts from £120. 

JAB Anstoetz reflects the key trends in its Grandezza Charleston collection, which is reminiscent of the 1920s. 

Papers, from £54.90 a roll, have burnished copper tones, including Chicago, £92.50 a metre, or for full-on glamour, a Sunrise Wallpaper sparkling with Swarovski crystals, from £499.90 a metre.

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