Did you know, wallpaper, one of the most well-known interior design staples, has been around for thousands of years. Constantly ever-changing and expanding, wallpaper has evolved into many different types, materials and patterns. Wallpaper dates back to wall paintings by the Egyptian and Roman people. As time and knowledge progressed the idea of painting and printing on fabric became more desired to avoid the high cost of expensive tapestries and paneling. Over the centuries, wallpaper began to serve a different purpose, adding a decorative design to spaces – including homes, businesses, historic buildings and more. In the beginning of 20th century, wallpaper pasting machines were created and the well-known water soluble wallpaper paste was introduced. Both of which helped with the progressive movement and popularity of the use of wallpaper. Such a seemingly simple product contains much importance in history and even more importance in the interior design world today. With such an evolved product, there is significance in recognizing the different types of wallpaper, what they should and shouldn’t be used for AND the importance of hiring a professional.
Wallpaper can transform a space, add depth & design and can even create a temporary aesthetic change. Wallpaper can be used on full walls in a space, accent walls, ceilings, stair facial boards and small spaces (like bathrooms, pantries and closets). There are options to add a paper that is pasted with a more permanent purpose or a temporary peel-and-stick paper that creates the wallpaper image, but can be removed for future changes. Recognizing your wallpaper purpose is an pivotal first step.
There are many different types of Wallpaper on the market and it is easy to get distracted by the visual aesthetic of a paper. Yet, it is beneficial to recognize each wallpaper style, the benefits of each and also the limitations. A common wallpaper mistake is using the wrong material in the wrong places. So let’s look at a few varieties of wallpaper in this blog post.
Printed Paper – This is the most commonly used and well-known wallpaper. This wallpaper is exactly as the name describes, images and patterns are printed onto the paper. There is either a pre-pasted option in which water is added to the paper directly to activate the paste for hanging; or there is paper without any paste in which a water soluble paste needs to be applied before hanging. Keep in mind this style of paper is more permanent and will need proper removal if applied.
Flocked – This wallpaper has an embossed quality, with a raised felt/velvet-like pattern. Most flocked wallpapers are deemed as more traditional, so they are used in more formal spaces, but you can occasionally find less traditional looks. Keep in mind with this raised felt look, there is more room for damage, so it is important to keep this wallpaper in a low traffic area(s).
Relief or Raised Patterns – This wallpaper is very similar to the above printed paper, but there is a raised pattern that is visible on the design that adds texture in addition to the existing pattern. Due to the raised nature of this paper, it should not be used in a high traffic area.
Grass or Burlap Textured – A revisited trend from the 60’s for your home, these wallpapers have a naturalistic feel. They now come in different color ways and are great for hiding imperfections in a wall due to the thickness of the wallpaper. Important to recognize though that due to the natural material, this wallpaper can easily be stained, so it is important to avoid high traffic areas, mostly if a lighter color option is used.
Vinyl & Vinyl Coated – This wallpaper is also exactly what it sounds like — it is simply a printed wallpaper with a vinyl layer added to the paper to help make it more durable and resistant to every day use. With that said, this wallpaper is great for kitchens, bathrooms and other high traffic areas due to it being water proof, scrubbable and abrasion resistant. There are also fully vinyl wallpapers that are even more durable.
Temporary, Reposition-able and Removable – This is a great new wallpaper that is hitting the market fast and loved by consumers and interior designers alike. This paper is just like described – it can be used in temporary spaces and has a peel and stick quality that makes it removable and easy to reposition. This paper is great for walls, ceilings, stair risers and other home projects like bookcases, cabinets, furniture and more. This is a nice option for those who want a DIY home project, even though hiring a professional is still recommended. Most peel-and-stick wallpaper on the market is washable and ok in moderately humid spaces, but keep in mind that over time repetitive excessive humidity can cause bubbling in the paper. One important piece of knowledge is, before applying these peel-and-stick wallpapers, to paint the walls with an eggshell, semi-gloss or statin paint and avoid matte paint to prevent damage to the wall when removing paper in the future.
Now knowing the importance in the types of wallpaper, it is just as beneficial to pay attention to the following details (many listed above). Is the wallpaper peelable or strippable? Is it washable, scrubbable or stain & abrasion resistant? Is the wallpaper pre-pasted or does a paste need to be applied? And, does the paper have colorfastness – does the paper resist a color change when exposed to high amounts of sunlight? It can be hard to look for all these details while picking the right wallpaper for a space, all on top of choosing from the hundreds of thousands of color, pattern and design options. This is where hiring a professional helps. Hiring an interior designer can help alleviate tough decisions, as well as ensuring the correct amount of wallpaper is purchased, the right wallpaper is place in the right space and destructive errors are avoided.
The idea of adding wallpaper to a space is supposed to elicit change and create a design element in your space. Having knowledge and experience in crucial. Contact Beyond The Mill Design with your wallpaper questions, concerns and inquiries today! With over 26 years of design experience, we are here to help!
*Some information gathered from www.doityourself.com