Wallpaper

by Kimberly Giles

The resurgence of wallpaper as a home trend is something that makes our HAUS contributor Jennifer Eggleston absolutely giddy. Most of us are aware of the impressions wallpaper had on us in our youth. It’s a comforting memory archived in our sensory deposit of collective patterns – the spaces where we gathered, like our grandmother’s kitchen with a floral motif or our childhood bedroom, or a thematic bathroom with accompanying color coordinates. Past meets the present as Jennifer redefines the nostalgia and concurrent narrative of self-expression that wallpaper brings to our homes today.

A mood or feel can be created with wallpaper, just as it can be created with color, lighting, and other materials.

Why is wallpaper trending again? What is the appeal?

In my professional opinion, wallpaper is trending again for multiple reasons. First, I feel like there is so much more variety available as far as pattern, color, style, etc. As for appeal, wallpaper has become more available, and honestly, I think an alternative, updated, fresh approach to “faux” finishes.

What are your favorite wallpaper trends you’re observing?

This is always hard to answer because typically I am not a “trends-based” designer, especially when it comes to a material typically known for creating a focal point or what I would consider high impact. I would have to concur with the trend, or concept, that currently wallpaper truly is not just used for these areas anymore, that wallpaper is on trend as a material that can be used in any room.

Do you prefer geometric prints, texture or botanical ?

This is a tricky question. Typically, I prefer that the scale or size of a pattern is in keeping with the size of the space. My pattern preference is generally in character with the overall aesthetic design concept of a home. But I do appreciate the unexpected. For example, a bold geometric wallpaper makes a statement on a bedroom wall. A soft botanical or floral in an old farmhouse gives nod to the original feel and look of that style and era. Textured wallpapers are wonderful backdrops for art. I will say, I have been a fan of grass cloth since my Ralph Lauren days.

Are builders now favoring wallpaper ?

Builders, for the most part, have jumped back in with incorporating wallpaper, per their homeowner’s requests.

Where should wallpaper be subtle and where should it be more bold?

A mood or feel can be created with wallpaper, just as it can be created with color, lighting, and other materials. Wallpapers are basically one more added layer to the interior finish of a home. Very rarely have I had a client request to play it safe in a powder bath. I have used everything from metallic wallpaper on a powder bath ceiling, to a gorgeous black floral in a tiny bathroom. I love using something bolder in a small space to create high impact design. By utilizing bolder pattern, color, or design in the wallpaper selection for a smaller space, there can be an advantage to the budget.

How has wallpaper application transitioned? It used to be a laborious and clunky process.

I think wallpaper installation is still a true art and similar to an upholsterer. Pattern repeats need to be seamlessly matched. While I do not think it is nearly as clunky and dated as we remember, I do not think I am up to the task personally. I will leave the installation to the professionals.

Is wallpaper affordable? And is it Easier to remove now?

Wallpaper is available in a multitude of price points. The quality of wallpapers that are manufactured now are incredible. I remember pulling wallpaper books as a design assistant for a designer in Houston over 30 years ago, and there is such a difference in the quality of the paper. In regards to wallpaper being easier to remove now, it would have to be.

Jennifer’s Favs

Thibaut: Incredible quality and variety, plus offers coordinating fabrics

Schumacher: Variety, always looks authentic, vibrant color, and it offers coordinating fabrics.

York: Amazing variety, good price points.

Ralph Lauren: Simply classic.

Magnolia Home: Affordable, some prints remind me of Marimekko.

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