Rob Tarlton was recently (early 2014) asked a few questions about the use of wallpaper and some of the trends experienced in the industry. Take a moment and see if you agree with his answers. Some of them might provoke some ideas on your journey to select the perfect wall surface design.
When it comes to wallpaper, what are some of the current and upcoming trends?
There has been a trend in fashion to mimic wallpaper. And I think that there has been a slight trend the other way too. For example, Aztec shape designs have started appearing on wallpapers after a big trend in the fashion industry.
Folk and Nordic styles I think will become more popular.
Large patterns have been popular over the last few years and now more retro and hipster designs emerge to incorporate smaller patterns.
But variety is available more than ever before due to developments in printing techniques and the new prominence of digitally printed wallpaper. All the variety can make a customer’s choice quite overwhelming. That can lead to people asking for advice. Advice can be dangerous. That is because one’s personal taste is put aside and the result can be very disappointing.
We see more and more wallpaper in commercial spaces like restaurants and shops. These are usually custom designs. Unfortunately we don’t find particular patterns or styles that get taken up for domestic spaces like there were in the past.
In terms of colour and texture, what can we expect?
Greys, beiges and other neutrals have been popular and continue to be. The danger there is to start looking corporate. So, bold colour really has to come in somewhere. There’s no reason for it not to be in the wallpaper.
Texture isn’t that important at the moment and we don’t see huge demand for flocked wallpaper. But that could change in a big way.
How can a home owner introduce wallpaper into their living spaces?
Wallpaper has always been less popular in the home, in South Africa. People spend less time at home here. We need cooling more often than heating and that also has an influence because wallpaper is often seen to have a warming effect – in terms of both the visual and physical effect.
So I would advise local home owners to be bold and lead the way. Wallpapering is one of the most exciting things you can do to a living space. And it can have an incredibly calming effect if you choose a well-designed pattern, even on a hot day. I would say that if you are frightened, why not choose a small feature wall. After that, you’ll be hooked and decide to paper your whole bedroom.
Why should a home owner consider wallpaper as opposed to paint?
Paint just can’t do what wallpaper can. It can’t evoke the senses of interest, calm or excitement the way that wallpaper can.
The incorporation of colour and shape is also so useful when you want to tie in multiple elements of a room.
It can also be a simple as paint to apply and take a lot less time. Digitally printed wallpaper is simpler to implement than traditional roll produced wallpaper. Quagga fabrics and wallpapers produce digitally printed wallpaper to the client’s wall dimensions. This means that you can firstly customize the colours to your room scheme. The other bonus is that you don’t have to work out the number of rolls according to pattern repeat and all the other dimensions. We do it all for you. The panels fit your wall, joins are seamless and there is no waste.
How can wallpaper be used in an innovative and creative way to decorate a home?
Firstly, I would say, don’t think of wallpaper as something new and untested. You don’t have to be all that innovative or creative. It’s been done for centuries and it’s easy to make it work 99% of the time. If you want to do something unusual with it, definitely try it on the ceiling. It can be so fantastic on a ceiling. Also it can easily be used on furniture – the sides of cupboards, tops of counters etc. And definitely use fairly close or small patterns as a background for picture hanging. It can enhance the pictures on your walls and provide a perfect backdrop.