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Rather than choosing the usual painted accent wall, consider trying a wallpaper in an interesting colour, pattern or texture to freshen up your space.
This year, bold jewel tone colours and large prints are making a reappearance on walls. Purple, fuchsia and orange, paired with vintage style or graphic prints, are popular colours and patterns to look for when adding visual interest to your space this summer.
For a more organic look, try wallpapers with textures inspired by nature, such as woven paper and wood or ones that imitate natural elements such as bark and animal skins.
Searching for wallpapers that make a statement and really work within a space is normally challenging due to the sheer quantity of available options. It can be an overwhelming experience.
Here are the rules I normally follow when searching for the right type of paper for my clients:
Bold patterns, vintage or graphic
When using a larger, more visually prominent pattern, the question of balance is always at hand. You don’t want a room to be over the top, where the walls overpower the rest of the space. I normally take a patterned wallpaper, whether it be a damask or a retro pattern, and pair it with a solid or coordinating texture. This tones down the look of the pattern while still complementing it.
For a visually exciting feature wall, try something like the Osbourne and Little wallpaper (available at Primavera) which incorporates bold colour, graphic pattern and a luxurious velvet texture. The combination of jewel tone fuchsia and a metallic grey backdrop creates the perfect elegant and dramatic feature wall in a bedroom behind the headboard or on a large wall in a front foyer.
Experimenting with solid colours can be an interesting way to complement a room that already has patterns in the furniture and soft goods. Choose a paper that picks up on a jewel tone accent colour found in a pillow, throw or in a favourite piece of artwork. This will really tie the room together.
Also try to choose a wallpaper that isn’t 100 per cent solid. Look for subtle lines or faint patterns that will differentiate your wallpaper from paint while still giving the overall effect of a solid colour from a distance. Try Metro Wallcovering “Babylon”, Colour 37017 and 37020.
Textures can be a subtle yet exciting way to create interest on your walls. Fabrics such as suede and leather are being incorporated into wallcoverings for a luxe finish.
An interesting paper from Metro Wallcoverings called “Ruby Gator” mimics an alligator’s skin in a rich metallic material. It may not be obvious at first glance, but the closer you get, the more visible the understated design becomes, creating a wall finish that’s both unique and stylish. Metro Wallcoverings also has an interesting texture called “Russet Skin”, which was designed to imitate the bark of a tree. Perfect for a formal space such as a dining room, living room or foyer, these textured papers can be used throughout the entire room due to their subtlety and sophistication.
Trends will come and go in the world of wallpaper. To make sure you can endure the choices that you’ve made, strive to balance your patterns and colours to avoid overwhelming the rest of the room. And to create a visually pleasing, and lasting, space for yourself, be sure to choose something that also reflects your personality.
Tara Dalla-Nora has a B.A. in interior design and is the owner and principal designer of Inner Luxe in Toronto’s Bloor West Village.