A new hairdo can turn a woman from dowdy to dazzling with relatively minimal effort or expense. A new wallpaper can have a similar transformative effect, bringing life to a desperately outdated home. Today, we talk wallpaper trends with interior designer Mark Simmons, a home decorating guru who insists that with the right pattern, color and texture, wallpaper can work wonders in any given space. If you have a room in need of a lift, check out these beautiful (and replicable) looks we’ve pulled together with the help of Mark and his team.
What’s the best way to incorporate a floral paper without it appearing too traditional or outdated?
One way to use a floral paper in a modern way is to pick one with fresh colors and light tones. Opt for papers that have a more open or broad pattern, as opposed to a tight design. Larger floral patterns are still elegant but have an airiness that keeps them from feeling outdated.
Are there ways to incorporate a geometric paper if your home and decor aren’t contemporary?
If your home isn’t contemporary, definitely try a geometric pattern with subtle colors that can be paired with your more traditional decor items. The pattern shouldn’t detract from your decor, but should add an understated edge.
How can you incorporate wallpaper in a large room, like a bedroom, kitchen or den?
By using a textured wallpaper or a small-scale pattern, you can create a nice backdrop to the rest of the decor in the room without getting too busy. Avoid papers that have large, colorful patterns that you’ll tire of quickly.
How can you incorporate wallpaper in a small room, like a bathroom or study?
One of our favorite ways to use wall coverings in a small room is to take this opportunity to go bold! Use an unusual material or texture, or a bold color or pattern in smaller spaces that you do not “live in.” These tend to be some of our favorite rooms in houses we design and places we visit because they bring an unexpected flair to the overall design of the home. People are often worried about a paper peeling off in a bathroom, but with the right adhesive, you won’t experience any problems.
When should you opt to cover one wall versus an entire room?
Typically, covering an entire space leads to a more cohesive design. However, there are instances where simply covering an accent wall, such as behind a wet bar or a headboard, can look compelling and intentional.
What’s the best place to find quality papers at good price points?
In our experience, the best way to find quality paper is through design firms. We have a multitude of resources in our library with various styles, colors, patterns and price points. Wallpaper Warehouse and Home Depot are also great resources for a large selection of well-priced papers.
Save or splurge? Is it worth buying the more expensive paper?
If you are only covering a small space, like a powder room or study, I would splurge on a really dynamic paper. If you are covering an entire room, I would settle on a simple pattern that you are going to cherish for a long time. For larger areas, use a paper that acts as a subtle backdrop to the rest of the decor in the room. A neutral raffia paper is always a good option. It provides subtle texture without being too overbearing. Remember, the more elaborate and colorful the paper is, the more expensive it will be.
Have you noticed certain patterns or colors that have been particularly popular this year?
We are noticing a lot of lighter, naturalistic colors, particularly dusty aqua blue (paired with a pop of orange), soft sage green and lots of cream. We are also seeing geometric patterns becoming increasingly popular. Grass cloth also seems to be making a comeback.
Have you noticed any patterns or textures that are totally falling out of trend?
Big English florals are definitely fading out, and they are nearly impossible to find. Toile paper seemed to be unpopular for a while, but it may be making a comeback in lighter hues.
How do you feel about papers with texture?
LOVE them! Texture should be a go-to in a space that needs that boost of style. As mentioned, grass cloth or raffia paper is always a great option, but we love cork papers as well — they function as neutrals, but have a great tactile quality. Be careful with papers with metallics or sheen. They can come off too ornate.
A special thanks to Mark Simmons and his team for sharing their expertise with us today!