Wallpaper is Back / by Margaret Chambers

There's nothing dated about the metallic, cool gray wallpaper in this home in Plano.

There's nothing dated about the metallic, cool gray wallpaper in this home in Plano.

Wallpaper has been making a comeback for the past five years, and interior designers in Dallas predict that it will be more popular than ever this year. If you've spent hours applying or removing wallpaper in the past, you might be wondering why homeowners would choose wallpaper over paint. This is partially thanks to improvements in technology. Wallpapers with vinyl coating will resist the effects of shower steam and are easy to wipe clean. Wallpaper today is also easier to apply and remove without damaging the wall; some kinds are even self-adhesive. That said, hiring a professional to do the job will still save you hours of tedious work.

Wallpaper, despite its drawbacks, has a few clear advantages over paint and faux finishes. Covering your walls with an artistic design can add the elegant touch (for more traditional patterns) or the 'wow' factor (for overscale modern designs) that your interior design needs. Wallpaper is less expensive than other high end materials such as textile fabrics and stone. Simply put, a pattern can do more for your room than a coat of paint alone. The trick is to identify which rooms can benefit from wallpaper, and which patterns work best with each space. Wallpaper is most helpful when it complements the architecture of the room.

Today's wallpapers designs are not what you'd find in your grandmother's kitchen. Visual effects that were difficult to reproduce before can be easily created with modern screen printing techniques. At the same time, hand-printed or painted paper with a personal touch is enjoying new popularity. 

Trendy patterns interior designers are using today include Asian patterns, large geometrics, and traditional patterns like floral and damask in an updated color. Gray wallpaper is the most popular of the neutral colors. Some homeowners buy photorealistic wallpaper that mimics the look of natural materials, such as brick, stone, and wood. While mid-century interior design traditionally features unadorned white walls, fans of this style today are incorporating exciting new wallpaper patterns.

Large rooms and high-ceilinged rooms can feel cozier with wallpaper. Choose soothing colors and patterns so you don't overwhelm. You can also try using vertical stripes in rooms with low ceilings, or horizontal stripes in narrow spaces. If you discover a busy or unusual pattern you love, but are hesitant to commit, try putting it in a small space like a powder room.

For any rooms you spend a lot of time in, pick something you'll love for a long time. Stay away from any colors or patterns that are out of your comfort zone. You should also make sure to complement your wallpaper with painted walls, as a home where every wall is papered can be a turnoff to potential buyers.

If the latest designs in wallpaper today have caught your interest, but the time involved in putting them up makes them a hard sell, consider having a professional install them. An interior designer can work with you to pick out the best designs and the best contractors at the same time.


A subtle, tone-on-tone pattern in this Highland Park, Dallas powder room keeps the wallpaper from overwhelming the small space.

A subtle, tone-on-tone pattern in this Highland Park, Dallas powder room keeps the wallpaper from overwhelming the small space.