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Roll on! It's the great wallpaper comeback

Wallpaper is back in a big way.



If you were a child of the Seventies, you may have some unhappy memories of wallpaper. Eye-wateringly bright prints, clashing colours and patterns that covered every available bit of vertical space. No wonder so many of us have gone for the easy option of paint when it comes to decorating our own homes.

But now, wallpaper is back in a big way. Sales are on the up, with wallpaper manufacturers Walker Greenbank, who own brands such as Zoffany and Harlequin, reporting increases of up to 77% last year. And wallpaper was also a hot trend at this year’s Ideal Home Show, says interior designer Elizabeth Danon: “There were interesting textures - some rich and luxurious, others metallic and reflective. Wallpaper is almost becoming an art form now, with designers using graphic prints almost like murals to cover entire walls.”

So what has sparked this new passion for paper? Chosen wisely, it can be as much of a talking point as a traditional piece of art – only at a much lower cost. Not only that – having a feature wall in a fabulous print can introduce a brand new interior theme to work around. For example, use flock wallpaper on one wall, and you can get some fabulously retro accessories to match, such as vintage curtains or comfy retro leather sofas.

Elizabeth advises DIYers to “go with a pattern on just one wall if you have a small room – otherwise it can feel a bit overpowering. If you’re feeling bold and have a large space, do the lot – but use a neutral pattern and colours.”

So, before you rush out to get your trestle table and paste, what’s popular in print land?

Bold botanicals

Big floral or leaf prints, such as those from top British brand Sanderson, were a key trend at this year’s Ideal Home Show. HouseToHome recommends that you match one of the colours in your chosen botanical print to your sofas or cabinets to create a bit of balance in your room.

Throw some shapes

Just make sure they’re geometric ones, such as those available from Cole & Son. These bold prints really make a statement and look especially good if you live in a post-1960s home. If your home is more traditional, go for a smaller pattern.

Birds and butterflies

Birds are landing everywhere for 2012, including a recent style feature in the Independent’s Style and Home section. So let your walls take flight with some fabulous designer wallpaper covered in flamingos or hummingbirds. And continue the theme with lighting accessories – look out for British designer Jenny Worrall’s fabulous table lamp featuring birds and plants. Guaranteed to be a talking point in any home.