With new artistic designs, wallpaper is hip again
By Kate Benz
Published: Monday, April 8, 2013, 8:17 p.m.
Wallpaper is hip again.
A new generation of designs could easily be labeled as works of art — eye candy that runs the gamut from decadent to delicate.
“It's not grandma's paper anymore,” says Donna Masberger, a sales associate at the Sherwin-Williams store on Babcock Boulevard.
Brilliant colors and new uses of textiles are now commanding the attention of home owners looking to add a pop of personality into their space, creating a high-end vibe.
“People can use wallpaper in their home and it looks like a designer has been there,” says HGTV designer Meg Caswell.
In business since 1895 and still occupying its original location in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley, York Wallcoverings offers collections with sassy titles like “Risky Business,” “Glitterati II,” “Rhythm & Hues,” “Tres Chic” and “Bling.” Specialty materials — including Swarovski crystals, flocked fibers, recycled glass bead, glitter, mica and sand embellishments, as well as embroidery — are used to put a new spin on familiar designs.
In its high-end lifestyle, “Walt Disney Signature” brand, soft color palates and artistic designs are used to gracefully interpret beloved classics such as “Steamboat Willie,” “Fantasia” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
“It's anything you want it to be today. A lot of the stuff that's popular is the bolder, graphic and more modern presentation than in the past," says LeRue Brown, York's director of marketing. “The sand and glass beads we put on our product (for) bling. We have five different types of presses and one of them is the original press, it's called surface printing, and we're still using that to create a dimensional, almost like handmade, wallpaper. So, we've taught an old dog to learn new tricks. We're always looking for something we can twist or push the envelope to create something new.”
From vibrant geometrics, bright florals, smoldering metallics and bold black and whites to dreamy, whispering designs and cascading, raised-print patterns, products are made to be hard to resist. The design team at York plays attention to what's going on in the world of fashion to determine trends, Brown says.
“(There's a) continuous appeal of metallic inks — from silver and gold to copper and bronze,” he says. “And we are also printing with glitter to add more light play and interest to our prints. Another design trend which continues to be popular in fashion apparel, as well as home fashion, is animal prints. And in our kids' line of wallpaper, while anything Disney still sells, there is a definite trend toward more sophisticated wallpapers for young people.”
Regardless of what direction you are heading, it's becoming much more common to move beyond the paint can when looking to add personality and dimension to a room.
“I think decorating your wall and adding more pattern and color everywhere can only be good in my book,” says Brooklyn-based artist Julia Rothman, whose whimsical, hand-drawn patterns turned into a line scooped up by Hygge & West. One of her bestselling patterns, “Daydream,” a sugar-spun-soft design of swirling clouds and gently swooping swallows, is popular in rooms from nurseries to powder rooms.
Today's buyers are opting for a “less is more” mentality — highlighting a focal point rather than covering every square inch.
“People aren't putting wallpaper up the same way they used to,” Rothman says. “They used to put wallpaper on every single wall. Now it can be done on an accent wall to add color or pop to one area of your room in small areas.”
It can also be done without major headaches. Gone are the days of impossible-to-work-with glues and guaranteed damage to your walls. Most of the wallpaper today comes pre-pasted. It is used without risk of buyer's remorse thanks to the introduction of removable wallpaper, also known as “renter's wallpaper.” Patience still remains a virtue, but the product has become much more user-friendly.
When debating whether you want to commit to adding wallpaper, remember, Rothman says, you don't have to cover every wall.
“If you put it in your bathroom or the lining of your closet or one small accent wall — it's just one small wall,” he says.
“Get used to it and see how you feel. It's like having a tattoo — are you going to love this pattern? Are you going to love seeing it every day? Starting small is the best thing to do.”
Kate Benz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-8515.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cueto gets best of Bucs, as Reds take series
- Connellsville area benefits from tourism grant program
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across U.S.
- UPMC to city: Try to tax our subsidiaries
- Starkey: Fleury’s future at stake
- Authorities plan to withdraw charge against bullied South Fayette student
- Connellsville police hitting the streets on foot and bikes
- Police: Volunteer firefighter admits to setting fires
- Pirates notebook: Walker’s razor a right-handed swing solution
- Corbett signs child abuse protection bills
- Five years later, Crosby wants another Cup win