Paint seems to have dominated our decorating plans in recent years, but these wallpapers will make you start craving pattern in your home.
For years, wallpaper was a staple of Irish homes, but more recently it seems to have fallen out of favour. It can easily look fussy or twee, and many find it simpler to steer clear altogether. As various shades of neutrals come and go as the 'it' tone of the moment, so too have our walls gone from cream to grey to beige.
As much as I love the calming effect these neutrals can give, the best wallpapers undoubtedly give a sense of depth to a room that it's hard to achieve with any paint colour. They can also be surprisingly serene: think of patterns that repeat simple shapes or depict fresh foliage.
Here are six wallpapers that I think could tempt even the most devoted paint-lover to give even one feature wall over to pattern.
To feel immersed in nature
The gorgeous leaf pattern makes it feel as though your walls are alive with greenery, yet the small scale of the design and darker colours makes it feel cosy.
Use it on all four walls to create a real sense of a retreat, or you could use it on a feature wall to add depth to an otherwise neutral room. Hazel, Falsterbo III 7663, Boråstapeter. €77 per roll from Wallpaper Direct, also available through Furnishing Distributors.
To complement your paint colour
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'Honesty - Temple' is an elegant all-over design, created from a watercolour and crayon rendering of a leaf sprig. The graphic quality is inspired by Indian botanical motifs, which were typically seen in the form of miniature paintings or painted directly onto interior and exterior walls. Ceiling: Stone I Wallpaper: Honesty - Temple Panelling: Temple Units: Stone II
Blush tones are used throughout this kitchen, and this feature wall adds just a touch of interest without disrupting the calming monochrome look.
Its subtle design and tonal colours ensure it doesn't dominate the space, but instead complements its overall mood. Honesty, Temple, Paint and Paper Library. €133 per roll from Wallpaper Direct, also available from MRCB Paints and Papers.
To add colour
If you love colour, then a gorgeous wallpaper is a great way to introduce lots of vibrant shades in one place. This playful design is guaranteed to make your space feel cheerful.
It can also be the starting point for the rest of your room, like how the green in this wallpaper has been continued onto the kitchen cabinets. Pomegranate Bazaar, €120 per roll, Little Greene.
For something less traditional
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My entrance hall in this month's @elledecorationru shot by @douglasfriedman and featuring our 'faux bois' hand embroidered silk wall upholstery designed by @abranca 🎉🎊 Vase from @pentreathandhall and fabric on the chairs by @dedarmilano 😍 Huge thank you to @alexeydorozhkin for featuring my home in the magazine and my little George and I on the cover!!! 😘 #coverstory #elledecorationrussia #degournay #degournayfabric #embroideredfabric #embroidery #moire #homesweethome #entrancehall
Maybe floral and foliage designs aren't for you. This doesn't mean, however, that wallpaper isn't. There are so many abstract and geometric designs that feel fresh and contemporary, and are in no danger of feeling fussy.
This beautiful De Gournay design is probably out of most people's price range, featuring hand-embroidery on silk, but there are plenty of affordable options in a similar design, like this one at just €45.60 per square metre.
If you still love neutrals
If you're committed to your home's calming neutral colour palette, there are plenty of wallpapers out there for you. This design adds a playful touch with its geometric foliage, yet its soft tones help create a sense of serenity. Atacama BP 5801, €148 per roll, Farrow & Ball.
To add impact in a small space
This tropical design works perfectly to add personality where there is limited space. Its scale isn't too large, yet is colourful and interesting enough to really draw your attention.
Featured image: Hegemone BP 5705, Farrow & Ball.
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