Wallpaper: Making a Comeback
Welcome back, wallpaper! It’s been quite a few years since wallpaper has had a place of prominence in home fashion, but Brewster Home Fashions reports that wallpaper is making an auspicious and stunning return.
“Wallpaper is really in again,” says Paula Berberian, Brewster’s creative director. “Our sales are up, traffic on our website is up, and retailers are telling us wallpaper sales are hot—on fire.”
The return of wallpaper is happening in both commercial and residential spaces. “Designers are using it, and so are homeowners,” Berberian reports.
Mass media also is paying increased attention to wallpaper. Berberian has seen it featured more on television, and she was excited to see the editors of Anthropologie recently call wallpaper “the new paint.”
Reasons for the Revival
What is the reason for this renewed interest in wallpaper? Part of it is attributable to new technology that makes wallpaper much easier to hang and take down. The real hero in this scenario is the nonwoven substrate, which Berberian describes as having a feel somewhere between paper and fabric.
“Ninety percent of our material is printed on nonwoven substrates,” Berberian tells YDR. “Today, people are using nonwovens, where you paste the wall. There’s no more booking or dripping water on the floor.”
Berberian also credits the younger demographic with driving the renewed interest in wallpaper. “They grew up with no wallpaper in their homes because their parents tore it down, so this is new to them. They like wallpaper because it’s a way to reflect their personal taste. They look at it as artwork.”
Wallpaper fits in well with several current decorating trends, according to Berberian. These include:
Retro Geometrics. Funky geometric patterns started trending in the last several years in such home decorating categories as draperies and carpet. Now wallpaper is reinforcing this trend with interesting use of circles, squares, triangles and other shapes. “We’re taking designs from the ’70s and putting a sophisticated spin on them for 2016,” Berberian reports. In fact, geometrics are becoming so ubiquitous that Berberian calls them “the new neutral.”
Metallics. “Metallics add a nice little twist to the design,” Berberian says. “A touch of silver, gold, brass or other metallic offers a bit of dimension to the wall by reflecting light. In small doses, it adds a little something special to the paper. One wall of embellished wallpaper can open a room and create a sense of luxury and space.”
Salvaged Materials. Berberian identifies the look of salvaged material as another major trend worldwide. “I’ve traveled to shows all over the world, and it’s big everywhere. It ties into the industrial chic loft look that’s really in.” Brewster is showcasing this look in the “Reclaimed” collection from its A-Street Prints brand with some advanced printing techniques that give authenticity to the look.
The collection features foils, metallic inks and trendy designs such as wood planks, metals and other salvaged looks. “It’s a fun collection for people who can’t afford the actual material. It’s a nice way to add that look to the home at a fraction of the cost,” Berberian says.
Gentle Pastels. Don’t expect overpowering colors from wallpaper in 2016. Instead look to be soothed by peaceful pastels. “We’re seeing clients opt for shades of soft pink, watercolor hues and midtone pastels, rather than deep tints,” Berberian says. The trend toward watercolor hues will be prominent in the new A-Street Prints collection called “Catalina.” Berberian also sees generous use of grays as well as blues in various hues such as indigo and turquoise. In addition, she expects to see golds and corals as having a prominent place in the palette.
Peel-And-Stick Appeal. Brewster is having great success with peel-and-stick wall décor under its WallPops brand as an alternative to traditional wallpaper. WallPops began as reusable and repositional wall decals, with dots, “blox” and stripes being a mainstay. Now the WallPops’ line has been expanded to include the NuWallpaper line, which translates the peel-and-stick technology to full rolls of wallpaper. Easy to apply, reposition and remove, NuWallpaper is perfect for dorm rooms, rental units, feature walls, children’s rooms and more.
“It’s selling well in all segments of the market, from baby up to adult,” says Berberian. “It’s affordable, easy to use, and if you want to change it, you can do so pretty quickly.”
Reinvention of Old Favorites. Nothing truly goes out of style. Rather what is old comes back reinvented. That’s what’s occurring with an old favorite in the wallcovering industry: grasscloth. “Grasscloth is a really popular item,” Berberian says. “It’s not the grasscloth of the old days. There are modern variations—such as metallics-infused (paper), weaves and antique finishes. It’s a nice, natural fiber that still has a lot of appeal.”
Moving forward, Berberian sees the recent resurgence in wallpaper as sparking boundless creativity that will bring forth a full range of new designs and new trends to appeal to consumers. “There are a lot of great things out there right now, and there will certainly be more to come,” she says.
Find out more about the latest trends by visiting Brewster online at www.bresterhomefashions.com.