Cool Wallpaper Designs

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    In case you haven't noticed, wallpaper is hot again! And it's not your grandmother's wallpaper, either. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a strong backlash against the use of wallpaper, particularly among younger homeowners and renters. At that time, wallpaper fell into two camps: older homes with leftover 1960s and '70s papers that were garish, discolored with age and very hard to remove; and 1980s over-the-top cabbage patch rose style papers that we associated with the heavy pattern on pattern and matchy-matchy style of the Dynasty decade.

    As late baby-boomers, Gen X and Gen Y young adults were setting up their own homes, they were bombarded with these old papers and basically this group, en masse, stripped them off the walls and refused to even consider replacing the papers. Besides the out-of-date styles, the glues that were used to hang older papers wore like iron and were hard to remove. As a designer, I couldn't sell people on wallpaper unless it was very plain with perhaps a subtle texture or stripe.


    However, in the first decade of the 21st century, there were more interior designers putting out their own wallpapers, and even graphic designers set up small shops to create small runs of artisanal papers. As our furnishings and fabrics have become more streamlined and subtle, it has left room for the walls to once again become a focal point for cool wallpaper designs. Additionally, newer technologies and environmental concerns have led to advances in paper and glue formulas, making installation and removal much easier than in the past.


    Wallpapers are now witty, retro, textural and graphic. There's a little something for everyone, and anyone looking for a little wow factor should seriously consider using one of these cool wallpaper designs in their own homes.


    Here is a roundup of some of the hottest papers going today:


    The Graphics

    • Imperial Trellis is likely the most referenced and used of the new graphic wallpapers. Designed by interior design star Kelly Wearstler, this is the paper heard round the world. This paper is bold and yet will not overpower a space.
    • Delight and Grand Jubilee by Mod Green Pod are both cool wallpaper designs with fantastic graphic patterns that will totally wake up your space. All Mod Green Pod papers are vinyl-free and printed with non-toxic inks.
    • Topo Choco is a limited edition wallpaper from the whimsically named Allan The Gallant Studio. The seemingly random pattern is unified by the use of a single color.
    • Feather is a gorgeous graphic wallpaper that can be used in modern or traditional spaces. The peacock and its feathers have been symbols throughout the ages of everything from rebirth and renewal to royalty and incorruptibility.


    The New Botanicals

    • Fairy Flower is a soft and feminine pattern of wispy flowers floating across the wall. Perfect for kids' rooms or adult spaces, this is a soft, but never wimpy, floral design.
    • Wildflower is another example of a soft botanical style paper. These are wonderful background papers that are gentle and flowing, without the harsh rigidity of the florals of yesteryear.
    • Deerly and Coy from Palace Papers have both beautiful designs and colors in their collections of wallpapers.


    Whether you go for bold graphics, feminine florals or wild animals, today's cool wallpaper designs are nothing like your grandmother's.


    Read more about the big wallpaper comeback. If you want to try out wallpaper but you're not ready for the commitment, try removable wallpaper. Alternatively, you can just try some creative painting ideas.

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