Making Peace with Wallpaper

It’s Not the Hassle It Used to Be



Courtesy Hygge & West

Today’s wallpapers offer new and inviting patterns and hanging the stuff doesn’t test the mettle of marriages and friendships like it used to.  

To some, wallpaper may seem like an artifact of bygone days, recalling either the Victorian era of repeating roses and fleurs-de-lis or a monstrous 1970s psychedelic orange-and-green pattern. Wallpaper’s checkered past notwithstanding, savvy interior decorators are bringing it back with a millennial twist.

Christiana Coop, co-founder of the wallpaper company, Hygge & West, says her company’s hand-screened creations are crafted with a purpose. “We focus on patterns that resonate with people in a very personal way. They’re happy feeling. That’s our guiding principle.”

In an effort to distance themselves from the psychedelic ’70s, wallpaper designers have swung hard the opposite way, moving toward minimalist designs. Some contemporary designs are nonetheless bright, merging vintage brights with modern textures.

Meanwhile, the ways in which wallpaper is applied are expanding.

“People seem to be using it more on four walls than on just accent walls,” Coop says. “We’ve seen wallpaper go on ceilings. Because it’s reflecting people’s personalities, there are just so many patterns available.”

Those who have worked with wallpaper in previous decades might have abandoned it as a design option because of the difficulty of getting it onto a wall. The industry has alleviated most of these issues.

“Unless you really end up cutting it wrong, there’s lots of really easy ways to fix things,” Coop says, adding that Hygge & West has videos on its website detailing step-by-step instructions for wallpaper application. “People are frightened because they’ve had a really bad experience removing old wallpaper, but I put it up and remove it all the time and it’s not like it used to be.”

If you’re considering wallpaper for your space, be aware that it will take some time: three to four hours are required to fully paper an 8 x 10 accent wall. The pattern on the paper should correspond to the size of the wall: small wall, small repeating feature. Beyond that, everything depends on the vibe you want for your room. Coop recommends darker colors for a cozy feel and wide, linear patterns for a feeling of extra space.

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