If you haven't noticed yet, wall covering is making a comeback! There are more patterns and colors to choose from than ever for your home and for commercial spaces. Coming from the commercial design world, where walls that needed color, unique patterns, and durability required (Type 2) vinyl wall covering, it's no surprise that wall covering (or wall paper) is making its way into homes everywhere. People want the place they spend their off hours to have a customized, unique look, and wall covering is a quick and easy way to attain it.
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Wall covering has gone in and out of fashion for centuries and has seemingly been on the decline for some time in this one. I think the wall covering choices made in the 70s and 80s left homeowners miserable from trying to remove the stuck on paper. Between the scraping tools and chemical strippers, it's no wonder people said no to pretty paper for a long time. Some installations were completed in such a way that removed the paper part of the drywall beneath it leaving open areas that had to be patched with new drywall, or several layers of mud, to create an even surface for painting. Here's a quick tip: If you have wall covering that you'd like to remove, wet it down with a water-soaked sponge. After a few minutes, the water will go through the paper to the glue and it will release. Ta-da!
The number of colors and patterns available now seem almost infinite! Not only that, but wall covering is now easier to obtain and install than ever. With the click of your mouse, you can have rolls delivered right to your house. If you want a temporary look, there are several manufacturers that produce temporary papers you can apply to the wall yourself in a matter of minutes. If you're considering a more expensive paper, want one with a difficult pattern repeat, or simply don't want the experience of pasting a strip the height of your wall and then leveling it out, you should hire a paper hanger. Very good paper hangers are worth every penny.
While we're not going to cover the entire history or every type of wall covering available in this post, we did come across this cool cheat sheet full of info. Wall covering can camouflage, tell a story, enhance a style, and add color, pattern, or dimension that you're unable to achieve with paint. While original wall coverings really were hand-painted, most these days are run through machines to give color and character to the pattern you desire. If you are looking for super specialty papers that are hand-painted, options exist.
*If you look closely at this brightly colored wall, you can see it's actually a three dimensional flock applied to the wall covering, giving this organic pattern a fuzzy feel.
Thoroughly on trend, this onyx patterned wall covering includes both of the colors of the year!
Do you like the resurgence of wall covering? Have you ever used wall covering in your space? Why or why not? We'd love to hear about your experience with wall covering in the comments below!
Written by Emilie Kyle
Edited by Cassandra Reinhart