Ways with Wallpaper

Copacabana gold by Arthouse
Copacabana gold by Arthouse
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The wallpaper renaissance has brought anbundant choice. Sharon Dale reports.

In the stark, ultra minimalist period not so long ago, wallpaper was cast into the style wilderness, along with carpets and colour.Now paper is strutting its stuff after making a welcome comeback.

Sirius by Arthouse in panels

Sirius by Arthouse in panels

The most popular way to use it is on one wall, the so-called feature wall. One interior designer recently told me that this trend was “over” but I think not.

It works well and allows you to go wild with colourful, heavily patterned, in-your-face paper that would send you mad if you covered the entire room with it.

You can calm the effect of one stand-out wall by using paint on the other walls, thereby creating the perfect balance.

However, Melanie Adams, founder and buyer at Wallpaper Direct, says: “Coupling paint with a wallpaper design is always daunting.”

Her advice is to request a sample of paper and buy some tester pots before you commit to a full scheme. She also suggests matching the paint to the most muted shade in your paper.

There are other clever ways to use paper as a focal point. Framing it works well, especially if you have a series of three or four “pictures” on one wall. It’s also an inexpensive option if you DIY. You can find bargain frames at Ikea and Wilko.

Some of them look cheap, in which case you can disguise the plastic by painting them with Annie Sloan chalk paint or a lick of Farrow and Ball. You can pick up gilt frames in charity shops for next-to-nothing.

The Sirius paper, pictured above, has been cleverly placed in panels. This effect is easily replicated by using decorative mouldings, available from DIY stores.

The great benefit of framing is that you only need one roll. If you are on a budget, this allows you to splash out on something really special. Cole and Son and Nina Campbell have a great selection starting from £60. You can find these along with 12,000 other designs at wallpaperdirect.com

Timorous Beasties, timorousbeasties.com offer something different, including their London toilet paper at £90 a roll. Check out stjudes.co.uk to find paper by artists, including Yorkshire’s own Mark Hearld. His new Squirrel and Sunflower is £60 a roll. Other Yorkshire artists with their own wallpaper ranges include hannahnunn.co.uk and clairemurraydesign.co.uk

Pineapples are having a moment but this Copacabana paper from Arthouse, pictured, should stand the test of time. It is glamorous rather than tacky thanks to the neutral background and gilded fruit. In has been toned down with a matching pineapple print in monochrome. Always remember that you can have too much bling.

* Unless you are an expert with paste and paper, it pays to get get the professionals in to wallpaper.

If you are wavering, then do a simple cost benefit analyis. Divide the price of a specialist decorator between the number of days you are likely to have the paper in your room. The initial outlay will be well worth it.

Anyone who has tried and made the usual mistakes will tell you that the creases, the mis-matched patterns and the smears are a continual source of annoyance.