Floral wallpaper, Striped Wallpaper, Damask wallpaper, brick wallpaper, where does one start when trying to explain the various design style's that make up the vast product offer available to us today?
I'm not sure exactly but a start point I think is to point out the various styles maybe a bit of history here and there, some information on the history of the design style's and maybe the physical difference's and property's between some of the types of wallcovering product available on our site, how the design's work within a room and more importantly how to best utilise them in your space! and maybe finish with some discussion on the fine art of actually hanging wallpaper, this article is a work in progress, so bits will be added at the very least weekly, enjoy!...
Floral's are probably the most universally popular subject of all wallpaper motif's.
Flower's are probably the most benign things one could think of in terms of wallcoverings but they are also a great vehicle for pattern and print and come in a myriad of styles, colour and size's which makes them an ideal subject for wallpaper and general textile design.Small sprig strewn designs inspired by printed cottons and muslins were the first floral motif's to be translated onto wallpaper. Radical wallpaper design's they were not! and cutting edge designers throughout the ages have largely spurned these pretty simplistic wallpaper's.
Technically small floral wallpaper repeat's were the most straightforward type of pattern to print, both with wooden blocks and early wallpaper manufacturing machines. However small sprigged floral style wallpaper's did have their moments and were very popular in regency Britain combining them with vertical striped wallpaper for a cooler more graphic take on the floral look. In the mid nineteenth century style conscious bedrooms throughout europe were all sporting small scale floral wallpaper's!
The 1970's were a boom time for floral wallpaper, Laura Ashley launched its first collection of country cottage inspired small scale floral's at this time and this collection quickly became the best selling wallpaper design collection.
Floral wallpaper emerged as the country's favourite style of wallpaper as early as 1780. Designs ranged from naturalistic floral's to to highly stylised floral wallpaper. These design's were used in the main for decorative border's and framed floral panels and as full roll's of wallpaper intended for use on all four walls of a room.
Roses were the most popular floral motif used around this time, mainly due to their appealing round shape, they were always depicted in full bloom on wallpaper and decorative products. This wallpaper was alway's top quality, hand block printed with meticulous attention to detail which added to the realistic floral effect.
This style of floral wallpaper was extremely popular among the emerging bourgeoisie in France, and the floral influenced wallpaper fashion swept across middle class europe at this time, this wallpaper fashion was only to be challenged in Britain in the 1860's by the more graphically oriented floral design reformer's such as Owen Jones and the simple is best approach to floral's, Art's and craft designer William Morris, who worked on all manner of products including ceramics, textiles and of course wallpaper.
The twentieth century was harder on floral wallpaper. The modern movement derided floral's in any form and the 1950's and 60's were dominated by abstract graphic wallpaper rather than the floral style. However as the twenty first century dawned big statement floral wallpaper designs were making a big comeback and they look set to stay!
Floral wallpaper is beginning to look a lot less feminine and more archtectural floral related motifs are being used in wallpaper design, including leave's, fronds and allium head's. This more monochrome take on flowery wallpaper maybe a new departure but its root's lie in our century's old love of all things floral.
Stripe wallpaper designs have a remarkable versatility and can add a sophisticated elegance to a myriad of room settings.
The effect in a room of stripey wallpaper can vary considerably depending on whether the stripe is presented as a close arrangement of matt and shiny textures in the same colour, a muted wallpaper stripe in subtle colours or a very broad vertical band striped wallpaper in strong contrasting colours.
The width and the colour of the stripe very much impact on the effect of the wallpaper design on the wall. Narrow striped wallpaper will appear to blend into one another from a distance and appear more like a textured wall covering. broad vertical stripey designs can have a very strong bold visual effect. A bold stripe could fill pretty much the entire width of the wallpaper save for a thin stripe down one edge. Viewed as a sample it will hardly even look striped, but when hung on the wall will look like a big scale statement wallpaper.
The decorative effect of a striped wallpaper and it's design becomes apparent more by the arrangement of colours than in the arrangement or width of the stripe's. A pale colour wallpaper looks good alternating with a clean white stripe and imparts a fresh easy living yet formal wallpaper style, which can compliment light wood or painted furniture. By contrast strong deep coloured striped designs will provide a wonderful wallpaper backdrop for mahogany and oak furniture. A closely toned stripey effect provides an excellent wallpaper platform for picture's and furniture, where as a strongly contrasting stripe wallpaper may detract one's attention from the furniture and feature's within a room.
Striped wallpaper has the distinct advantage of being reasonably timeless in design (assuming non garish muted tones are selected!) Nor do striped wallpaper's impose a design style on a room, moreover a quality well picked stripe will only enhance and co-ordinate with a rooms feature's if the background wallpaper is selected to co-ordinate correctly of course!
Turning a stripey wallpaper ninety degrees to create a horizontal stripe immediately gives it a more contemporary exciting feel. It is also not as difficult as one would think hanging wallpaper in this manner, although the lengths are usually a bit longer! so it can be a good idea to get another person to help. Broad striped wallpaper seems to work better when hung horizontally than narrow stripe's, which don't really work very well in this manner and we wouldn't really advise you hang bar code type wallpaper this way. In fact we would only advise that broad striped wallpaper be hung in this manner, the wider the stripe the better. Another technique which can work to great effect is to hang two different colour ways of the same stripe horizontally on the wall, with one wallpaper directly above the other, if you do try this be very careful with your colour choice, try not to pick two stripe's which have too much contrast always try and pick two wallpaper's with similar tones.
Faux brick effect wallpaper comes in many different product styles and colourways to suit most walls.It looks very effective! some brick wallpaper products are that realistic you would think you were actually looking at a real brick wall, not a brick effect wallpaper wall!
There are a number of styles of brick effect wallpaper product to be considered. the first brick effect style worth a big mention is expanded blown vinyl brick wallpaper this is a 3d textured effect wallpaper which stands off the wall as per real brick, if your walls aren't perfect this type of wallpaper is ideal for covering the minor lumps and bumps you might have on your walls, this type of brick wallpaper naturally disguise's these imperfections extremely well.
The other type of brick effect wallpaper product to consider is flat vinyl, paper backed wallpaper.
This wallpaper has a better surface for printing photo realistic brick onto, this brick effect wallpaper product can look extraordinarily realistic when applied to the wall!Please click on the link to the Lowry red brick effect wallpaper below to view this product in more detail.
It is also very much worth mentioning paintable blown vinyl brick effect wallpaper, this product is brilliant! Not only does it cover up minor imperfections you may have on your walls but you can paint the brick wallpaper any colour you like! matt black brick looks incredible!
Other takes on brick effect wallpaper include slate and stone faux effect wallpaper, again these products tend to be blown vinyl product,and in the instance of the slate brick effect wallpaper even splash proof! Thus allowing the decoration of bathrooms and kitchens with brick effect wallpaper.