The popularity of wallpaper reached its peak in the early 19th century with the invention of machine printing. It began, as most hot new items do, as a quite luxurious product for wealthier homes, but soon became mass produced and widespread in interior décor. Classic wallpaper styles were generally elaborate and almost gaudy, like a paisley pattern that would be in your grandma’s house. Once it became commonplace in working class households, wallpaper was no longer all the rage, and its popularity began to fade along with its physical lifespan.
Applying wallpaper is difficult. Aligning patterns, wrestling with rolls of sticky paper, and pressing onto the wall without lumps is nowhere near as simple as painting a wall. Perhaps the tricky application process contributed to wallpaper’s decline in home design, or perhaps it was the out-of-date patterns that turned people off. But like most lifestyle trends, wallpaper has made a comeback with a modern twist.
Back in the day, wallpaper was used as a background to a room, whereas it is widely used as a foreground now. Bold colors and patterns can act as the focal point of a space with little need for more wall adornments. Today’s wallpaper styles are less about looking luxurious and more about working with other elements in the room. It also doesn’t have to be so bold that it takes over a room—many interiors utilize wallpaper with subtle patterns and neutral colors.
So, is wallpaper out of style? While the medium itself has re-gained popularity, the old fashioned patterns seen in many mid-19th century homes are no longer all the rage. Depending on how you use it, wallpaper can be contemporary and stylish.
Check out our work to see how we’ve used wallpaper to create beautiful spaces!