Does the mention of wallpaper bring up squeamish memories of your dentist’s beige-on-beige office decor or perhaps it’s a reminder of Aunt Beatrice’s homage to Laura Ashley and her prized Hummel collection? Well, I’m happy to announce that wallpaper is back from the dismal years of boring and boring-with-flowers and has renewed itself as an engaging contender in the world of interior design. More than the innovative new methods to apply wallpaper, the biggest shift has been the expanded perspective of color and pattern amongst wallpaper designs. Shake off the notion of wallpaper as rolls of sparse daisies or tiresome paisley and take a look at how technology and craftsmanship has infused new life into this old world design star.
Flavor Paper started out as a small handscreened wallpaper company in Oregon and while they haven’t lost their artisan touch they have successfully integrated technology with design. Having recently moved from New Orleans to Brooklyn, Flavor Paper trumpeted their arrival in New York by creating a sprawling design studio that recently won the Best Showroom award from Interior Design Magazine.
Fishnet stockings, wild plant life and bold geometric shapes are a few of their funky patterns but if you’re looking for something a little more personal they can also transform your digital photographs or personal artwork into wallpaper.
Scratch and sniff wallpaper is one of Flavor Paper’s specialties which is created by using micro-encapsulated fragrance oils of fruit scents. Sounds questionable, I know, but kids seem to love it.
Flavor Paper is no wallflower. They have attracted some big name clients such as Nike, W Hotels, Ann Taylor and Google. One of their first clients was Lenny Kravitz who decorated his New Orleans cottage with their Highway 66 on chrome mylar paper and went on to collaborate with Flavor Paper for their Tropicalismo collection.
The Steve Madden store in Tribeca used Flavor Paper’s Power Plant in Deep Blue Sea and Rio Crocodillo in Caiman for their redesign.
Another wallpaper company with an eye for great style is the Wallpaper Collective. Found exclusively online, the Wallpaper Collective brings together over 20 wallpaper designers focused on modern, bright designs. Describing itself as sourcing ‘artisanal wallpaper done in small batch productions’, the company was created as a bridge between small studios and consumers.
Wallpaper has even made itself attractive to the renters and commitment-phobes amongst us. Tempaper has emerged with a line of wallpaper that is not only stylishly modern but “self-adhesive, re-positionable and temporary.”
When I’m not watching Bravo or Gossip Girl, I try to keep up with “Home by Novogratz” where they decorated an apartment for models with custom wallpaper created from headshots. They also kept the design cohesive by keeping the same shade of color in the different wallpaper designs.
My own home is no stranger to wallpaper. I chose a beaded wallpaper for my living room. The beads are tiny pearls of glass and the paper itself is durable yet glam gold vinyl. My guests have complimented it as one of the most luxurious aspects of the main room. It has been surprisingly durable as well, once when red wine was spilled on it (don’t ask!) it easily wiped clean.
It’s safe to say, wallpaper is back and thanks to intrepid designers and modern palettes, it may just be the new “fresh coat of paint”. Here are a few other designs I love:
Do you have a favorite wallpaper designer or studio? I want to check them out. Please share your favorites in the comments below.