Interiors

Off the Wall Wallpaper Ideas The Grand Cover Up

A loose arrangement of textures, patterns and colours bring wall coverings out of the decorating wilderness into modern urban chic. Take inspiration from fashion’s new love affair with texture, and layer your walls with different colours and designs. The latest secret is to mix

No longer thought of as old fashioned, wallpaper is making a comeback. Modern, contemporary papers lend vitality and boldness to any design and give a new respect to a material that has not always been held in the highest esteem. Far less anonymous than paint or plaster, wallpaper is a popular choice for decorating walls, offering plenty of character and style. There is a massive array of wallpaper available in every kind of finish from grass cloth to silk, from imitation paint effects to foil finish papers.

Wallpaper is a great way of introducing colour into a room. Colour affects the general atmosphere of a space and so will influence how the energy behaves within it. For instance, green wall coverings can help to soothe the spirit and calm the nerves, and these papers are particularly good in rooms located in the East or South-east of your home.

On the other hand if your mind needs stimulating (for example in a study) then red, the most auspicious colour of all, makes a great choice for a wallpaper. However, like its Element Fire, red is very powerful and should only be used sparingly, as an accent.

Lanehurst stripe (51/5009/PR) by Cole & Son, with thrown porcelain vase with side spout and ivory crackle glaze by Vivienne Foley,

Disguise Those Defects

With the enormous selection of designs available today many wonderful effects can be produced. Cracked walls and clumsy proportions can be disguised with ease, and the eye can easily be drawn away from ugly or immovable features. One of the reasons wallpaper is seeing such a revival is because it is easier to hang than ever before. It can be applied to a greater number of surfaces not least because of the ready-pasted varieties.

Hiyoku silver wallpaper (P244/04) by Designers Guild, with tall lava vase, from Nicole Farhi Home.

Wallpaper is a great ally when you want to play optical tricks with a space as it can literally make a room look larger or smaller. Dark colours and heavy patterns will generally make a room seem smaller, while paler hues and looser patterns will make a room seem larger. When selecting patterned wall coverings for your room, first consider whether you want to maintain, enhance
or calm the ch’i energy there.

Elementary Patterns

The basic pattern groups may be linked with the Five Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood). For example, star shapes are linked to Fire, round patterns to Metal, vertical stripes to Wood, checks to Earth and irregular patterns with Water.

Hence, different patterns will effect ch’i in different ways according to the location of the room.
In general rooms that are used a lot prefer plainer papers, because heavy papers can be wearing on the eye and are therefore more tiring to live with. Papers with understated subtle textures create a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Such irregular textural effects as sponging, colour-washing, and rag rolling (being associated with the Water Element), help create a more tranquil environment. The use of creams, blues and greens would accentuate this.

Natural fibres, such as woven raffia and dried grasses, have a powerful understated beauty, their simplicity appealing to the eye. They are perfect to hang in a bedroom with their biscuit cream and off-white hues as they help create peace and tranquillity. Wooden veneers are stunningly modern, silk wall coverings are incredibly luxurious and metallic surface papers can be used to brighten a room and create a sense of space in narrow areas such as hallways. Metallic papers however should be restricted to the appropriate Metal sectors of the West and North-west and should be avoided in the Wood sectors of East and South-east. Wallpapers also work well in combination with one another. Using one paper under a dado with a different design above, or using contrasting patterns in a room gives you a real feeling of dimension.

There is no need to limit yourself, in fact the possibilities are endless. From the luxury of silk to the rough appeal of hessian the effects are as varied as the materials. Some of these papers can be expensive, and others can be tricky to apply, but the strikingly unusual effects they create make it all worthwhile.

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