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5 Modern Wallpaper Trends

Vintage style is making a comeback, and that’s especially true for wallpaper. Once considered old fashioned and relegated to historic homes, wallpaper trends have gotten a modern makeover with updated designs and an easier way to hang it.

If you’ve been considering adding wallpaper to your home, read on to learn how to find the best wallpaper, step-by-step installation instructions, and how to keep it in good condition.

Table of Contents

Wall Mural

Wall mural wallpaper

There’s no need to hire an artist to paint a scene onto your wall when you can purchase wallpaper to do it for you. From a peaceful landscape to a vintage photograph of a village scene, the possibilities are endless.

Florals

Plant design wallpaper

Flowers and plants have always been a popular choice for wallpaper, and with a modern touch, dramatic flora and fauna are a great design piece.

Art Deco

Art deco wallpaper

Add a touch of glam with Art Deco-inspired geometric design, especially with punches of gold.

Dark Colors

Dark colored wallpaper

Wallpaper doesn’t have to be light. A moody pattern or scene can add a sense of calm to a bedroom or dining room.

Grasscloth

This textured wallpaper packs a bunch with a neutral color scheme; your guests won’t be able to resist running their fingers along the walls.

Where Can I Install Wallpaper?

Wallpaper trends have something every room in the house, but the best material will change depending on the room. For example, since the kitchen is more prone to stains, a vinyl wallpaper is better suited since it’s easier to clean. Vinyl wallpaper is also a good idea for bathrooms, since there is a lot of moisture. Other wallpapers made with paper or textiles are a beautiful touch for bedrooms, living rooms, and formal living spaces.

Is Wallpaper Too Much for Small Spaces?

The design you choose is all going to depend on your design style. While a maximalist home thrives on colorful designs, a more subdued home may enjoy something muted and simple. But small spaces don’t have to be ignored. The right wallpaper can enhance a powder room, or if you want to be more conservative with design, wallpaper can be used as an accent wall.

Types of Wallpaper

Wallpaper has come a long way not just in its design, but also in its installation. Traditional wallpaper requires that an adhesive be added to the back of it in order to paste it to the wall (there is also a debate between whether to add paste to the wallpaper or directly onto the wall). This can get messy, but it ensures that the wallpaper will be strongly adhered to the wall and last for years to come.

A newer entry to wallpaper trends is the peel-and-stick variety – essentially a giant sticker. Like traditional wallpaper, it comes in rolls, but a glue is already added to the back for ease of installation. Since it’s not as sticky, or messy, as glue, if you make a mistake during installation you can easily remove it from the wall. It also can be removed down the road when you want to switch up the mood.

Finally, a smaller version of wallpaper are wall decals. This is helpful when you want to create a point of interest on a small part of the wall, perhaps over a baby crib or over a dresser, or if you want a look that doesn’t require rolls and rolls of wallpaper. Like peel-and-stick, they’re easy to install and also easy to remove.

How to Hang Wallpaper

The wall you hang wallpaper on is going to dictate the type you purchase, with more steps required with traditional wallpaper. However, these steps for preparing for the project are needed for both kinds:

  • Measure the space you are planning to cover with wallpaper to help determine the amount of wallpaper that you are going to need to purchase. It’s a good idea to purchase extra wallpaper in case of mistakes.
  • Remove outlet, lightswitch covers, and light fixtures. The wallpaper will go over the holes and be cut out— it won’t have to be perfect, because the plates will be put back on. 
  • Wipe down the walls to remove dust and dirt, and allow them to dry.

Traditional Wallpaper

  1. Make marks in the wall with pencil to help guide where the wallpaper rolls need to be applied.
  2. Apply a “wall size,” or a primer, to the walls. 
  3. Carefully roll glue onto the back of the wallpaper with a paint roller
  4. Place the wallpaper onto the wall and use a smoother to remove bubbles and stretch the paper properly. When you reach the ceiling, you’ll want to leave some excess paper and cut it later.
  5. When you add a new layer of wallpaper, overlap it slightly to make sure that the design is seamless. 
  6. Gently use a roller over the seams to smooth everything out.
  7. Use a natural sponge to run over the wallpaper when you’ve finished hanging a section to remove leftover paste.
  8. For excess paper, such as on the ceiling or over exposed light switches, use a drywall knife to keep it taut and an x-acto knife to carefully cut the excess paper.

Peel-and-Stick

  1. Make marks on the wall with pencil to help guide where the rolls of wallpaper need to be adhered.
  2. Start hanging the wallpaper from the ceiling downward, slowly removing the backing as you go down.
  3. Use a smoother to remove bubbles in the paper.
  4. If you make a mistake, slowly remove the wallpaper and start over.

How to Take Care of Wallpaper

Like painted walls, wallpaper can be easy to care for. However, how you clean it will depend on the type of wallpaper you have.

  • For washable wallpapers, use a sponge with warm water and a mild soap to clean stains. Dry with a cloth.
  • For more delicate wallpapers, use a cleaning sponge.
  • For textured wallpapers, like grasscloth, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush head.

Want to embark on even bigger remodels? Modernize can help.

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