It’s thought that wallpaper made its debut in China around 200 B.C., and that it took the form of birds, flowers and landscapes painted on rice paper. The concept migrated to Europe in the 16th century, where options soon expanded to include hand-printed block wood and stencilled versions. Flocked wallpaper, incorporating patterns from cut velvet and introduced around 1620, was a favourite of yore that’s still sought after today.
Wallpaper as we know it, with repeating designs that continue from one sheet to the next, was invented in France, as was the first machinery for printing it. Thorough the 1900s, wallpaper was the norm in most middle class homes, and wallpaper manufacturing became a lucrative business. The popularity of wallpaper since then has waxed and waned, vying for first place with painted walls (sometimes combined with borders) as the preferred method for livening up a space.
Lately, wallpaper’s been enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Sherwin-Williams alone offers more than 100,000 wallpapers and borders—every pattern, style, and colour imaginable. In addition to the more prevalent paper and vinyl wallpapers, there are also foil, mylar and bamboo options. There are even wallpapers designed to specifically mimic faux paint effects!
Durable and washable, wallpaper is preferable to paint for hiding surface imperfections. When made from paper, it’s often biodegradable and more eco-friendly than chemical-laden paint. Although it used to be ridiculously labour intensive to apply, today’s pre-glued and even “peel and stick” versions make the process a lot less stressful. On the flip side, wallpaper can be more expensive than paint, tricky to properly align and smooth out, and truly horrible to remove.
The bottom line? The right wallpaper can introduce one-of-a-kind beauty and drama into any space. If you like the idea of decorating with wallpaper but you’re not sure where to begin, LFI Design can help you narrow down your options to a manageable scope. We look forward to working with you to create a solution that will surpass your expectations.