By Nina J P Evans

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Statement wallpapers

Wallpaper seems to be fashionable again in the world of interior decoration with boldness, simplicity and contrasting designs on statement walls. It’s time to consider the most popular designs of 2016, as many other designs could be inspired by these current trends. Using Google images as a reference I’ve been able to make a better judgment call. Some of the designs feel slightly alien to me as wallpapers, whilst others look rather nice only as swatch designs. In the end, only two out of the ten made the cut, two others inspired potential DIY projects, below is a little reasoning sometimes very limited to explain my decision process.
Jungle lé2, €75 (£60) a roll,

Well this is something … and it’s not at all apparent what exactly until seen on a feature wall (URL above), the eyes feel completely lost in that swatch, but there’s no doubt that this is a beautifully illustrated design and a lovely way of bringing the exotic outdoors into a modern city living space. The design online is featured in a Parisian furniture boutique. I wonder if the repeat would be too contrived for this subject matter used in a large area? I rather like the inky blue colour choice it’s a good contrast from its inspired natural origins, the outline graphic style creates a sense of freshness and sophistication.
wood plank stripe, £12 a roll, 

Can you believe this design is the Editors pick … It is awful! So much better to reclaim old wood from a skip and apply fresh paint colour, probably as cheap to install without the cost of it looking so.
One Day, £55 a roll,

The title of the design is difficult to disassociate from the film: One Day, set in 1988. It was lost on Google images, although a worthy Editors pick. I like the colours of this design and the appealing motifs, but as for being inspired by kitchen sink dramas of the 1950s and 1960s well … (URL above) There’s no impression of bleakness or emotional struggle, with motifs of steaming kettles or a chair askew. Everything is precision perfect. Perhaps a new title is needed, a street name? The piece does contain many visual references to the 1950s and 1960s. The window frame design is a nice concept and I do like the way that the motorbike, pram and rounded window have added a lovely sense of interest to the negative positive space.
Lempicka, £64 a roll,

The name of this design is associated with the artist Tamara de Lempicka. The rich red and gold design perhaps does give off an air of modernity. I would have preferred something a little more sensual and dynamically composed as the repetition of these cylindrical motifs is a little hard to take.
Marvel Superheroes, £8 a roll,

The vintage comic book covers attempt to come to life, an offset design with images from Thor, Spiderman and the X-men with dynamic action styling and mainly bold primary colours. I noted that this is a popular choice online with other comic formats. I’d prefer a more cut and paste DIY approach, but I like the idea of a story being unfolded large scale! The comic book covers in this design, however, are less impact because they don’t reveal the stories.
Entering The Hammam, £50 a roll,

I thought it was interesting that the repeat design was formatted in offset squares as the swatch looked randomly composed. The design is a little overpowering as a wallpaper, though I like that that design has some geometric shaping to its layout, the cast iron blackness of the keys feel a little cold as an interior design choice.
Flamingo, £12 a roll,

How can flamingos and palm trees be pasted onto a battleship grey background? It feels very alienating. Undoubtedly the subject matter does seem to be a popular interior choice for 2016, but where's the magic the whimsy the love in this design? … a missed opportunity for sure.
Hydrangea, £20 a roll,

Not as popular on Google as I thought it would be, behind bookcases yes on walls it doesn’t compare to the original 1980s Laura Ashley designs. That’s if you like floral.
April Showers, £28 a roll,

I think it looks sad, perhaps I am slightly influenced by having recently read the biography of Judy Garland and I love Judy, but this a no.
Bumblebee, £86 a roll,

My goodness, I didn’t see that coming at £86 a roll, and the most popular of the ten designs on Google images! It does come in an array of colours and often the bumblebee motifs are gold foiled quite rightly at that price! I have to say I love the design! It is simply elegant and there’s a perfectly balanced contrast between the motif and the background.

To conclude even though there are only ten designs it feels like a hard choice to make, if the price was no object as I am judging these only from a design perspective, I would have either the Jungle or Bumblebee as my Editors pick. Both these designs exceeded my expectations and surprised me — after all the home is where the heart is.
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