Wallpaper has been around for centuries and first gained popularity during the Renaissance Period when the less well-off hung it on their walls as a substitute for tapestries.  Tapestries were used to add colour and provide an insulating layer between stone walls and the room but were very expensive or difficult to obtain because of war.  Early wallpaper was highly decorative and featured scenes similar to those depicted on tapestries.  It was often hung in the same way as a tapestry, as a large loose sheet, or sometimes pasted as today.

Types of Wallpaper Coverings

Today we have an abundance of different materials, colours and prints to choose from including pre-pasted, self-adhesive and the standard non-pasted wallpaper.  If you can’t decide which wallpaper to choose, one thing to keep in mind is the possibility of removing your wallpaper.  Most pre-pasted and self-adhesive wallpaper is either strippable or peelable, whilst non-pasted wallpaper is the most difficult to remove.

The terminology:

Embossed  Textured paper that can be painted.

Fabric Textile based wallpaper.

Flocks Patters with velvet-like raised designs either on paper or vinyl.

Foils Usually a metallic looking wallpaper.

Grass Cloth woven from long strands of grass.

Vinyl Most stock wallpaper is vinyl.

How to Use Wallpaper

  1. If you want to experiment with bold designs on all four walls, it is generally best to keep everything else in the room understated.
  2. Wallpaper looks stunning as a feature wall and can really anchor furniture, such as a bed, when it is used behind. To bring the whole room together, apply a base colour from your feature wallpaper to the other three walls.
  3. Texture is everywhere and the trend has followed through to wallpaper with suedes and velvets making a big come back.
  4. Metallic paper has become very popular again. Keep a look out for copper or rose gold finishes to create a very sophisticated sleek interior.
  5. Wallpaper in bathrooms is increasing in popularity, but make sure it is kept away from the wettest areas and use a quality paste/paper. Apply as a panel for a real designer look.
  6. If the walls are uneven, wallpaper can be used as an attractive concealment.
  7. Line cabinets and contemporary shelving with wallpaper. You can create many different styles and looks depending on the paper you choose.
  8. Frame a decorative paper and hand it on your wall as an interesting feature, perhaps above your bed.

Free tickets to Love Your Home Show Belfast

Get FREE tickets to the new Love Your Home Show, Belfast. The Love Your Home Show 2018, created for home lovers will take place in the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast 12th-14th October 2018.



Rachel takes inspiration from her local surroundings as well as being influenced by her travels in South America. She trained as a graphic designer...


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