You can take the girl out of England, but you can't take England out of the girl, and I grew up with wallpaper in every house I lived in. Back in the nineties, I sold rolls of Coles, Colefax and Fowler, Designers Guild and Osborne and Little wallpapers by the bucketload because in the cooler climes of the northern hemisphere, wallpaper is almost de rigeur in houses. It adds texture and warmth, and it's for that very reason that we tend to use it more sparingly over here in Australia, particularly in the beach suburbs. But that's not to say that it can't be used successfully on a feature wall.
Over the past few years we've definitely seen a more
adventurous, eclectic approach to interior decoration with the hark back to mid-century modern and Scandinavian styling. We are seeing a new bravery in mixing styles and periods of design, and what better way to infuse personality into your home than with a beautifully designed or textural wallpaper?
Wallpaper makes a statement, which is why we're seeing it more often on shows such as The Block and in the interior design of hotels and modern bars. And for a country that is known for its open plan, neutral rooms that tend to rely on landscape for colour, I love seeing it used as a quirky addition to lift a room, even if in terms of property styling to sell, I would advise against it. If the wallpaper is already on the walls and fits into the scheme of the rest of the house, however, I think it can be an interesting sign of style and elegance that is easily changed if the new owners don't like it.
But wallpapering does come with a price tag, and it's not only the cost of the wallpaper you have to consider; there's the cost of the labour as well. Added to which, wallpaper prices do vary enormously, so be careful when you're working out the meterage required.
So how do you choose between the richly textured papers in silk, hemp or other weaves, patterned metallics, flocked wallpapers, Anaglypta, stripes, florals, Trompe L'oeil or tropical designs? And how do you know which will work in your room?
There are a few rules to adhere to - vertical stripes make ceilings look taller, while horizontal stripes have the adverse effect, yet can make the room feel bigger, and large patterns and darker shades make a room look smaller - but ultimately, think of it like art. While your choice may be dictated by the style of your home, it may also simply be about which design speaks to you or achieves the effect you desire.
You can buy most international wallpapers in Australia as well as Australian papers such as the Florence Broadhurst designs, Ingrid and Mika, and Luxe Walls - as mentioned in this post by Interiors Addict, 'Our Top Names In Australian Wallpaper'. In terms of local stockists to the Northern Beaches, Vision Wallcoverings are in Warriewood and Porter's Paints in Collaroy also has a good range. Wallpaper Shop has a huge library of papers to choose from online and they deliver in Australia and to New Zealand. Otherwise, head towards Alexandria.
Images: Feature from Pinterest, original source http://www.bocadolobo.com/en/inspiration-and-ideas/. 1. Fingers| Sea Florence Broadhurst from Wallpaper Shop 2. Coastal Chic| Papers and Ink Wallpapers from Wallpaper Shop 3. Grasscloth| Vision Wallpaper from Wallpaper Shop and 4. Reclaimed| Vision Wallpaper from Wallpaper Shop and 5. Oxford | Vision Wallcoverings