When I mentioned to friends that I was going to be wallpapering, the reactions for the most part were of horror and amusement. Being in the design industry, I have the advantage of knowing that the wallpapers of today are a far cry from what our parents or grandparents used. Previously, wallpaper was relegated to second place for wall coverings, as the paint industry constantly strove to improve not only its products, but also its advertising. The problem with paint is that regardless of the shade or hue, it is still just paint, and can be boring. Not providing your wall(s) with any dimension or personality. However, today with the new technology “wallpaper” is no longer just paper. There is a wide range of wall coverings available so that a consumer can find exactly the type of finish, style and pattern they desire to match the décor of their home.
Here are a couple of my favorite wallpaper suppliers where you can view their wall coverings online.
I've also listed below the various types of wallcoverings available in today's market:Solid Paper - This is the most basic type of paper. It has no vinyl protection and takes a great deal of careful maintenance to keep it looking fresh and clean.
Vinyl-Coated Paper - This wall covering has a thin layer of vinyl coating. It has the look of paper which appeals to some consumers, but must be handled with care as it tends to tear. This wallcovering can withstand some light washing.
Paperbacked-Vinyl Paper - A top layer of vinyl and an undersurface of paper is how this covering is constructed. It is usually prepasted. It is washable and very often peelable. This is the paper usually preferred by buyers today.
Fabric-Backed - This wall covering has a top layer of vinyl with a fabric undercoating made of fiberglass or cheesecloth. These are more moisture and grease resistant than other types of wallcoverings. It is also sturdier and less likely to tear. These papers are heavy and usually not prepasted. When backed with cheesecloth, the covering has some texture, which makes it ideal for hiding less than perfect walls. Most of these are scrubbable and usually strippable.
Specialty Products - These run the gamut from textured, embossed, and flocked papers, to special coverings such as silk, bamboo, grasses, and Mylar. Murals and wallpaper borders also come under this category.
Handprinted Products Wallcoverings - These are hand-created to restore historical buildings, co-ordinate with special fabric, or produced by designers offering distinct patterns. They are created by the silk screen process or by inking with carved wooden blocks. These are top of the line coverings and require much care and attention to detail.
I encourage you to consider a wallcovering the next time you are looking to update your home. Even adding a treatment to one accent wall will make a huge difference!