Five emerging wallpaper trends

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Designer Dennis McAvena suggested this wallcovering by Manuel Canovas for a German Village powder room.

A once popular style trend is now resurfacing in the interior design world: wallpaper. But rethink what you recall from your parents' dining room. Today's wallcoverings have a contemporary flair.

Local interior designer Colleen Lora shared five emerging wallpaper trends. The first is "recreating elements from the natural world," says Lora. Wallpapers that look like wood, marble, rock, cork and logs are gaining popularity.

The second trend is retro. Think Mad Men. Lora is seeing "bold, geometric patterns that are mid-century modern" in this category. Local designers, Tamara Amstutz-Roop and Rhonda Mathews of Darrons Contemporary Furniture, also reference this influx of modern patterns. These prints originated in the late 1950s and 1960s when geometric patterns and bold colors were initially popular.

The third trend, and Lora's personal favorite, is what she calls "the amazing imitators." This includes coverings that resemble stitched leather, silver alligator hide, industrial metal and faux exposed brick. Dennis McAvena, a longtime Columbus designer now based in Brooklyn, describes wallpaper that fits well into this trend. He recalls a denim material in which nail head studs create a crisscross pattern across the wall. "These types of wallcoverings make you want to reach out and touch them," explains Lora.

Her fourth category is metallic influence, which includes subtle rose, gold linen and gold overlays. The fifth and final trend on Lora's list is soft pastels, with names such as "rose quartz" and "serenity" that "are sweet pastels that are great for a nursery or a bathroom," she adds.

Local designers suggest using wallpaper in powder rooms, craft rooms, laundry rooms or even as an accent wall in a bedroom. In Lora's own home, she added wallpaper to a bathroom to tie together her home's whole color scheme.

McAvena says that wallpaper has never completely disappeared, but its use, patterning and materials have evolved over the years. They are currently quite popular on the East Coast and are making their way to the Midwest. And, he says, Midwest clients are more traditional when it comes to wallpapering. For example, he sees a preference for "modern and contemporary furnishings paired with more traditional wallcoverings."

He mentioned a particularly unique wallcovering that he installed into a powder room in a Columbus home. The paper is a print of an antique apothecary with shelving. He suggests that clients try a theatrical print in a smaller bathroom or even a dining room as a statement. Some wallcoverings even work well on ceilings. McAvena said that his current favorite wallcoverings are manufactured by Phillip Jeffries, Maya Romanoff and Colefax Fowler.