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PICS: Writing on the wall for wallpaper trends

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From ultra-stylish prints to 3D designs, wallpaper is no longer what your granny would have used in her living room, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

Tacky, kitsch and gaudy – this is how wallpaper was described back in the 70s. Now, thanks to design bloggers, Instagram and home decor TV shows, it's experiencing a resurgence and homeowners are absolutely going crazy.

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Skinny Laminx BowlsHertex Exotic Bloom room set. Pictures: SuppliedHertexSkinny Laminx Wild-Flowers

From ultra-stylish prints to 3D designs, wallpaper is no longer what your granny would have used in her living room. Designs are oversized and whimsical. Colours are more vivid and fabrics more textured.

Swedish wallpaper company Rebel Walls has latched onto the tropical craze with the launch of trend based wallpaper collections – each of them with a distinct theme sourced from contemporary interior styles.

"Thanks to our digital printing technique and proximity to production, our design studio can design a wallpaper pattern and within a short time frame have it printed and delivered to customers" says company creative director Irene Gimmersta.

Tropical Oasis, the first of four annual collections launched online, includes eight wall murals that can be matched to create a calm room setting. The collection was inspired by the purity and simplicity of the secluded getaways of the tropics and the elegance of nature.

Wallcoverings offer a personal touch and is the fastest way to transform a room. Yes, it's a big risk, but if done right, it pays off. And, thanks to the latest technology and adhesive formulas, it's easy to remove.

The Skinny laMinx collection for Robin Sprong Wallpaper has recently started using a pre-gummed formula that is PVC free, 100% recyclable, and is printed with non-toxic latex inks.

"Wallpaper has been on our to-do list for ages and in fact, some of the Skinny laMinx designs started out as hand-cut wall stickers before ever appearing on fabrics," says Skinny laMinx owner Heather Moore.

The company then joined forces with Robin Sprong Wallpaper, which specialise in high quality made-to-order wall coverings, and selected some of the Skinny laMinx prints they thought would work best on wallpaper, including Orla, Duikers, Brancusi Stripe, Wild Flowers, Bowls, Woodpile and Flower Fields.

Current local trends are showing a move towards calming, soft tones. Like Rebel Wall's Tropical Oasis collection, Skinny laMinx also found inspiration in nature and the outdoors. After a visit to Tokyo, Heather launched the Paradise Is Here collection.

Rebel Walls Tropical Oasis

"It’s a reminder to all of us urban dwellers: The next time you’re feeling frazzled by the city, look around you for a plant. And for that moment, enjoy the gift of feeling paradise right there with you," Heather notes on the Skinny laMinx blog.

Decor specialist Hertex's Cape To Casablanca wallpaper collection is a striking array of designs, featuring painterly prints, palm trees and Moroccan-goes-modern tile patterns. Colours range from vibrant green, orange and pink to more subdued neutrals with metallic embellishments.

Wallpaper can be overwhelming, especially for a newbie. Design experts suggest practising restraint. Use it sparingly by starting off with doing an accent wall – create a showpiece that sets the decor tone for the rest of the room.

Hertex's Catherine Zachariou has a few suggestions for first-timers.

Get a sample if possible and stick it to the wall you plan to wallpaper. Live with it for a few days to see if you like it.

Keep in mind the size of the room you'd like to put the wallpaper in. As a rule of thumb: large, oversized motifs can make a room seem smaller, the same applies to dark colours.

Ensure you get a professional wallpaper hanger in to apply your wallpaper. This will save you a lot of time and money.

More info:

  • Skinny laMinx for Robin Sprong wallpapers are printed to order, to any size specifications, and are priced at R450 per square metre. Visit http://www.robinsprong.com/ for more information.
  • Rebel Walls: http://rebelwalls.com/
  • Hertex: http://www.hertex.co.za/

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