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Wallpaper trends 2013
Regalis 7822

Wallpaper trends for 2013

New wallcovering collections viewed at this years Heimtex were, once again, dominated by design, with feature walls very much in mind.

Visually, there was such an eclectic mix, it became necessary to break the picture down in order to make sense of it.

Product wise there was a lot of blown vinyl collections coming from the European manufacturers such as seen in A+S’s Schoner Wohnen, BN’s Brocante Grandeco’s Saphyr 2, P+S and Rasch, the majority of it being on paste the wall base.

The Italian Mills have the reputation for producing sumptuous heavyweight vinyl collections, many of them majoring in the classic traditional style. Most are produced with in line register print emboss technique that gives a very sophisticated, expensive look to the product. Collections such as Regent by Zambiatti are good examples of this trend.

In the same vein but lighter in weight, are the silk classics such as Satin Rose and Chateau and Vision's Satin and Silks.

Looking now more analytically at the design trends, they are as follows…

Natural stone, brick and wood
A contemporary trend in texture is to be seen in the Murano collection by A+S.

Launched in 2011 this collection displays a more industrialized cement slab effects, natural stone walls and realistic wood grains. The manufacturing techniques that now produce these designs lift them above the kitsch looks of the bricks and ivy and wood grains of the seventies. They display realism in the finished product that looks almost 3D in some of the designs.

At Heimtex, this trend had obviously grown in popular appeal as many more mills were creating ranges on this trend. Look to “Elements” from B+N as a good example of this.

A natural realism and 3D effect stone wall wallpaper

Stripes were seen in a lot of collections. Primarily acting as a coordinating design, they can, if bold enough, be a feature design in their own right.

They range in scale from narrow small scale pin stripe/chalk stripe effects to bold large scale multi colour pyjama stripes.

They are versatile enough to be used in classic traditional styles such as Regent or in contemporary geometric collections such as Frequency.

3D realism
This trend was seen in a number of collections across differing design styles. They are created in many cases by clever use of print cylinders that create a drop shadow which makes the flat design appear to float. This is seen to good effect in A+S Flock 3. In Murano there are stone wall looks that look very real.

Caravaggio has a very effective satin drape design that looks stunning in the red and black colourways . Also in this collection is a clever crushed paper design that appears to come out of the wall when viewed from a few feet away.

caravaggio satin Drape 3D wallpaper
Caravaggio 46833

A new collection from Rasch Glamour has an eye catching drape effect that is made with register emboss that really gives a 3D look on the wall.

Overall this trend certainly has eye catching interest and gives new definition to the term “Feature wall”

The damask is alive and well and living in quite a number of collections; it’s the “classic” wallpaper design. For its most sophisticated version look to the Italian Regent designs while the simpler screen designs are to be seen in Brocante (B+N), Flock 3 (A+S) and a new Vision collection Diva launched late 2012.

Diva 2561
Diva Damask

This is a trend that appeared a couple of years ago and now appears to be growing in popularity. It's an effect that appears across many differing design trends. Usually it's mixed in with the ink and when applied as a print, it creates a sparkle look to the design. When applied as a base ground, it lifts the look even more.

To be seen to great effect in Rasch’s Glamour it is also to be seen already in the market in collections such as Saphyr 2 and Vymura’s Masquerade.

Linear geometrics
This trend shows through in a number of collections and is identified by abundant flowing line work in the design with some having a definite spirograph appearance. It could be an echo of, or reaction to, the IT environment we now live in; however, there is certainly a complementary feel to the look.

Look for it in Caravaggio, Flock 3 and Frequency.

Caravaggio 46602
Caravaggio 46602
Flock 3 linear geometric wallpaper
Flock 3 2562-49

Presently, there are a number of floral designs that have a very simplified translation, emphasizing more of a silhouette image to the flower. This combined with flowing lines as floral stems adds an attractive symmetry to the design and works well translated in blown vinyl as can be seen in Resene Habitat 47538. More of this style can be seen in Vision’s Diva and Aurora.

Looking further ahead, florals appear to be trending to a more detailed, almost photographic imagery.

Resene Habitat 47533 floral wallpaper
Resene Habitat 47538

The original feature wall. For the last couple of years there has been a growth in city scape designs.

First seen in Grandeco’s Metropolis, there is also more to be seen in A+S Boys and Girls collection. The New York skyline tends to be a favourite theme, with designs seen in both Rasch and A+S collections, plus the ultimate NYC photographic look in Komar’s mural prints.

Collages of advertisements from old newspapers are to be seen in the Black and White collection from late 2012. Also to be seen in B+N’s Elements is an old newsprint type design.

I have also seen a trend for collages of old fashioned tourist post cards showing both sides of the card, introducing the calligraphic element of the written address along with the franked stamps. These styles were the original novelty wallpapers seen a lot in the seventies, aimed mainly for the US market, where they were popular, the style could be called retro but, because of the subject matter, is more nostalgic.

Elements old newsprint type wallpaper design.
Elements 46562

Animal skin
As a major trend, this has now passed. Nevertheless , the look is still appearing as the texture element in a number of collections. Rasch’s new African Queen, the sequel to “Out of Africa” was the only collection devoted to the theme. It is a remarkable book with animal skin simulated designs that are very clever in interpretation. This was launched onto the NZ market late in 2012.

Schoner Wohnen 2 1508-13
African Queen 423013

Toile de jouy
These are designs depicting scenes from 18th century rural settings. They keep popping up here and there, mainly for a US market, mainly on textile, but, London design week just gone had quite a few examples of this look. It echoes of old rural cottages and nostalgia, so, it may be time to put the Spodeware back on the table, dig out the old horse brasses and start polishing them up. The Black and White collection from late 2012 has a small scale version of this trend.

Toile de jouy designs depicting scenes from 18th century rural settings
Black and White CH22508

In summary:
Because of the trend for feature walls, wallcovering design now offers a wide versatility of looks, more so now than in the last few years. It’s really quite exciting from a design perspective. Apart from the more commercial trend pointers that we get from shows such as Heimtex, there are also the boutique design websites to visit where one can get digitally printed anything from the truly weird to the aesthetically wonderful, special design, for that special wall, for a special price, in your house, flat or apartment.

Thanks to Dave Abbots


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