Wallpaper trends are going to be huge in 2024. In every area of design - even minimalism - we're seeing pattern and texture creep in. It makes homes more homely, rooms more cozy, and life generally happier. So expect to see a lot of wallpaper for the next 12 months.
Wallpapers have seen a huge shift in designs, styles, applications, and even functionality in the past few years. These are no longer just used for feature walls or to hide an unsightly vertical space. From textured varieties, 3-D designs, and maximalist styles to kaleidoscopic colors and larger-than-life prints, their stature and importance as an interior design trend has grown.
If you are mesmerized by the power of wallpapers, then you're in the right place. We spoke to interior designers and brands to understand what's next with this clever wall covering.
15 wallpaper trends for 2024
'First of all, it’s important to understand that wallpaper trends move very slowly,' says Ross Taylor, co-founder of The Curious Department. 'This isn’t fast fashion; here today, gone tomorrow. This is mainly because of the commitment it takes to cover your walls in a print designed to last for years.'
'Take, for instance, the jungle print theme that has been running for years, and hit its absolute peak during the lockdown, where people realized they couldn’t spend much time outside and so decided to bring the outdoors in,' Ross explains, 'but the jungle trend hasn’t gone anywhere; it’s still very popular and will be for years to come.'
'Although the trends are slow burning, they always have a starting point,' he adds. 'Sometimes that’s culture or an external factor like the pandemic.'
1. Soft stripes
Striped wallpaper? Not exactly groundbreaking. But it’s the type of stripes that Los Angeles-based designer Peter Dunham says are making waves: notably softer patterns, less ruler-straight than traditional designs. “Stripes are always in style, but the latest trend is in colorful, enveloping stripes that are inspired by handwoven vintage textiles, versus more graphic and preppy versions,” says Peter, who designed the playful wallcovering above.
Think milky lines that look expertly painted with a shaky hand, like this Painterly Stripe Wallpaper by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Lulu & Georgia, or these stitched lines up and down St. Frank’s Candy Stripe Frazada Wallpaper. But be careful not to go overboard. “One thing I would avoid is to incorporate more stripes,” says Peter, noting that colorfully striped wallpaper is more than enough. “It could work, but it could more easily go very wrong.”
2. Block printed
At a time when even 3D wallpaper isn’t out of the ordinary, there’s nevertheless a longing for the classics. So is the case for block-printed designs, an age-old process where patterns are stamped onto rolls with intricately carved wooden blocks. Wallpaper designers often favor archival designs with a handmade touch, and their often beautifully simple designs resonate with contemporary interiors. “I think we're seeing a revival of all traditional crafts, block printing included, as a reaction against how easily things in our world are not only fabricated but also disposed of,” says Regina Perez Montemayor, founder of San Francisco’s Studio Montemayor.
In the home above, Regina applied a block-printed pattern, Ipswich Sprig, a wallcovering by Adelphi Paper Hangings, which fabricates an array of historic reproductions. Also new on the block is the latest collection by Chicago’s Mitchell Black, which created a capsule of block-printed, country-inspired patterns with a contemporary twist that achieves that ‘collected’ aesthetic found in eclectic style interiors.
3. Loose patterns
One benefit of wall murals is that they tend to look unique, as if you picked up a brush and dabbed paint on the walls yourself. And it’s the same reason why wallpapers with loose patterns (often with large scale and irregular shapes that don’t appear to repeat) are all the rage: there’s order in chaos.
One brand that nails this technique is Porter Teleo, which has a lineup of irregular patterns like Form and Tectonic, the latter of which brings drama to the ceiling of the dining room above by Widell + Boschetti. “This dining room was a challenge due to the oddly shaped room and low ceiling height,” says designer Barette Widell. “The scale and unexpected shapes of this wallpaper made this space feel much more grand than it was.” Look for oversized patterns, like the abstract lines in Hovia’s Freeflow Red Clay, or Wallshoppe’s Buka Patchwork wallpaper.
4. Forever florals
Floral prints are as classic as it gets. But the latest floral wallcoverings are full of exciting colors and curiosity, taking nature into an almost supernatural direction. “Since the pandemic, we’ve definitely seen a rise in interest in people wanting to bring color and nature into their home,” says Niki Bergen, co-founder of the aptly named Superflower Studio. “Of course patterned and floral wallpaper isn’t new, but the quest for beauty and bringing the outdoors into our interiors, has recently been on the rise.”
Niki’s Cannonball print, which she used even for her own home, is proof enough – as if pulled from a botanist’s textbook, their fantastic designs twist about the wallcovering, no doubt bringing a sense of joy and wonder. “We immediately understood the impact and joy it brings,” adds Niki. “Balance is always key and we find that interiors kept minimal allows the walls to envelope the space with warmth.”
5. Illuminating wallpapers
While even a dull pattern can add visual interest to your walls, the latest illuminating wallpapers can light up your whole room. “Illuminating wallpapers work with the light,” notes Los Angeles-based Londubh Studio, which just released Illuminate, a colorful line of wallpaper with a metallic shimmer. “They have a warming glow effect and look different throughout the day as the light evolves.”
The genre often has an Art Deco feel (you can’t miss it in the new gold leaf line by British label Divine Savages, with patterns like this highly decorative Zsa Zsa print with shimmering ostriches, or Arte’s new collection of patterns printed on metal foil), and it does take some extra care for outfitting the rest of your space. “For one, think about layered and soft lighting options in addition to sunlight – the resulting vibes are rich and nurturing, whether entertaining or having a solo wind-down after a long day,” says Londubh Studio. “Regardless of whether you cover all surfaces or just the ceiling, a popular option for our clients, materials that are rich but not shimmering themselves, such as warm woods or velvets, make for divine compliments.”
6. Large scale prints
Wallpaper makes a statement, and for many, this is the ideal way to represent their tastes and personality. Wallpapers allow us to show how infinitely unique we are. Whether you choose colorful or neutral, patterned or abstract, textured or flat, geometric or floral – wallpapers offer you several ways to add an impact to any space.
A trend that has been big this year and will continue to stay strong is the large-scale prints that can dominate a space. While using this type of bedroom or living room wallpaper, remember to choose scaled-down prints to complement the other elements in the room. You don't want the room to look overwhelming. Use the wallpaper as the anchor, and design around it.
'Larger-scale prints are a popular wallpaper design, adding a real statement to a room,' says Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador of Farrow & Ball. 'These eye-catching prints are great for creating a contemporary look in a room and offer an almost mural-style effect in the space. For those wanting to create an even bigger impact, opt for patterns in bolder shades, but equally, if you love the larger-scale designs but want something more subtle then neutrals are a beautiful choice.'
'Adorning your walls in wonderful floral-inspired wallpapers is a great way to bring a real burst of spring and summer into the home,' says Patrick. 'From the charming, undulating rhythm of Peony through to the almost breezy appeal of Wisteria with its lovely three-color print, they add so much character to a room. Reflective of nature, they are perfect for creating a soothing and restful scheme in a room, particularly on trend are yellow wallpapers, which offer a warm glow and are reminiscent of balmy summer days.'
If regular botanicals aren't to your liking, abstract prints too can be a great choice. 'Abstract botanicals have emerged as a huge trend, and will continue to 2024, following on from the love of biophilic designs,' says Chelsea Clark of I Love Wallpaper. 'Often featuring organic shapes whilst keeping a connection to nature, abstract botanicals are a modern way of incorporating colors and florals in the home.'
These prints look particularly charming as bathroom wallpapers, hallway wallpapers, and other petite, narrow areas where their prints look a lot more charming and whimsical.
'This powder room is a perfect showcase for the Christian LaCroix Maison wallpaper’s extravaganza of exotic creatures and trees,' says Emilie Munroe, founder of Studio Munroe. 'The paint was color-matched to the ground of the wallpaper for a seamless transition.'
8. Faux textures
While there are several varieties of heavily embossed wallpapers out there, a whole new trend of faux textures is taking the market by storm, that creates the illusion of unique surfaces taking over walls. These fresh wallpaper ideas can create an outdoor feel to indoors, or conjure a grand decor with a lesser budget.
'Faux textured wallpaper is also having a moment, allowing homeowners to get the illusion of texture, without the permanence of wood, concrete, linen or paneling,' says Chelsea.
9. Resurgence of 70s prints
Retro is back. Classic Art Deco and Baroque designs, large-scale geometrics, and abstracts aside, rich colors like orange, green, brown, and yellow will be seen across brands and in the market in the coming year. Consider adding these designs to unexpected places such as entryway and kitchen wallpapers.
'One of the trends we are most looking forward to is a resurgence of the 70s,' says Ross. 'Although 70s wallpaper prints can be incredibly bold, what we often see is that revived eras often express themselves in completely new color palettes.'
'The revival of the 70s is very much culturally-led,' Ross explains. 'Runways in Milan have been strutting reinventions of the iconic Emilio Pucci prints for the last couple of seasons. This will ultimately find its way onto the walls of people's homes, but it will take time.'
10. Striking mural designs
Wall murals range from elegant to modern, sleek varieties. These can also mimic renaissance paintings or scenic outdoors, and due to their overpowering, and large scale, do better in more open, communal spaces like the dining room or the living room.
Mural ceilings are a big new trend in design. 'Many of our clients in New York City are pushing us for more of a visual statement in their rooms,' says Jarret Yoshida, a Brooklyn Brownstone designer. 'Wallpaper continues to get bolder and bolder, but I am steering them more and more to large abstract murals. Striking, without being specific, they make walls into a gorgeous backdrop that is, for me, a new 'paint' – encompassing, luxe and contemporary.'
11. Wallpaper in joinery
As well as used on walls and ceilings, wallpaper is being used more and more to add design details to the interiors of built-in millwork and luxury freestanding cabinets. This trend with wallpaper finds its stride in surprising uses - to lift corners, areas, and even unseen spaces.
'Using bold wallpaper inside cupboards and built-in joinery can be a great way of experimenting with color and bold pattern if you're a bit timid,' says Lorraine Aaron, founder of Curious Egg. 'It'll be a surprise when someone opens the door to a cabinet. Don't forget the ceiling; sometimes referred to as the fifth wall; it'll allow guests (and you) to look up to a beautiful, whimsical scene as you're relaxing on the sofa.'
12. Paneled wallpaper
As mentioned above, trends in wallpapers change slowly but some broad types have had staying power for generations. One of them is paneling wallpaper. This is a style that converges two stunning looks – the rusticity of wood panels, offset by the softness of wallpaper.
In modern living rooms and bedrooms, paneled wallpaper is a fantastic way of adding a touch of class. It creates a snug feel in a bedroom, a welcoming tone in the hallway, a touch of formality to a dining room, or a sense of calm in a study.
'When it comes to installing, many people are choosing to experiment with wallpaper in less traditional spaces,' says Chelsea. 'Whether it be on a ceiling, in between wall panels or shelves, gone are the days of wallpaper simply covering a wall head to toe.'
13. Gold leaf designs
Metallics are dynamic by nature and have been a loved element in decor for eons. While gold decoratives and panels have been around for some time, gold leafing in wallpapers is an upcoming trend that is receiving a lot of attention. This addition not only adds an intriguing contrast to traditional spaces but also a sense of visual dimension and texture. A lovely living room, dining or bedroom ceiling idea, gold guided surfaces also bring more light into the room.
'This ceiling was guided with tiny gold leaves. And the light bulbs were chosen to fit the colors of the room,' says interior designer Victoria-Maria Geyer.
14. Muted maximalism
Bold designs and large motifs backed by soft tones and muted backgrounds are what essentially define this trend. These types of designs are especially useful for functional uses, like zoning a room with wallpaper or hiding an unsightly wall. This way the wallpaper does not overwhelm or vie for attention yet makes a strong statement.
'While maximalism is still an Instagram favorite, we have started to see a form of ‘muted maximalism’ which is essentially a heavy and textural pattern, in light muted and tonal color washes,' says Ross. 'It enables people to create a lighter canvas on their walls with detail and interest.'
15. Wallpapers across rooms
A great way to create an illusion of extended space, width, and length is by the power of repetition. By using the same hues or patterns across walls and spaces, you create a feeling of depth and endlessness.
Consider adding wallpaper in a passageway, and along the corridor to another room. This will make the hallway seem longer, and as though, part of the room it is leading to. If you're adding wallpaper to more than one room, a wise idea would be to choose a more muted or subtle design.
'When it comes to installing wallpaper, we'd always recommend using a professional decorator as it'll avoid any issues,' says Emma Deterding, founder of Kelling Designs. 'They'll be able to measure exactly what is needed to ensure you have enough wallpaper and ensure any repeats etc won't be problematic. If, however, you are keen to do it yourself, then I'd start by making sure you know the exact width of the wallpaper you are going to use. You then need to measure each wall you intend to paper, measuring the width and height in inches. Remember if you are papering multiple walls and they have the same height but different widths, you can simply add the widths together and work to the same height.'
'To work out how many rolls you'll need, you then need to divide your wall width by the width of the actual paper to figure out how many drops you need, and then multiply the number of drops by wall height to give you the full amount of paper needed to cover the walls properly,' says Emma.
The Livingetc edit of the best wallpapers to buy now
Is wallpapering still a trend?
Wallpapers are a bigger trend for 2024 than we've seen in a long time. 'I don't have any wallpaper in my home yet I am strongly considering hanging some in my dining room right now,' says Livingetc editor Pip Rich. It's because we crave rooms with personality, and wallpapers add that in spades - from pattern, color or just texture. So no longer are wallpapers only used to create a living room, hallway, or bedroom accent wall. These are now used inside millwork, to divide rooms, in between wall panels, and on the ceiling.
Floral or abstract prints apart, wallpapers also showcase mural designs and even Renaissance art. These help anchor the design theme of a space and add oodles of style to the home.
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Keith Flanagan is a New York based journalist specialising in design, food and travel. He has been an editor at Time Out New York, and has written for such publications as Architectural Digest, Conde Nast Traveller, Food 52 and USA Today. He regularly contributes to Livingetc, reporting on design trends and offering insight from the biggest names in the US. His intelligent approach to interiors also sees him as an expert in explaining the different disciplines in design.
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