Popular Wallpaper Trends for 2022
Wallpaper is back. Here are some bright ideas for incorporating trending wallpaper in your home.
You’re not imagining things — wallpaper is again showing up on the walls of design conscious homeowners.
In a recent survey conducted by Fixr, 39 percent of interior designers surveyed said they predict consumers will introduce color into their homes this year by wallpapering an entire room. For comparison, 42 percent said they’d use paint. And keep in mind today’s trending wallpaper is not your grandmother’s or mother’s wallpaper.
Here, experts reveal 10 ways you can jump on the wallpaper train.
One big reason modern wallpaper looks different is the lack of repeating patterns. Wall murals sized specifically for your wall or room depict a whole scene or a rolling series of images, giving each wall a slightly different look — to stunning effect.
Chinoiserie (usually a Western interpretation of Chinese or East Asian motifs) is a popular style for murals. The Fixr respondents put chinoiserie just behind green and nature-based designs. More on those later.
If you don’t want the fuss of paste and paper, you’re design commitment-phobic or you’re a renter, peel-and-stick can be the best way to try out wallpaper. And the home decor market is responding to the demand. Tons of great-looking peel-and-stick patterns are available at the most accessible websites and big-box stores. If you want to give your home an easy upgrade, wallpapers are the best way to go. Before you make a decision, check out the various types of wallpapers that you can choose from.
If you’re looking for places to hang wallpaper, don’t forget to look up: Wallpaper on ceilings is a hot trend right now. Twenty-eight percent of designers surveyed on Fixr predicted the ceiling would be their “room” of choice.
(Powder rooms took the lead with 88 percent. But they’ve been a traditional place to try out wallpaper, often before committing to a larger or more used space.)
Elizabeth Rees, founder of popular wallpaper shop Chasing Paper, says, “In addition to an unexpected design element, adding wallpaper to the ceiling can save on installation time and budget. Alternatively, try engulfing an entire room in wallpaper — including the ceiling — to create the ultimate maximalist moment.”
Geometric patterns have taken on a new dimension in the wallpaper trend, according to all the experts we talked to. These patterns do particularly well in clean-lined, angular mid-century modern homes. But depending on the severity of the design, the color, scale and placement can work in various design environments.
Paneling + Wallpaper
“Paneling has become increasingly popular this year as a way to add depth and character to walls and the obvious pairing is wallpaper,” says James Greenwood, brand and interior expert at Graham & Brown. “Paneling can act as a frame for the paper, transforming your wall into a piece of art.”
Painting the paneling in a complimentary or matching color can up the room’s cohesion for a polished look.
Small Space Makeovers
Perhaps you’re not ready to take the plunge on a full room. No worries. Wallpaper can be used in a variety of smaller spaces. Consider the backs of bookshelves, pocket doors, drawer liners, stairwells or closet interiors.
“Peel-and-stick wallpaper allows you to create a thoughtful design moment almost anywhere,” says Rees.
Humans have always craved a connection with nature, called biophilia. This need took center stage during the COVID-19 pandemic as people stayed home more, bringing to the forefront trends of collecting houseplants, the color green and natural finishes like cork floors.
Florals, especially on an oversized scale, are on the rise. So are textures like grasscloth that call to mind the natural world. “Although these prints have always been a popular wallpaper choice, these will be highlighted in a way that brings the pattern to the forefront of a space’s design,” Rees says.
Melanie Thomas of Melanie Thomas Design says even though today’s biggest pattern trend is florals, geometrics are a close second. But what if we used them together?
“I like to mix geometric or abstract with florals, and vice versa,” she says. “For instance, I might have a floral pattern and in the next room, I might go geometric.”
But, she says, for the design-adventurous or maximalists among us, pairing two contrasting yet complimentary colors in one room could result in a big payoff. “You could definitely use one wallpaper on the ceiling and another on the walls, depending on the size of the room and the height of the ceiling,” Thomas says.
“Many have realized that creating a cozy oasis in your home is an important design choice, and Cottagecore is often the aesthetic that reflects that feeling,” says Rees. “As a classic wallpaper print choice, repeating floral patterns add a touch of warmth, coziness and color that aid with achieving the cottage feel.”
Linda Haase, a senior interior designer and board member of The Project Girl, says, “The biggest wallpaper trends in 2022 are subtle, but they’ll make a huge impact.”
One such example? “The use of wallpaper that has no pattern at all — just a solid color — but it’s still visually interesting because it has texture or sheen, such as velvet,” she says.