What the papers say

I Want Wallpaper’s head of design Alex Whitecroft takes a look at the key 2018 trends for wallpaper and explains the benefits of being bold and brave with your choices

Wallpaper has been the product of choice for interior designers for decades. They can not only bring an interior design trend or theme to life in homes, but can also be a way of interpreting a client’s unique style.

It’s for these reasons that wallpaper is currently enjoying a revival amongst consumers too, many of whom are bypassing the once-favoured feature wall and applying the latest trends across the whole room with wallpaper.

We work with key trend forecasters and wallpaper brands to ensure the widest breadth of options is available. This means however homeowners want to introduce the trends into their self-builds, it’s achievable – be that bold, striking out- and-out looks or more subtle ways to incorporate a style.

We also continually track and monitor what consumers are searching for on our site to see which predicted trends and colour schemes are really taking hold for UK homeowners.

We’re expecting many of the popular themes from 2017 to continue into 2018, but with new twists and adaptations, and some even appearing in more striking and bolder forms.

Get jungle fever

As we saw the ‘bring the outdoors in’ trend move into an even stronger adoption of botanical looks in 2017, 2018 will see this evolve further. Tropical designs will be more vivid and intense with the addition of neon brights such as dazzling fuchsia pink.

There are so many fabulous ways to incorporate this look with wallpaper, from subtle embossed palm leaves to wild jungle creatures. There are also pineapples and parrots, palm leaves and petallics (metallic petals!), all predicted to be in popular demand.

Within this trend, a key look is to combine lots of rich colours, an abundance of accessories and an array of sumptuous fabrics – when set against a strong wallpaper it’s a great look for 2018.

Embrace industrial chic

Loosely termed ‘industrial’, wallpapers that replicate the look of natural/synthetic core materials are not going away in 2018. Hyper realistic effects can be achieved with papers that mimic slate, brick, stone, wood, concrete, marble and metal – a key way to incorporate this trend that won’t break the bank either!

Go to the dark side

Earthy tones and dark woods will also make a comeback; a striking shift away from the blonde woods and the Scandinavian style, that have been popular in recent years. A new type of earthen luxury that focuses on a sense of wellbeing will influence everything from our choices in wallpapers to homewares. Rich walnut and mahogany look stunning, with exotic jewel tones that are coming through for the early part of 2018.

Shine bright with metallics

Metallics and designs that incorporate sparkle and shine are another hot trend in wallpapers at the moment and are great for all seasons. With the benefit of reflecting daylight they add an extra dimension to a room during bright sunny days and are mood enhancing with internal lighting effects. They’re also great for rooms with little natural light as metallic papers will help to bounce light around a room and give the illusion of space.

Copper has been hugely popular for many years, but we’re predicting the return to favour of matt silver.

Textured and patterned metallic paper works extremely well, as subtle details and contrasts are highlighted when light illuminates the paper.

Live in luxury

Luxurious, tactile, opulent walls will be a major theme with many of the newest wallpapers launching for 2018, so look out for lots more luxury designs in the coming months.

Cultivate a floral scheme

Floral as such is a wide genre when it comes to wallpapers, and it’s a theme that transcends the seasons as well as suits all types of home interior. Classic florals will be updated in 2018 with
new printing techniques and a fresh focus on detail. Upscaled, oversized florals with a watercolour hand-painted style will also be popular.

Create a Heart Wood home

With the announcement of Dulux’s colour of the year as a dusky mauve named Heart Wood – we’re expecting to continue to see feminine colours, such as pale pinks and more subtle shades of purple as key looks.

Tips for working with wallpaper

Revamping a room can sometimes be overwhelming and, with the huge selection of furniture, flooring, soft furnishings and wallcoverings on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Choosing a wallpaper design that you love is a great starting place and can help to focus your overall interior scheme, styling and product choices.

Once you’ve picked your paper, add furniture and accessories that follow the theme and colour scheme. For example, there are some great retro wallpaper designs that look fantastic when styled with vintage or mid-century style furniture and accessories.

If you’re adding a new wallpaper design alongside existing pieces of furniture, select one of the prevalent colours within the room and match your paper to that. Online search filters are an easy way to narrow down your selection around your chosen colour.

Being brave with pattern will continue into 2018. Homeowners have an abundance of inspiration at their fingertips, increasing their confidence to mix and match coordinating wallpapers for a striking look. Try large samples on walls first to see how the designs work together in the space and at different times of the day.