Wallpaper has been making its comeback for years now. At first, with the appeal of vintage patterns. Following quickly on the heels of this, however, were many innovations brought by the latest technologies.
The cost of printing has gone down, and innovations have gone up. This has opened up the possibility of customized, one-off projects, made to exactly fit any wall. It also introduces wallpaper not bound by repetitive patterns. Now you can get high definition photorealistic images custom printed to your exact dimensions. But, as you’ll see below, the innovations have not stopped there…
Note: click on any image to see it larger
The impact can build richness, as in the case of the very real seeming natural materials like bricks and stones. It can also bring a strong sense of movement, as with the crashing wave, or of depth, like the dining room trompe l’oeil. It can give you the grand feeling of looking out over a city.
These effects are more overt to give you a sense of what modern wallpaper are capable of, but of course the effect could be subtle, as well.
The high resolution of images and modern manufacturing, along with the complete customizability of images allows for hyper-real effects such as depictions of three dimensionality.
The dimensions can be simulated, as on the left, or actual, as on the right:
Bringing Wallpaper Off the Wall
A new trend plays with dimensionality in a different way. The first example creates a shelf for objects; the second hides a light:
Liberate your magnets from the fridge! The printing inks are mixed with metallic pigments. Pictures, plans and notes can be attached to the wall directly with magnets. A surprising as well as intelligent use. The ideal wall covering for private studies, studios, consulting rooms, conference rooms — and a child’s room, of course!
Not only are these wallpapers magnetic, they can also be made to be a chalkboard or paintable.
Manufacturers like Architects Paper have created Magnetic Acoustic Pads, which affix to magnetic wallpaper Made of a flame-retardant polyester core and wool felt cover and in a variety of color, they help dampen sound while also providing a visual design element.
Glow in the Dark
LED and Fiber Optics Wallpaper
I’ll close off with a final example, which is quite techie: LED and fiber optics wallpaper — enabling every wall to become a light show. It opens the door to other possibilities: what about wallpaper which transmits messages from your devices?
There are still many more examples out there of technological innovations in wallpaper. I hope you’ve enjoyed these, and please mention other ones in the comments!