We're in a time of new found appreciation and demand for wallpaper and wallcoverings. The design trends are pointing to a desire to add pattern, sheen, texture, and art to walls that the eggshell white of the 90s could never accomplish. For the foreseeable future, we can designate wallpaper as having a rightful place in the world of interior design. With that, it opens up opportunities to take on innovative and complex projects for your wallcovering installation portfolio as demand soars. Here are the latest design trends and how you apply them, where you can supply them, and find them from artist collaborations in the wallcovering space. These are the brands and trends you will want to consider specifying in your next project to stand out.

Getting Graphic

Dieter Braun - wallcovering trends

Art by Dieter Braun

Illustrations: We are living in exciting times with wallpaper trending and people demanding more custom designs for their interior projects. Graphic prints, often a result of exciting collaborations between well known artists such children’s book illustrator, Dieter Braun, and manufacturers like Robin Spring, are paving the way for unique, artistic scenes that span the whole room. Braun creates signature, whimsical animals or safari scenes that will transform a kids room into a one-of-a-kind space.

Florals: From catwalks to couture, Graham and Brown regularly take popular floral graphics from fashion designers and applies them towards floral wallpaper designs.

Retro: Children from the 60s to the 80s, will recall the cartoon show, The Jetson’s. Illustrator, Dupenny, produces art with a nod to the retro shapes of the futuristic cartoon show in his Atomic Wallpaper series.

Abstract: Another artist, Alyse Solomon, will take photographs of everyday objects and design them into repeating abstract patterns that create a kaleidoscope effect suitable for any statement wall.

Going Geometric

Geometric wallpaper is making its way into bespoke, edgy designs in 2018 and beyond. The energizing shapes in geometric prints provide balance between modern and vintage, with a nod toward art deco and futurism. This simple design pattern has the ability to add interest to a minimal interior - that’s so popular right now with designers like Leanne Ford from HGTV’s Restored by the Fords going into their second season. At the same time, it can hit a note on the opposite end of minimalism with a complete excess of design, pattern, abstract optical art, and redundancy rightly themed, maximalism.

What we’re seeing in the trends in 2018 are clever color-blocking to show architectural shape and create vibrant, dynamic looks. Other uses of geometric shapes experiment with art deco glamour à la Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby with black and gold as the predominant hues. Designers are pairing bold geometric shapes and colors with neutral furniture to bring out the bold wallpaper patterns clients are requesting. Next, we’re seeing unique designs that only cover walls partially using vinyl stick on triangles, as found on etsy,  that can be arranged to create any geometric abstract shape for a wall accent. Joburg’s Sasi Wallpaper has one of the largest collections; however, it’s show-stopping quality is the wallpaper’s ability to replicate art. Finally, Olivia and Poppy offer really cool designs that can bring order to any home, a touch of edge, all while creating the perfect backdrop for any Instagram selfie.

Growing With Grasscloth

Image: by HomesFeed

Long-term trend and arguably a mainstay feature, grasscloth will always be the go-to for high-end and traditional because it is so aesthetically pleasing and durable. What’s exciting are the color options and texture variety suppliers are coming out with. We can now embellish grasscloth with nearly any design. While Grasscloth has long been seen as a material for entryways, hallways and small areas, wallcovering installers are specifying grasscloth to create a hotel room feel throughout a full bedroom on a residential project or a lobby in a hotel in commercial projects. Interior designers are specifying grasscloth to meet the demand for tactile elements in their environments with an unusual choice of using the wallcovering as the added layer of dimensionality.

Wallcovering Installer Association members will have the opportunity to partner up and find seasoned wallcovering installers to learn the tricks to hanging the popular grasscloth brands. It’s a great place to expand the installer’s skillset, since grasscloths are designed to be relevant in 10-15 years and often makes them an easy choice for clients.

Advances in digital printing opens up design options with choices of prints on grasscloth. Added prints give the paper a highly textured look and imaginative design with suppliers like the choices found at George Spencer. Next, Turnell and Gigon offer digitally printed designs on grasscloth, such as, their latest Decortex and Neisha Crosland collections.

For that luxe, yet cozy, feel grasscloth makes a great choice that goes one step further by pairing well with friends - that happen to be furniture with clean lines and accent artwork that makes great layers. If the client isn’t ready for the real thing, companies like Thibaut have introduced collects of faux textures to choose from.

Go Glitz, or Go Home

Image: by Inhabitat

Some interior designers, specifiers, and wallcovering installers are finding wallpaper is getting kicked up a gear with LED lights and Swarovski crystals. The results can be twinkling stars in the night sky in an intimate bedroom or a sprawling on-demand LED light system setting the mood in a hotel foyer. Shop the couture damask collection at Wall Couture. Or try a more demure 1920s look at Meystyle where the LEDs lights are paired with crystals and completely integrated into the wallcovering designs and hung like traditional wallpaper.

German industrial designer, Ingo Maurer, has collaborated with Architect-Paper to bring you a glowing wallcovering made from electronic circuit boards printed on paper. The paper comes to life with geometric changes in red, white, and blue and creates an innovative, while eco-friendly, playful design.

Graduate from grasscloth with glowing paper in your portfolio. Other suppliers of show-stopping wall choices include Kvadrat Soft Cells, where you can find acoustic-friendly wall choices that give off a luminous low light glow fit for career-changing commercial projects and custom high-end dream homes. Having these wallcovering options that change the mood of a space on-demand in your pocket will give you an edge that meets where the traditional wallcovering options cross the latest tech in the industry. Kvadrat walls also pack a punch by adding ambiance, decor, and light with just one product.


With so many advancements in digital printing, graphics, and geometric patterns, wallpaper is becoming a statement making option for any signature wall. More colors and texture options give rise to the time-tested qualities of grasscloths. Additionally, we’re seeing exciting innovative collaborations for glowing papers either with LED lights or glitz-y Swarovski crystals. The technical advancements, cool collaborations, combined with an economic positioning that wallpaper can be a relatively simple and inexpensive update, are making wallpaper a go-to choice for commercial and residential projects.

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