What separates a luxury home from a house? A luxury automobile from a car? Quality, artistry, customization, and the little details that collectively elevate it from ordinary to extraordinary.
Wallcoverings also have an upper echelon that’s in a class — and price range — of its own. So, what defines a wallcovering as luxury?
Handcrafted wallpaper touches
Many homeowners hang art on their walls, but some let the wallcoverings themselves be the artistic centerpieces. Hand-painted wallpaper is the ultimate idea for customized luxury decorating. It typically depicts botanically inspired themes comprising flowers, birds, branches, and vines. The production process and final product are like no other on the market.
First, wallcovering professionals take careful measurements required to determine coverage. They then produce color samples and render proposed pattern layouts. Once clients approve colors and renderings, wallpaper hangers fabricate real panels and affix them to the final surfaces. The result beautifully mimics commissioned paintings right on the wall. To keep costs and the intensive process to a minimum, clients can reserve this luxury touch for small areas like entryways, powder rooms, or accent walls while still making bold and opulent impressions.
Flawless “faux” luxury wallpaper
Don’t let the word “faux” fool you — it’s not always synonymous with cheap. Sometimes, clients desire very specific wallcovering looks, but using the real materials to achieve this isn’t practical or eco-friendly. Exotic skins and leathers can make extravagant statements, but many prefer not to use real hides on their walls. Several luxury wallpaper manufacturers have mastered the art of emulation. From ostrich hide to alligator skin, the unique looks and textures are perfectly captured using high-end production processes and materials.
In other instances, faux wallcoverings can “create an interesting juxtaposition” by giving a certain look to an unexpected space, says interior designer Clare Pascoe in an article for The Telegraph. She finished a bedroom in wallpaper that looked so much like real coffered paneling that visitors had to reach out and touch the paper before the “secret” was revealed. Pascoe warns that you get what you pay for — to be truly convincing with a faux look, spending more on high-end luxury wallcoverings will often achieve the best result.
Designer wallpaper brands
Gucci, Versace, and Armani are iconic symbols of luxury in the fashion world, but these brands have expanded beyond couture gowns and handbags to offer wallcovering lines. Each boasts a distinct collection of wallcovering textures and patterns while sometimes incorporating its own insignia into the design. Versace wallcoverings, for example, weave the popular Versace logo that houses the head of Medusa, a Greek mythological creature, into its pattern. The price of these designer wallcoverings is reflective of the brands’ exclusive images. For example, while some basic wallpapers sell for an average of $25 to $50 per roll, Gucci wallcoverings can cost as much as $360 for a 25-square-foot panel.
When paying a premium price for posh wallcoverings, industry experts should pay extra attention to the entire process. From measuring, to ordering and installing wallcoverings. Professional installers can greatly reduce the risk of making an expensive mistake. For example, inaccurately measuring a space and ordering too little of a luxury wallpaper can be disastrous. Designer wallpapers are often produced in shorter runs and limited editions. This means buying more of a particular wallpaper at a later date may be impossible. And even if it is possible, rolls from different runs can have slight color variations that may be noticeable when installed.
Additionally, luxury wallpapers often require very specific installation instructions based on their compositions. Silk wallpapers are inherently different than thick faux-leather papers; thus, installation requires different skills and techniques. Professional installers who speak the manufacturer’s language and have experience working with different materials can make all the difference in executing truly luxurious looks.