Paint, we’re putting you on notice: Your time might be up. At least for some of us.
We know, we know—it wasn’t too long ago that designers were spreading the gospel of a bold-colored accent wall. But many of us have taken things to the next level with our wall treatments. First, there was the return of wallpaper. We modernized it and customized it, and we even made it removable.
Now, wall treatments have only become more ambitious, but also more extreme.
“In the era of the internet of things, where we seem to be constantly connected via our flat digital screens and devices, people are craving texture more and more,” says Chicago-based interior designer Lauren Visco. “With wall coverings, we see this trend of textured, organic, and stimulating surfaces continue to rise.”
1. Living moss wall
“Plants directly impact our overall well-being, so it’s no surprise how popular green walls have become in the commercial and hospitality design industry,” Visco says. “Now we are seeing a rising popularity of them in single-family homes, too.”
“Be prepared for routine maintenance if you choose to have a living wall in your home—it’s vital to have a properly functioning irrigation system at all times,” Visco says.
2. Backlit stone
If you want to bring the wow-factor, this look is for you.
“My favorite over-the-top wall treatment right now is natural stone slabs,” says Kristin Davidson of Kristin Davidson Interiors in Dallas. “A full wall of backlit onyx is breathtaking, and can be the perfect way to open up a space with little natural light.”
3. Scratch-and-sniff wallpaper that’s b-a-n-a-n-a-s
Get ready to live out your Willy Wonka dreams: Scratch-and-sniff walls are now a thing. And yes—it really does have a scent.
“For those ’90s babies who remember the scratch-and-sniff stickers your teachers used to put on your C+ papers to make you feel better, this is the wallpaper for you,” Visco says.
You can get this design in scents such as cherry, banana, and citrus. No candy paper exists yet—but we can only hope that’s in the works.
4. Illusion 3-D prints
But buyer beware: This trend might not last long.
5. Chinoiserie wallpaper
The last time you saw chinoiserie wallpaper was probably at your grandma’s house. But today, it’s making a strong comeback. And it’s no wonder why: This stuff has the power to completely transform any room into a luxe space straight out of an Anthropologie catalog.
“One of the most exclusive wall treatments is this classic wallpaper,” says Julie Paulino, a designer in Columbus, OH. “Usually hand-painted on silk by artisans, using a technique that dates back to the 1700s, it’s entirely customizable today.” (Meaning that you can get it in any color or pattern you like.)