Is it just us or does anyone else feel like shaking things up a bit? We’ve had a lot of fun recently experimenting with our wonderful wallpapers. Wendy has rather taken it to extremes and is immersing herself with wallpaper pretty much everywhere in her own home. Whether you go all-out maximalist – à la Wendy – or just want a quick single wall refresh, wallpaper is the way to go.
As early as the 16th century, wallpapers were used by merchants to decorate small rooms or the inside of cupboards. By the 20th century, it was being used by everybody in every room of the house.
The fascinating history of wallpaper
As well as being beautiful, the history of wallpaper is fascinating and, much like fashion, reflects the mood and taste of each era. Traditional stylised leaf and flower patterns were hugely popular in the 1920s and 30s in Britain. Bright colours, zig zags, jazz, Cubist and Far Eastern influences then had their moment. The 1950s brought in simpler patterns and geometric motifs, before an explosion of colour with Pop design in the Sixties.
The V&A has a fascinating feature on wallpaper, which takes you on a wonderful journey of how it all began, fashion and technological changes, and stunning imagery. Well worth dipping into.
The magical power of wallpaper
We love the way wallpaper has the power to instantly refresh a space. It can be quite magical to introduce colour and pattern to walls, especially when it is colour and pattern you love, and that brings you joy. The result is a space to truly make you smile.
Designing the first wallpapers for Wendy Morrison Design, Wendy took inspiration from several of her hand-crafted rugs. Eternal Toile, Phoenix Black and Phoenix Green, Mandela and Joie de Vivre were all inspired by rugs.
‘The process of designing and creating rugs is quite different from that of wallpaper,’ Wendy explains. ‘With rugs, I very much rely on the yarn to bring the design to life, which makes texture the biggest challenge when designing wallpaper.
‘Repeat pattern was another challenge with wallpaper and created exciting results. I particularly love the way Phoenix turned out - full of beauty and impact.’
How to max out on maximalist style
Despite both being full of colour and pattern in their distinctively individual ways, Wendy Morrison rugs and wallpapers complement each other beautifully. You might be surprised to discover just how easily they work together.
‘Because the wallpaper is very much inspired by the rug, they obviously sit well together when creating a fully immersive maximalist look,’ Wendy explains. ‘The colours sit naturally alongside each other and the story is consistent.
‘I love the neutrality of Mandela; a neutral with huge impact. She sits so well with so many rug designs and she makes it very easy to add colour. I particularly like her paired with Peace, Love and Joy, Nurture Green and Shanghai Blossom.
How to use wallpaper at home
‘I love using wallpaper at home. The bedroom is currently decorated in Joie de Vivre, while we have Eternal Toile in the snug, Phoenix Black in the bathroom, Phoenix Green in our entrance porch, Mandela in the lounge and our new Nurture border in the hallway. So, quite a healthy appetite for wallpaper at the moment!
‘Of course, you don’t have to fill your entire home with wallpaper - although I do rather like it - as even decorating one wall creates enough impact to make you smile, without breaking the bank. Team it with a complementary paint colour for instant transformation.
‘I experienced this transformative effect when we decorated our lounge in Mandela. This room was predominantly white and black with a fabulous feature wall in a favourite Manuel Canovas wallpaper. The feature wall was wonderfully rich, but the room did not always feel warm.
‘We redecorated the whole room in Mandela and, although predominantly black, her subtle gold iridescent base with a sprinkling of colour through birds and butterflies made the room immediately feel richer and warmer.
Focus on a feature wall
‘Mandela works well throughout this room, while certain designs lend themselves to a feature wall. Joie de Vivre creates a wonderful feature wall. I also love the rich, fully immersive feel in our bathroom created by Phoenix Black.
‘I love all our wallpapers for different reasons. Eternal Toile for her storytelling and her gentle yet rich, fully immersive feel, which never overpowers. I like Phoenix Green for her surprisingly fresh, calming feel. Mandela for her neutrality and Joie de Vivre for her beautiful lush wowzers impact, and her story of course.
‘My tip for wallpaper? Don’t be afraid to dive in - you might be surprised how addictive you find it!’