Do you know the one thing that takes up the most space in a room? It’s the walls. When you’re planning to renovate a room but are unsure of where to start, go to the walls. They might not exactly be the first thing you see upon entering the room but they certainly have the greatest effect. You can actually make the room appear smaller or bigger just by changing the colour and style of its walls.
For a long time now, the only preferred choice — when it comes to decorating rooms — has been paint. But now, trends seem to be changing and people are moving back towards the wallpaper fad of the yesteryears. The good thing is that this time around, wallpapers are coming in a variety of shapes, textures and colours and style, making them the must-have accessory in your house.
According to Saher Qadir, interior decorator and founder of Esque Designs, “Wallpapers are always a quick and easy way to fix a wall.” They are particularly useful when one is renting a room as most landlords are very particular about their property and often charge a hefty amount should it be damaged. With wallpapers, you have the liberty to choose any design you like and it comes off easily without causing much harm to the walls. “Clients are increasingly becoming aware of wallpaper options and more and more of them are leaning towards them,” says Saher. “They know wallpapers can be changed at any time without much hassle, as opposed to wall paint of panelling,” she further added.
There are many different types of wallpapers produced. Some of the main qualities include woodchip, pulps, and vinyl-coated, embossed, flocks and hand-printed paper. Here in Pakistan, we may be a little slow in terms of following global trends but Saher is hopeful. “I cannot say we have a wide selection of wallpapers but what we do have is a good, niche market in which we could always do well with more wallpapers. Few vendors can bring material from all around the world and almost everything I have ever had to search for has been available.”
Asad Khan of Asad I.A Khan Design Studio believes that wallpapers make for a soft and soothing application, livening up a living space and making it appear more welcoming. Unfortunately, people are still a tad reluctant when it comes to investing in the trend, seeing as how wallpapers are believed to ephemeral. “People build houses to last longer. Therefore, cosmetic architecture or motifs that we had earlier last longer than wallpapers.”
In terms of popularity, Asad agrees that wallpapers are on the rise. “Stripes are really popular in wallpapers these days and they’ve always been. One should choose theirs intelligently, keeping in mind whether they are going to add paintings or windows or not. You could go with pastels or something really bold and loud,” he said. “The right kind of wallpapers will dress the room as though for a party.” He also suggested opting for wallpapers that can be pasted on an entire wall, as opposed to those with borders, for a more natural look.
Tips for tackling your first wallpaper
• Wallpapers don’t last long in moist environments. It is advisable to stick to regular paint for bathrooms, kitchen and any other rooms that may have water seepage.
• To keep your wallpapers safe from scratches and stains, always be very careful when moving furniture.
• If wallpaper does get stained, you can wipe it off with a regular sponge. There are also some washable varieties available in the market which makes life a whole lot easier.
• If you are going to have wallpaper in your personal room, try to pick one that depicts your personality and what you love. Be daring with your space! You can experiment with different ideas and even mix and match any type of furniture that you like.
• Most people go for neutrals as these colours do not clash with the furniture.
• You can have something from the classics, printed and even textured depending on what theme you are going for.
Adeela Akmal is a freelance writer. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. She [email protected]
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, October 18th, 2015.