When refreshing your home, there’s nothing better than a new wallpaper to revive and reinvigorate your walls. The wallpaper trends coming up for 2022 offer so much scope in terms of styles, colourways and themes.
The love for wallpaper ideas has gone through varying periods of popularity over the years, but it’s very much having a moment right now. Largely thanks to homeowners becoming braver with decorating choices – our homes are bolder and more expressive.
‘Wallpaper is a key trend for 2022, and the insatiable appetite from consumers doesn’t look like abating any time soon,’ says David Harris, Design Director at Andrew Martin. ‘Whatever your taste, there is something everyone, from traditional florals and trompe l’oeil, to contemporary geometric and tropical patterns or animal motifs and architectural designs. The usage is also bolder and braver. If you have the confidence, there are endless possibilities.’
Wallpaper trends 2022
‘One trend we have seen across the board and that we expect to continue, is clients’ confidence and willingness to be more playful with design,’ says Rosie Ward, Creative Director of Ward & Co. ‘As a result of spending more time at home, our clients are more on board with adventurous patterns, texture and bold colour, or play with scale and form.’
Whether you’re creating a feature wall or creating an entirely new scheme, read on to discover the now and next in wallpaper trends.
1. Blooming florals
‘Florals for wallpaper? Groundbreaking. No but really, they just work,’ says Nina Tarnowski, Founder of Woodchip & Magnolia. ‘They can also be adapted to suit any space or design style. Always consider the size of the room when making florals work in your space. The bigger the space, the bigger you can go with the bloom. For more compact rooms, stick to the smaller, more intricate designs to make the space look bigger.’
2. Wood effect
Bring a hint of the natural world into any room of the room with wallpaper disguised to look like bare wooden walls.
‘The desire to be more connected to nature has increased over the past year, with the importance highlighted of its benefit on wellbeing,’ says Olivia Crosher, interior designer at Naturewall. ‘People are wanting to add the warmth and depth found in natural colours and materials to their interiors to make their homes comfortable, calming, and relaxing environments.’
3. Restorative prints
Wallpaper trends are about more than what’s stylish and cool – it’s a reflection of our values and where we are in the world.
‘When designing our Wallpaper of the Year 2022, we really took our time to consider what is important to us and what we have valued over the past year,’ says Maryanne Cartwright, Design Manager of Graham & Brown. ‘As time seemed to slow, we had a moment of self-reflection to consider the environment around us from the protective shells of our homes, we discovered the importance of self-care.’
‘Through the limited access to the outdoors, we have truly appreciated the importance of nature, and the natural calmness that we find in the elements. This led us to the creation of Restore, its wild and trailing detailing references the natural habitat reclaiming the urban spaces, questioning our impact on the environment and a need to reconnect with natures healing qualities.”
4. Graphic design
Art-inspired prints are a recurring trend in wallpaper design, and this year the graphic, abstract style is leading the pack.
The trend of abstract cut-out design has changed and morphed quite a bit since its take off in popularity a few years ago,’ says Jess, designer and data analyst at Hovia. ‘We are seeing creators experiment with different materials now, such as wood, paint, canvas, and weaving. Over time this trend has evolved from a digital style to more tactile designs with focus on textures and textiles.’
5. Trompe l’oeil
Trompe l’oeil, the french term meaning to trick the eye, is essentially a 2-D painting or print that creates the illusion of being 3-D. This type of design has been more regularly seen in murals and wall panels rather than full wallcoverings, but for 2022 it’s taking over all four walls. That said, you can always think about how to wallpaper a feature wall if you want to make a single wall statement.
Choose a print which reflects the purpose of the room it’s covering, such as shelves of books in a home office, plants in a morning room, or an ocean inspired effect in a bathroom.
6. Fun in the cloakroom
Your cloakroom is often the only bathroom guests will see and it’s not somewhere anyone spends a huge amount of time, so take this opportunity to show off your style and push your boundaries while you’re at it.
‘Cloakrooms are ideal for embracing unique style and making a statement,’ says Rebecca Drury, Co-Founder, MissPrint. ‘Ensuring big impact in small spaces, colourful and patterned wallpaper is ideal, from bold geometric designs to large-scale botanical prints. Colour blocking will also come through as a bold way to inject some colour into a room or combining a mix of patterns and prints.’
‘We’re seeing a resurgence of one of the oldest decorative treatments, the mural,’ says Melanie Adams, Global Manager of Wallpaper Direct. ‘These larger scale wallcoverings enable you to set the scene and effortlessly add character and personality to your space.’
‘Murals come in all shapes, sizes and themes from historical interpretations to contemporary wall art and with many designers incorporating into their wallpaper collections, are becoming much more accessible.’
8. Sporting style
Statement wallpapers are always very much on trend, but one of the newest variations on this is by introducing a bit of whimsy. Wallpapers depicting sports and country pursuits will be a popular choice over the next year. Bonus – you absolutely do not have to play or follow the sport to appreciate or use the designs.
‘With a spirit of individuality, sporting pursuit designs follow the 2022 wallpaper trend,’ says Ann Grafton, Managing and Creative Director, Mulberry Home.
9. Architectural inspiration
Instead of travelling, we’re bringing other cities into our homes for 2022. Last year, the look was very much far-flung, holiday-inspired tropical destinations, but now that the world’s opening up again, we’re looking towards busy, cosmopolitan regions. Choose a graphic interpretation of a skyline for a contemporary effect.
‘This wallpaper is an unapologetically personal paean to their favourite city,’ say the experts at Mini Moderns. ‘Look closely at the abstract forms to discover two bridges, a couple of famous skyscrapers and an endless stream of traffic making its way uptown. The torn paper aesthetic lends an energy and immediacy to the design, capturing the vitality of the city.’
10. Bathroom wallpaper
Bathrooms are a wonderful place to add wallpaper for a fun hit of colour and print in a typically neutral and plain area.
“We are going to see a move away from cool greys and sleek whites in the bathroom towards warmer, bolder and more vibrant tones,’ says says Rebecca Drury, Co-Founder, MissPrint.
When choosing which of the bathroom wallpaper ideas you’re going to use, make sure to consider waterproof wallpaper if using over a bath or around a shower, but washable and wipeable should be enough if covering areas out of the splash zone.
Wallpaper trends from 2021 that are still going strong
As much as we love the newest and freshest wallpaper trends, there are a few designs from last year which are still popular. Anyway, remember that what’s most important is finding a wallpaper that you and your home love, rather than what the newest design trend is.
These are our favourite trends from 2021 which going to continue being popular in the year to come.
1. Modern wallpaper borders
Woodchip & Magnolia are bringing back the retro trend for wallpaper borders. Introduce a striking, contemporary take on the retro 80’s wallpaper trend with a captivating wallpaper border, to break up walls and add an element of fun to a decorating scheme.
”We’re bringing back the much-loved 80’s wallpaper border trend, but with a contemporary twist’ says Nina Tarnowski of Woodchip & Magnolia. ‘These supersized mural-style borders can transform and elevate any interior, from invigorating rainforests to tranquil landscapes, each design transports you to another world.’
You can use a statement wallpaper border at any height, but they are most effective when pasted inline with traditional architectural design details
Nina adding, ‘With so many decorating possibilities, they work wonders placed in the centre of the wall displayed like a piece of art, or higher up as a scene you might admire whilst lying in bed or the bathtub. Our newest technology now means they have the best moisture-resistant properties, meaning you can pop one along your kitchen as an eye-catching splashback or place a serene scene in the bathroom for an oasis of calm.’
2. Artistic lines
Line drawing and abstract Picasso-style portraits have been popular for the last few seasons, but very much with a focus on accessories. This year that bold trend is moving to walls, with Wallsauce reporting the designs as a key seller for 2021. Not for the faint hearted this bold and beautiful wallpaper trend is an expression of self.
Line art designs range from large-scale murals to smaller face prints to suit all rooms. ‘We think that this line art wallpaper would look amazing on the largest wall in a bathroom paired with sage-green painted walls’ says Wallsauce. ‘Add a monochrome tribal patterned bathmat, tasseled towels and tropical leafy green plants to go with this unique face wallpaper.’
3. Textured walls
Textured wallpaper is seeing a huge comeback this year, whether it’s sumptuous upholstery or tactile soft furnishings – homes need to be layered with texture. We want the decoration to speak to us, literally as if whispering ‘touch me, I’m irresistible’.
Many fabric and wallpaper specialists are working to combine the two mediums. The results are beautifully decorative surfaces that are neither one nor the other, they become a decoration in their own right. One such company doing so is Fermoie, with a paper backing service available on all Fermoie fabrics, the perfect way to bring walls to life alongside soft furnishings.
‘Add interest with textured wallcoverings. Grasscloth, cork or paper backed silks define a design direction so simply. They add immediate depth and can demonstrate Parisian Glamour or Saville Row sophistication at a stroke,’ explains Martin Waller at Andrew Martin.
‘Gone are the days of just printing on paper, you can now embellish corks, grass-cloths and silks with pretty much any design.’
Is wallpaper popular again?
Wallpaper never quite left, but it’s certainly risen in terms of popularity over the past couple of years. Part of the reason for this is that there are simply so many innovations in design that you can find whatever it is you’re after in terms of texture, colour or pattern. Whatever it is you’re looking for, there are a few rules of thumb which can help you cut through how many options there are available. ‘Wallpaper has a huge impact on the mood of a room so it’s key to get the design right,’ says Martin Waller from Andrew Martin. ‘When choosing wallpaper, consider the size of a room. Smaller scale patterns work well in big rooms, but can overwhelm smaller spaces. Larger scale patterns work well in most rooms but think about lighting, as this can affect the look of wallpaper and make a colour appear lighter or darker.’
Are wallpaper borders out of style 2022?
Wallpaper borders are not completely out of style, but they have been updated. There are a couple of trends for this year which involve borders. The first is an inversion of the traditional border, by keeping your room either painted or painted in a single bold colour, with a border made from a strip of wallpaper. The alternative is by painting the wallpaper border instead. For a cool, modern look choose a contrasting shade. If you’re after a more calm style, choose a complementary tone to that used in the wallpaper.
What colour wallpaper is in for 2022?
There are a range of on trend wallpapers for this year, but one is head and shoulders above the rest. This normally goes off the back of the various ‘Colour of the Year’ announcements from paint companies, and for 2022 light blue was the only direction to go in. Dulux names a pale blue called ‘Bright Sky’ as their choice, while Graham & Brown went for a mid blue named ‘Breathe’.’When choosing our Colour of the Year we considered sustainability and the need to take a breath, this soothing mid blue hue invokes a cool calmness in almost any room creating a space for reflection,’ says Maryanne Cartwright, Design Manager at Graham & Brown.