A Brief History: Wallpaper
It’s not a shock to anyone that all trends ebb and flow throughout history. Light wood, macramé wall décor, shag carpet, AND wallpaper!
In Renaissance Europe, wallpaper was used as a status symbol. The wealthy who could not afford intricate woven tapestries to hang on their walls, opted for a slightly less expensive option to brighten up and decorate their homes. While this included large prints that would have been designed to look a lot like the tapestries they were replacing, eventually designs shifted into repeating patterns. Sometimes these prints would hang loose like a tapestry, but some were pasted to the walls like we see today.
Although the technology around wallpaper has changed significantly, the sentiment behind it’s use has not. Wallpaper is still used to add life and color into a space. With the variety that we have at our disposal today it is a way that many people can customize their homes. Like most trends wallpaper has always looked to modern day art and fashion, and this is shown clearly in the patterns used over the years.
With a brief exception to the midcentury trend of grey and beige walls, wallpaper has been a strong constant throughout history. While the designs have certainly changed significantly, there are a few familiar traits that are still used today.
For example, we see a lot of bold geographic shapes used in the 30s.
Botanical wallpaper was popular in the 40s
Bold colors and shapes were used a lot in the 60s
And here are some modern patterns that you can purchase today