TIMELESS textures

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 March, 2012, 12:00am


Wallpaper is one of the most dramatic ways to add a special twist to a home. While it fell out of favour in the 1980s, it is enjoying a renaissance as people seek to make their homes cosier and more opulent.

'Texture is key, this season,' says Sam Millar, Osborne & Little's spokeswoman. 'Lightly embossed wall coverings in soft colours, including subtle metallics and mica finishes, will reflect light and enhance the textural character of a room.

'Shiny, reflective surfaces are great for adding drama and glamour. These are popular in general decorating, and suit modern apartments and houses,' she says. Innovative printing techniques add a touch of glamour, such as the holographic papers and vinyl wall coverings.

For a classic look that won't date, Millar advises using a traditional design such as damask, but selecting one with a modern twist - whether that is a shiny metallic or a more stylised print.

China's middle-class homebuyers are leading the charge. In recent years, annual demand has increased by 25 per cent in China, says Adrian Yao, Graham & Brown's marketing manager. 'The most popular sellers are our solid vinyl wallpapers, which are durable, easy to clean and embossed with various textures.'

Husband-and-wife team David and Helen Lennie, of Signature Prints, are often credited with the revival of wallpaper, having rescued Florence Broadhurst's library of nearly 530 designs from the dustbin. Broadhurst - an Australian design celebrity until her death in 1977 - was known for bright, hand-drawn patterns.

Signature Prints now hand-prints wallpaper designs by Broadhurst, a labour-intensive process that can take days to complete. As well as standard prints and colours, Signature Prints offers a custom-made colour service.

'We are really pleased that Broadhurst's prints are popping up everywhere, being used just as much now as they were during the time of their creation,' Helen Lennie says. 'These are timeless designs which still look amazing 50 years after their debut.'