WORDS: ANNE SCHAUFFER IMAGES: SUPPLIED

The range of wall tricks and treatments available today means that although original artwork will never go out of fashion – nor should it – there’s an entire world of inexpensive, cost-effective or clever wall effects, other than paint, which can entirely transform a space. From wallpaper to vinyl wall art – whether it’s your own photographs or a graphic design – there’s something suitable for every room in the house or office.

Brenne Downey of Resurface talks trends in wall coverings. “Currently, there are a few, like the geometric designs that hark back to art deco. The classic pinstripe is also making a comeback, but comebacks are expected with classics. When it comes to bolder trends, we’re seeing an uptick in bright-coloured jungle scenes with stylised wildlife, emphasising colour and texture. Oversized botanicals are also trending at the moment with soft edges on a bold black background.”

Online shopping

Vicky Meagher is Twiggy Décor, an online store offering vinyl wall art, canvases, blocks, prints and, soon, designer wallpaper. She says South Africans are becoming more comfortable with online purchasing of decorative wall treatments. “They’re enjoying the convenience, cost savings and choice, and once they’ve had a good experience, they’re on board.”

 

Vinyl wall art

Meagher says, “It’s an incredible way to decorate your space, is competitively priced, simple to apply, and easy to remove. The chalkboard vinyls are not only practical, but really add flair, while the frosted vinyls add stylish privacy to your windows or doors.” You can choose something really simple – a quote, a flower, a graphic… to something more abstract or intricate. Monochromatic or full colour, there’s something to enhance the space.

Your imagery or theirs

Downey says that although custom wallpaper with photo imagery (yours or theirs) has been around for over a decade, as high resolution printing gets better and better with technology, it’s become increasingly popular. “We have our own image bank from which you can choose, but often a client wants to use their own photo. The requirements are a 360dpi image which is achievable with most smartphones on the right setting.”

The substrate

“When it comes to choosing a substrate on which to print,” Rowney says, “it’s all about texture. The embossed texture needs to complement, but not detract from, the printed image. The most popular is a linen texture, but it does depend on the image. It’s not always an embossed texture either – a metallic substrate gives a lustre not achievable using other substrates.”

Children’s rooms

Relatively new to the market, are interactive wallpapers, particularly for children and offices. “Magnetic and write-and-wipe features are on trend for kids rooms. Magnetic and rewritable qualities lend themselves well to making things interesting for our younger clients. This combined with map designs, stylised wildlife scenes or board games make for some hard-time choosing!”

ADVICE FOR HOMEOWNERS

Downey has three hints

  • Golden rule: A feature wall is always better than full coverage of all your walls.
  • When dealing with low light in a small space, opt for a light hue and an image that offers perspective rather than a busy pattern.
  • If you have a large cavernous space, we advise a large-scale pattern with bold colours. If you have ample light, then darker hues work well to make the space cosier.