From vibrant wallcoverings to artisanal textiles, there’s every reason to embrace the busy this season
Nothing has the power to transform a space as dramatically as wallpaper and fabrics. The addition of a bold botanical print, or a sharp, contemporary stripe can work wonders in bringing a room to life. Where art meets interiors, your four walls can act as a lively canvas, injecting personality and colour – but it doesn’t have to stop at the cornicing. Think deeply patterned upholstery fabrics, window treatments, and even ceilings if you dare: a rich, textural wallcovering overhead is both quirky and glamorous, and it never fails to bring the wow factor.
ON THE WALL
The world of wallpaper design is endlessly creative, and we are thoroughly spoilt for choice when it comes to eye-catching patterns and prints. Whether you’re looking to liven up your living room, or go bold in the bedroom, there’s always a paper to suit your taste, and space. When choosing a wallcovering, think about the dimensions of your room: do you have the scale to accommodate large repeat motifs? Or will a ditsy floral be lost in an expansive open-plan reception?
Ludovica Misciattelli’s Motus prints for Spaghetti Wall
One of the most effective ways to incorporate pattern is with the use of focal points. If you’ve fallen in love with a print that you suspect might overwhelm a narrow Victorian living room, a splash of colour and pattern on a chimney breast hits all the right notes. It becomes a stand-out statement, much like a wall-hung artwork in itself. In open-concept homes, one interior design trick is to use wallpaper to define distinct areas. Whether you plump for a vibrant contrast or a subtle shift, a change in wallcovering gives you a visual separation and a transition between your spaces. This works particularly well in open-plan living/dining rooms where you might want something light, bright and airy in your lounge but a darker, moodier, and more atmospheric feel in your dining space.
When it comes to wallpaper trends, we’re going bolder and brighter this season. One contemporary brand we’ve fallen for is Italy’s Spaghetti Wall. New collections for 23/24 include Ludovica Misciattelli’s Motus print with its painterly curves, geometric repeats, and its daring colour combinations. This paper’s no wallflower.
From £59 +VAT (spaghettiwall.it)
In a world of fast fashion, super consumerism and next day delivery, there’s something altogether wholesome about buying fabric by the metre and having it handmade into bespoke curtains. With discerning homemakers increasingly adopting this slow living approach, it is a welcome throwback to yesteryear (we’ll see you at the John Lewis haberdashery counter). Unlike off-the-peg drapes and soft furnishings, this gives you a perfectly tailored look. Similarly, armchairs, sofas, footstools and chaises can be upholstered in your favourite prints to give you one-of-a-kind pieces that are uniquely yours.
Anthropologie’s latest collaboration with House of Hackney
When buying fabric, think about performance: natural materials such as cotton, silk and wool offer breathability and comfort, but they do require extra care. High-end synthetic fabrics on the other hand can successfully mimic the real thing and prove hard-wearing, easy to clean, and resistant to fading. Fabric weight is all-important, too, especially when investing in bespoke curtains. Sheer and lightweight fabrics like chiffon and voile allow more light in where heavier materials such as velvet and brocade not only offer light-blocking properties but do their bit for insulation and even outside noise-reduction.
Eldon wallpaper by GP & J Baker, £169 per roll (janeclayton.co.uk)
Durability is key for upholstery fabrics that will see a lot of heavy use. Ever heard of the Martindale rub count? This is a special test that measures textiles for everyday wear and tear. Look for weaves with a 15,000-30,000 count for general to heavy-duty domestic use. Anything over 30,000 is more suited to commercial use (think tube train seats – pretty geometric patterns, but ultimately scratchy). And of course, for those with children or pets, upholstery fabrics with stain resistant properties are a must. We love the just launched collab between heritage brand Schumacher and New York’s Drusus Tabor, who are known for their wonderfully original block-printed textiles. The collection of fabrics and wallpapers includes artisanal handprinted patterns and designs that capture the subtle irregularities and tonal variations of traditional block printing. Don’t be afraid to go full matchy-matchy with curtains and wallpaper for a quirky, contemporary twist.
Fabrics from £132 per m, wallpaper from £144 per roll. (fschumacher.co.uk)