Wallcovering is a subtle yet vibrant player in design. But it also responds to and creates trends. Yesterday, I had the chance to meet with the Wallcovering Association, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and have seemingly become a foremost expert in the product category (according to me, in my own head).
One of the perks of this job is learning about trends and seeing how the industry responds to them. Indeed, some of the top wallcovering companies (York Wallcoverings, MDC, TRI-KES, J. Josephson, and Hytex) sent representatives to talk all things wallcovering as well as what we can expect from the industry in the next few years. Here are some key takeaways from that meeting.
1. Customization. Modifying print media for the wall is one way the industry is pivoting and diversifying its offerings. Digitally printing large designs (think a piece of art or map that covers the wall) adds authenticity and uniqueness to projects. For example, TRI-KES worked with Meyer Davis Studio on the Le Méridien New Orleans to custom print maps of the city’s topography to cover elevator corridors and the Hub area.
2. Industrial chic mixes with natural materials. If you thought reclaimed and repurposed materials were on their way out, you would be very wrong. Materials like cork, grasses, stones, and marble effects are driving the industry, adding texture and dimension to an otherwise flat service. Earthy tones of red and brown are another call back to nature.
3. Texture with 3D effects. Wallcovering can be the standout of any room, and the goal is to have people want to stop and touch the wall on their way to their room or when they’re loitering in the lobby. Those textures are enhanced by certain lighting and high and low effects.
4. Bold Geometrics. Whether large or small, geometrics create both a sophisticated and subtle look on the wall. For example, Thom Filicia’s new collection with MDC infuses geometrics with other trends including natural materials and a handcrafted appearance.
5. Metallics. Yes, they’re still as popular as ever, and for good reason. They complement large geometrics or floral prints, but they also add shimmer and glamour. Gold is making a comeback. For extra drama, pair with a neutral like gray, white, or black.
6. Color is coming back. But neutrals are also popular, and not only gray but warmer ones like ivory, cream, beige, and cork are gaining steam. Green and blue hues in midcentury jewel tones like emerald and Western-inspired denim colors are highly sought after. In addition, burnt orange, a color that had some prominence a few years back, is finding its place as a complementary color to metals like copper.