Where Did Wallpaper Come From?
Wallpaperinstaller.com provides a detailed history of wallpaper, from its earliest days and rising popularity in China, to adoption in early America by colonials who copied European fashions, to a fall from favor in the 20th century as “modernism frowned on embellishments.” Recent advances in “digital, photo, and printing technologies have allowed modern printing facilities to replicate historic papers and other digital media on a variety of substrates,” says the site. This all led to a resurgence in interest and adoption in wallpaper for walls.
How Has Wallpaper Changed?
What caused the drop in popularity of wallpaper? Justin Riordan, the founder of Portland-based Spade and Archer Design Agency with offices in Portland and Seattle, points to cost and difficult application as two key factors. But now, he says, “with new technologies, wallpaper has been reinvented into wall coverings. Easy peel and stick, washable, and decals are the cousin to the old-time permanent wallpaper.”
Wallpaper, says Riordan, “gone from frumpy to fabulous.” And, with improvements in imaging and printing technology, the cost of wallpaper for walls has also broadened its appeal.“With the durable, removable and creative patterns we’re seeing now, wallpaper and wall coverings are now en vogue again,” Riordan says.
The shift back to wallpaper is happening now, says Schwuchow, because people want living spaces that are unique and customized. “Young homeowners are seeing modern and innovative advancements in wallpapers and want to express themselves through design. Wallpapers today can even be custom printed with your own photography or art at any scale you desire.”