Extravagant patterns, soft shapes, dignified restraint, a love of nature and the trend colours grey and blue – with these trends, the German Wallpaper Institute wants to show us how to conjure up a distinctive and individual atmosphere on the walls of our living rooms and bedrooms. The manufacturers are demonstrating that there’s far more to wallpaper than printed paper or non-woven wall coverings. Their collections – some of them newly launched – experiment not just with designs but with combinations of materials and colours and new techniques as well, thus turning the wall into an individual designer item.
“Our own four walls always conveys an impression of what we’re like – and therefore give us the opportunity to reveal something of our personality,” says Axel Venn, professor of colour design and trendscouting at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim. Ideally, he says, rather than being restricted to a single dominant theme, the colours of the walls and living space should be a mixture of both soothing and stimulating shades. “Neutral colours without any strong characteristics, such as matt yellow, soft orange or sorbet shades, are soothing. Loud colours, on the other hand – the kind of bright shades used for coloured pencils – can be used to achieve a stimulating effect.”
Graphic patterns are particularly popular right now. New this year: round organic shapes in ice-cream shades like pistachio and raspberry or mellow colours like beige and cream. The sophisticated designs of these wallpapers add a fresh and youthful touch to the room. But wallpapers in various shades of grey and silver are also appearing on the scene this year: available in a wide variety of colour gradations, grey wallpapers – some of them with puristically clear designs and others with playful elements – provide a wealth of combination options and scope for creative interiors. Whether you’re after an objective Bauhaus style or a relaxed lounge look – grey is never boring.
Living in a digitised world often leads us to seek its opposite by getting close to nature. The choice of wallpapers that emulate materials like wood, stone, fur and leather is bigger and more varied than ever before. They create a warm atmosphere in the room and are available in easy-to-combine colours such as terracotta, walnut, birch and clay. “The increasing digitisation of knowledge is speeding up the way we live our lives,” explains design and trend expert Sigrid Frommberger of Rasch. “This is resulting in a modern-day megatrend: the suppression of the real world in favour of a virtual world. That means the products of the future will have to provide more tactile stimulation again. We appreciate the value of hand-made, elemental and unadulterated things, products with a soul and a personal story.”
But a natural look is by no means the only option: wallpapers can also be used to liven up the walls with a generous dose of glitz and glamour. Echoing the trend in the fashion world, they are sporting captivating and intense colours such as plum, silver and gold. Sumptuous patterns, shiny effects and glittering particles adorn the walls. The patterns, most of which feature large motifs, work well in high-ceilinged rooms and, when combined with the right furniture, can add an extremely chic feel to the interior.
“The success factors for any product are identity, authenticity and sustainability,” explains Hanau-based artist Lars Contzen, who has developed some unusual designs for wallpapers, furniture and glass surfaces. “Like the fashions we wear, our private living space reveals our personal outlook, our attitude to life in stylistic terms. That’s why individuality, multifacetedness and subtlety are in greater demand than ever before on the wallpaper market right now.”