Homes Magazine - Page 18 - Wall to wall

Homes Magazine
- Page 18
Wall to wall
BY KIT WASKOM POLLARD for Baltimore at Home

From grass cloth to murals, top options for wall coverings

Whether they’re painted plain white or covered in wild wallpaper, walls set the tone for a room. Local designers say today’s homeowners are willing to experiment with their wall coverings, trying out different textures, colors and materials. Here, they share the hottest trends in wall coverings.

Not your grandma’s wallpaper

For years, homeowners shied away from wallpaper, which was perceived as dowdy and old-fashioned. Not anymore. Design houses are reissuing decadesold wallpapers with updated colors and enlarged patterns to give them a fresh look.

“A lot of times, it’s the colors – the hunter greens and burgundies – that date [wallpaper],” says Stephanie Gamble, a designer with offices in Belvedere Square.

Alexa Ralff of AHR Designs in Lutherville says nature-inspired prints are popular, as are oversized florals and updated chinoiserie patterns.

“They may have been in your grandmother’s house, but now they are blown-out and modern,” she says.

Grass cloth is back

The nubby material is another blast from the past in local homes, says Shelly Wilkins, owner of Westminster-based Walls, Etc.

“I’m installing a lot of grass cloth these days. It was big in the ’80s and has come back,” adding texture and complexity to a room, she says.

Neutrals rule

A few years ago, bold wall color was all the rage. Today, the preferred palette is more muted. “From the ’90s to 2000s, you’d have a red dining room, green study, blue den. Now, everything is whites and creams and greiges. Your whole house is within the same tone,” says Ralff.