Emma Chamberlain’s drool-worthy LA home broke the internet for many reasons, but wallpaper textures in particular stood out from the groovy interiors thanks to the brilliant dimensions—cork-lined walls and ceilings plus some banana-tree bark wallcoverings in the powder room. The concept of imbuing your walls not just with color, but also touchable finishes, is one that’s gaining traction for punching up your space with a certain wow factor.
Designer Alex Alonso of Miami’s Mr. Alex Tate Design describes the recent surge of interest in wallpaper textures, explaining that “anything that really personalizes a space is getting a lot of attention.” He also notes the way people are experimenting as clients look for ways to make their walls feel special and more custom: “Sometimes paint will do the trick, but when you want to be a little extra, texture on the walls really makes a statement.”
As New York–based designer Josh Greene of Josh Greene Design also notes, wallpaper doesn’t have to be a flat surface. It can appear bumpy or embossed thanks to raised features and patterns on the surface, lending to your space an added element of tactility and fun. Greene’s been lining rooms in plush Ultrasuede wallpaper designs for years—which is a type of velvety overlay with a fuzzy surface—but textured wallpapers can also come in fine-corded linen or grosgrain-like designs with fabric woven into the wallcovering themselves, natural fibers like grasscloth, or boast a trompe l’oeil effect that cleverly resembles a 3D print within a flat design. “Plain painted walls can be beautiful, but once you put a textured paper in a design scheme, it takes it to the next level,” he explains.
Alonso loves using colorful textured wallpapers in his builds and prefers working with paper-backing fabric, specifically. It’s a method that involves adding strippable paper to nearly any textile (including thicker tapestry-like designs) to turn it into wallpaper—without the installation adhesive bleeding into the fabric itself. “These days with the development of printing and paper-backing techniques, there is a huge range of natural and specialty papers that have hand-painted applications,” Greene explains.
Of course, you can always opt for a patterned traditional wallpaper, which won’t have a bumpy surface, but can at least create the illusion of texture. There are also a growing number of stick-and-peel wallpaper designs, like Tempaper’s line of printed designs, that allow you to dress up your home without committing to one design scheme (or hassling with industrial adhesive) due to their sticky backing.
Here, AD spoke with designers on why the textured wallpaper trend is picking up steam, ways to go bold with it in your home, and what inspired them to incorporate texture into their own builds.
Experiment with colors and prints