Not Your Grandmother's Wallpaper
Wild wallcoverings that celebrate the animal kingdom
A pattern by artist Lisa Bliss for Graduate Collection, Vestige Wallpaper Mustard shows “British beasts that would have commonly dressed the walls of our past aristocracy” (also in Grey).
Today’s wallcoverings turn walls into art, which explains why designers around the world are drawn to the medium. Whether it’s a little or a lot, wallpaper can create a dramatic change. And a whole new breed of beasts is showing up.
Animal-themed wallpapers get modern in large-scale prints and contemporary colors. From bucks to badgers and squirrels to skunks, creatures roam the walls, celebrating wildlife in distinct style.
Eccentric Black and White wallpaper by Graham & Brown features quick and easy paste-the-wall application.
Homeowners can perk up one wall or an entire room with animal motifs. The first step is finding wallpaper that speaks to them or complements their décor. Patterns with animal heads only, especially deer, can work in place of traditional hunting mounts. They give a nod—and a wink—to Western life.
More ornamental wallpapers featuring smaller prints look playful in children’s rooms. Adventurous options, with animals dressed in finery or captured in frames, lend themselves to smaller spaces such as powder rooms and entrance halls, where a little goes a long way.
A new take on the old hunting tradition, Stag Print wallpaper by Graduate Collection reproduces hand-drawn art by Lisa Bliss (shown in Teal; also available in Plum and Grey).
After choosing wallpaper, homeowners must face this question: Should they hang it themselves or hire a professional? Tyler Korn of design store Guiry’s in Denver says, “It all depends on how ambitious you are.” Do keep in mind that hanging wallpaper is complex and involves many factors: paper or vinyl rolls, ready-mixed or powdered paste, thick or thin lining, and finally paste-the-paper, paste-the-wall, or pre-pasted application.
Problems like bubbles, wrinkles, and misalignments happen quickly. “If it’s an expensive paper or a delicate paper, definitely get an expert,” advises Korn. There’s an easy solution for weekend warriors, however. Removable wallpaper, which comes in rolls and tiles, is a self-adhesive, temporary wallcovering. More and more companies make these easy-to-take-down options in an array of styles and motifs, including animalia.
Designed by Emily Isabella for Hygge & West, Otomi wallpaper is inspired by the embroidered textiles of Mexico’s Otomi people. The pattern translates folk art into luxe wallpaper screen printed by hand. In Pewter, a cool gray on a true white background, Otomi looks beautiful in contemporary interiors. Otomi Pewter comes in both rolls and removable tiles.
For homes with textured or log walls, wallpaper is still possible. A creative solution is to frame large wallpaper sections. Given that today’s designs read like pieces of art, this display can be fun and unique. Hang different papers in identical frames, or repeat the same paper in different frames. Another idea is to highlight one specific animal as depicted by various designers. Framing wallpaper is no longer unexpected. In fact, some artists reprint their work on wallpaper that’s available only in individual sheets.
Animal décor reminds people of the natural world, and this connection to nature can be celebrated in unbridled style on the wall with modern wallpaper designs. Creatures can be anything from whimsical to wise—so go ahead and bring the animals inside.
Daring and decadent, Hackney Empire wallpaper depicts anthropomorphized animals. Shown in Ochre Stripe, this luscious design also comes in Midnight Stripe and solid Midnight, Ochre or White.
Otomi, in bright Turquoise, comes in rolls and tiles.
Squirrels by Aimée Wilder repeats four-inch squirrels on clay-coated, FSC-certified paper; available in Latte.
Guiry’s Color Source
Multiple Locations in Metro Denver and Boulder, CO
Wallcovering Installers Association (WIA)