Let's Talk About Wallpaper!

Author: Jackie Hatcher

Jackie first found her passion for design while taking a history of architecture elective her sophomore year in college. Since then she has been captivated by the art and creativity found in buildings. She received her Interior Design degree from the Art Institute of Houston and has recently joined the Cornerstone team as office assistant. She can be found buzzing through the office helping with a variety of different tasks soaking in all the design process has to offer.

Wallpaper is back! Custom materials, seismic wallpaper, and high-tech wallpaper are all examples of new and improved versions of that tacky stuff found on the walls of Granny’s kitchen nook. Many people still associate wallpaper with those dated floral or pin stripe walls when really it started as much more than that.


During the 1800's the trend for scenic wallpaper was found in fashion all over America and France. This resulted in giant walls showing panoramic views of exotic beaches and lush forests.

The print Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique by Joseph Dufour

By the 1900's wallpaper became one of the most iconic household items in America. Famous artists including Andy Warhol even designed wallpaper. This excitement was relatively short lived, and by the late 1990's wallpaper was being frustratingly torn down. However, the 21st century has become a turn-around year for wallpaper as it is being seen again and has some interesting new traits!


Traveling to Germany, we find wallpaper evolving into a residential safety feature. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have been busy testing scenarios involving a home’s ability to withstand earthquakes. As a result, they have developed a flexible adhesive that forms to grooves in a wall which evaporates and boosts the wallpaper’s strength. This fabric wallpaper was put to the test and led to a building withstanding a simulated quake! This wallpaper understandably costs more than average, and for those homes located in earthquake-prone areas the product could potentially be worth your home, or even your life!

Now focusing back on the more aesthetic qualities of wallpaper...a London based company, Meystyle, has developed a wallpaper that custom-makes every roll to incorporate LED lights into the designs. The wallpaper is just as thin as other wallpapers and buyers can even pick between warm white or cool white low-voltage LEDs. Meystyle has several designs to choose from and each can be customized with LEDs at the buyer’s request.

Wallpaper is also evolving simply by including more materials. These wallpapers all require a little extra allocated to your renovation budget, however the wallpaper’s effect might just be worth it! Metallic wallpaper can add depth to a wall and a certain artistic vibe. The pop of glamour can really intensify the magic of a room. Silk wallpaper is a luxurious way to jazz up a space. Splurge and impress your guests during those dinner parties in the dining room, but silk wallpaper is too delicate for high-use areas such as the family room or kitchen. Embossed wallpaper can now add a little texture to homes without the added cost of plaster work. The materials added to wallpaper are endless including beading, tile, and glass to create a mosaic feel to accent walls or small spaces.

Cornerstone Architects works very closely with our clients and their interior designers, and we even have two licensed interior designers on our team. We are always excited to learn about the latest trends and technologies in the design world...even if it's just wallpaper! Safety features and new materials will keep popping up on walls and we can’t wait to see what else is in store!

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Award-winning Architecture Firm - Residential and Commercial Architecture - Austin Texas Architects