Choosing the Right Wallpaper

This type of wall coating has been making a real comeback for some years in decoration stores with new materials, easier laying, simplified maintenance and more interesting designs. If you’re rethinking the style of one of your rooms and have decided to hang wallpaper, there are three main styles for you to choose between: contemporary, traditional and classic.


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  • What different types of wallpaper are there?

    There are a lot of different types of wallpaper for you to choose from according to your tastes, or according to the time you have to lay it.


    Traditional wallpaper is made of paper only. Its grammage (weight per m2) is a good indication of its quality: high grammage equates to high quality. To apply it, you must pre-glue the paper.

    Papiers de Paris traditional wallpaper

    Non-woven wallpaper is a wall covering consisting of a layer of polyester and cellulose covered with a vinyl film. Thicker than traditional wallpaper, it can be applied to imperfect or even damaged walls. It supports moisture and can be placed in humid areas like the bathroom. Regarding its installation, the glue is applied directly to the wall, which is a significant time saver because it is not necessary to have a tapestry table to glue it beforehand.

    LGD01 non-woven wallpaper

    Vinyl wallpaper is wallpaper that has had a thin layer of PVC applied to it. Remarkable for its resistance, it is completely waterproof. It also offers good light resistance and is suitable for all rooms in the house. But be careful: If your walls are too irregular, the gloss of the paper may accentuate this. In this case it is better to choose a non-woven wallpaper.

    Expanded vinyl wallpaper is the “embossed” version of vinyl wallpaper. The reliefs are created using raised ink. Because of its thickness, it is ideal for very damaged walls.

    Flocked velvet wallpaper is a paper whose patterns are obtained with the technique of flocking that is to say the application of synthetic fibers on a material covered with glue.

    Japanese straw, or laminated paper, is a wall covering consisting of a layer of paper on which certain materials are intertwined: most often straw, bamboo, raffia and holding fibers. Often made by hand, Japanese straw wallpaper often differs in quality. Large variations in hue are observable from one batch to another, it is therefore strongly recommended to use Japanese straw of the same lot.

    Metallic wallpaper consists of a metal layer welded to a paper support. Metallic and contemporary in design, it has a shiny, plain or patterned appearance that allows it to play with light. It’s considered to be easy to clean using a damp sponge, and is also easy to remove. Initially, the metallized layer is torn off dry, and in a second step, the underlayer is removed with warm water or steam. The glossy aspect of metallic paper will show the imperfections of the wall if it is not smooth.

    BIANCHI LECCO SRL metallic wallpaper

  • What are the selection criteria to consider when choosing your wallpaper?

    A ready-to-use wallpaper is defined by different characteristics that appear on the packaging of the wallpaper rolls. Each wallpaper has its own characteristics that you have to check to make sure that it is adapted to the room for which it is intended. There are five main points to consider: washability, light resistance, fitting method, gluing and removal. Make sure that the paper you buy is compatible with the location you are going to use it in.

    You will also find another very important indication on the packaging of your wallpaper: the lot number of the paper. As far as possible, make sure that this lot is identical for all the rolls purchased. The more artisanal the method for manufacturing the paper, such as in the case for Japanese straw, the more careful you have to be as the lot affects the size, hue and quality of the paper.

    Another very important element that will affect not only the final rendering of the wallpaper but also the ease of installation and its aging over time, is the type of glue. Be sure to buy specific glue adapted for your wallpaper. This will save you a lot of disappointment.

  • How to clean wallpaper?

    Depending on the type of wallpaper laid, several methods are available. Before cleaning you will need to dust your walls.

    For washable wallpaper, use a sponge moistened with soapy water but take care not to soak the paper. Just because it’s washable doesn’t mean it can handle massive amounts of water. Wipe off excess moisture with a white cloth so that it does not bleed, then clean and dry. Be careful that dirty water doesn’t flow off the sponge; to avoid this, clean from bottom to top.

    For Vinyl wallpaper, lightly using a damp sponge will suffice; Japanese straw or laminated fabrics can handle regular dusting. You can vacuum wallpaper with a textile brush to prepare it for cleaning.

  • What wallpaper should you use for which room?

    In damp rooms, you have no choice: You absolutely need vinyl wallpaper as it is resistant to moisture. It is best to avoid thin paper if your wall is not perfectly regular. On the other hand,  using a non-woven or expanded wallpaper, both very thick, can erase differences in levels and create the impression of harmonious walls. 

    The types of wallpaper that erase the imperfections from walls also allow us to modify our perception of light and space. You can play on the exposure of a room. For example, a room facing north that can be rather dark can be enhanced by warm colors. To play on dimensions, opt for striped paper. Vertical stripes, for example, give the impression of a greater ceiling height. 

    Lastly, keep in mind that big patterns can overwhelm a room, especially if the room is small. 

  • What are the new trends?

    Wallpaper made its come back in 2018 with exciting designs and bold prints, including tropical patterns. According to Vogue magazine for 2019 the top designer wallpapers belong to Cole & Son, Elitis, Farrow & Ball, Hermès, Le Monde Sauvage, Nobilis, Ressource and Pierre Frey.

    We’re now seeing bathroom wallpaper that, thanks to special glue, is extremely resistant to moisture. A few other new trends include removable wallpaper, phosphorescent wallpaper and heat reactive wallpaper.

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