5 wallpaper designs that never go out of style
Transform your walls with timeless style. Discover the top 5 wallpaper designs that never go out of fashion. Explore our selection and elevate your decor today.
Fashions come and go (even in interior design), but style always remains constant. Sophisticated and elegant or whimsical and charming, wallpaper designs can uplift your home, create a sense of peace and serenity, or bring a new dynamism to your décor. Whether you’re looking for timeless botanicals, heritage patterns, or contemporary masterpieces, wallpaper designs can reflect who you are and what you want your home to be.
Wallpaper designs range from the utter simplicity and sublime beauty of neutral minimalism to the more ornate and whimsical charm of floral prints. There are also complex design concepts such as Biophilic design and the timeless elegance of Chinoiserie to choose from. But how do you use them? Where do you put these wallpapers to create the best effect? And how do you balance them with paired paints and accent colours?
Our guide to five wallpaper designs that never go out of style will take you through each type of wallpaper category, explain what they are and how they work within an interior plan, and give you a couple of examples of each to help you choose your favourite.
Neutral minimalism is exactly as it sounds – modern wallpaper designs with a very simple pattern or no pattern at all, using neutral colours often combined with a basic textural element to add interest. Neutral minimalism is a key part of contemporary interior design. It allows other elements to take centre stage against an uncluttered, fundamentally simple canvas.
Neutral Minimalism works best in modern homes and within the framework of a minimalist interior design concept. It also features heavily in Japanese interior design and has a sublime, Zen-like quality that gives you free rein to do what you like with the rest of your décor. Team it with neutral paint colours and a feature item like an unusual light shade or chandelier. Or pair it with Scandinavian furniture for the ultimate in clean, elegant living.
Our top picks:
- Hessian Natural Wallpaper – a sublime neutral colour with a textured finish gives this simple wallpaper instant appeal. It projects a surprisingly warm tone that can be illuminated with a classic Edison bulb for a tranquil golden light or used in a hallway to brighten up a narrow space.
- Glamorous Texture Light Grey Wallpaper – Dove Grey is a big colour feature this season, and this exquisite wallpaper combines a subtle yet sophisticated colourway with the softest texture effects. Ideal for a living room or bedroom accented with a few simple, well-chosen tonal elements or natural textures such as wood or rattan.
Delicate colours and whimsical botanicals, bright flowers and hidden treasures within the pattern – floral prints are much more than just pretty, country-cottage designs. Modern wallpaper designs also bring floral prints into the mix, allowing you to introduce heritage designs into a contemporary setting.
Floral prints work well in bedrooms and bright, sunny living rooms. They also make a great background for a home office or a guest room. In fact, we think that floral prints are one of the most versatile of all the different styles of wallpaper designs, and it’s no surprise that even today, classic designs from Laura Ashley are still hugely popular. Team them with paint colours that pick out key elements of a pattern and highlight them with neutral white woodwork for maximum effect.
Our top picks:
- Laura Ashley Eglantine Blush Wallpaper – A genuine classic and one of the quintessential Laura Ashley heritage prints, this charming blush wallpaper uses a soft, dusky pink blush background trailing sweetbrier training rose patterns to create a chic French chateau opulence to any interior.
- Laura Ashley Gosford Cranberry Wallpaper – This fabulous floral’s joyful pops of colour are an absolute delight. Sunshine yellow and cranberry red give this heritage design a genuinely modern feel. The colourways offer up a multitude of options, from accenting with pale cream to match the background or going for a rich cranberry to emphasise the floral design.
- Laura Ashley Rosemore Pale Sable Wallpaper – It really doesn’t get much more vintage floral than this timeless design. Think Laura Ashley, and you’re immediately imagining blousy roses, sage foliage, and a sable background make this enchanting wallpaper the epitome of country-cottage charm.
It’s easy to think that Biophilic designs fall into the same category as florals, but there are subtle differences. Biophilic designs draw their inspiration from the natural world, including colours, shapes, and patterns. They can take a single element of a natural form, such as a leaf or twig and bud, and repeat that element to create a complex yet elegant effect. The principle behind biophilic design is to ‘bring the outdoors inside’, to add a little bit of Nature into your décor.
It goes particularly well with other natural elements such as polished wooden floors, materials such as linen and cotton, and colours that mimic those you’ll find walking through a forest or a meadow. Think soft sage greens, pale yellows, and subtle stone hues, and you have the tonal elements of biophilic design. Our yearning to reconnect with Nature has made biophilic designs incredibly popular in the 21st century, and they work well in both modern and traditional homes.
Our top picks:
- Laura Ashley Parterre Sage Wallpaper – This fabulously floaty pattern captures all the elements of biophilic design perfectly. The fresh sage green tones and twisting foliage against a neutral background, coupled with white wisteria floral elements give it a wonderful cottage-garden feel.
- Laura Ashley Willow Leaf Hedgerow Wallpaper – This simple yet vibrant wallpaper demonstrates exactly how a single element can be turned into an interesting and dynamic pattern. The fresh greens of the willow leaf repeat with gently swooping stems to give the pattern a delightfully fluid feel. This modern design is perfect for sunny bedrooms or hallways.
Textured wallpaper crosses over into all types of wallpaper designs, but it works especially well in damask patterns. Damask goes back centuries – to the Middle Ages, in fact – and is one of the most genuinely timeless designs you’ll ever come across. It saw a huge resurgence in 18th and 19th-century France, and then again in the early 20th century. Incorporated into everything from fabric woven for royalty to the walls of French chateaux, damask is a universally loved pattern that never loses its appeal.
Today, damask has found its way into several heritage designs, where it has been updated and revived for the 21st century. Using clever colour combinations gives it a fresh, new look, and adding texture to the mix helps elevate it even further. Textured damask works well in opulent bedrooms and chic living rooms.
Our top picks:
- Venetian Damask Grey Wallpaper – An absolutely classic rendition of this timeless design, brought up to date by cleverly using a soft grey textured background and a neutral white damask repeat pattern. Ideal for a feature wall in a bedroom or living room or subtle enough to use across all four walls without becoming over-fussy or imposing.
- Laura Ashley Josette White Wallpaper – It doesn’t get more up-to-date than this utterly delightful textured damask. The delicate pattern is rendered in the lightest of silver greys against a white background that will add light, movement, and effortless sophistication to a living room or bedroom. This modern wallpaper design is a unique take on a truly classic motif.
Inspired by the ethereal beauty of Chinese and Japanese ceramics and art, chinoiserie is a timeless design that is seeing a resurgence in popularity, thanks to new and innovative interpretations. The original chinoiserie incorporates a range of different elements into the design, including architectural motifs, garden scenes, birds, and insects. It fell out of favour for a while, but its subtleties and elegance are gaining a new following among interior designers, and it’s become popular again.
The art of a modern wallpaper chinoiserie design is to take a heritage pattern and incorporate new elements into it, particularly different colourways. So the use of neutrals, pearlescent shimmers and on-trend tones like teal and ink blue give these vintage designs new life. Elegant chinoiserie is particularly well suited to bedrooms and as a feature wall in a living space.
Our top picks:
- Laura Ashley Summer Palace Royal Blue Wallpaper – This archive print has been brought back to life by cleverly using a delicate palette of blues, including Duck Egg and Ink blue. The result is a whimsical pattern that bursts with life and would make a spectacular feature wall in a living room.
- Laura Ashley Oriental Garden Pearlescent White Wallpaper – This remarkable variation shows that the simplest colour palette can create an incredible effect. Pearlescent inks give the classic chinoiserie pattern a shimmering lightness that will illuminate any space. The clever use of a white background makes the pearlescent elements pop just enough. Sophisticated enough to use in an elegant living room or an exquisite bedroom, it’s one of our most popular modern wallpaper designs.