Skip to main content

Layer up

By |
Colour and textured panels on a living room wall.

Texture trends to transcend the seasons

Clean, white, blank canvases were the norm for a good part of the decade, but 2021 has shifted interior wall design towards texture, moving from traditional minimalist interiors to full-on maximalist. 

Texture can be visual like patterns and colours, or it can be tactile, such as fabric and mouldings. “From an aesthetic point of view, I always think adding in texture is a good thing. Whether it’s a pattern or a surface feel or look to it, you can’t go wrong with texture,” says interior designer Deborah Nicholson, who works with clients in Halifax, the Annapolis Valley, and Nova Scotia’s South Shore. 

Her advice is to choose a texture that transcends the seasons. Especially for fixed pieces in your home like a wall covering. Instead of switching out your wallpaper or wall treatments each season, which can not only be expensive but wasteful too, try bringing in texture another way.

“Wallpaper is making a big comeback and adds to elements of design that really only wallpaper can achieve. It adds personality to a space and gives you an opportunity to express any feeling in your home,” says Virginia Ward, an interior designer based in Fall River, N.S. and owner of Virginia Ann Interiors.

Ward says if you’re still not sold on the wallpaper trend but still want an element of textured walls in your home, there are alternatives. Many companies sell peel-and-stick wall decals, so
you can create your own design. 

“There’s every pattern known to man out there that you could possibly want,” Ward says. Plus, it’s practically zero commitment which is great for short term and perfect for rentals. Even if you feel like you’re not the most creative or handy person out there, try the decals, they’re easier than you think.

Nicholson always recommends hiring a professional to install wall treatments, at least for the first time. With wallpaper, you can’t do a heavy texture without the risk of peeling, so sticking to light textures like cotton, woven, silk, and polyester are your best options. 

Nicholson Tip: Adhesive wallpaper doesn’t hold up well in damp environments like the bathroom and kitchen; even a mudroom can be a slippery slope.

Also remember that wallpaper comes with potential dangers. Nicholson says while some companies specialize in safe and environmentally friendly wallpapers, most are toxic. Whether it’s the vinyl, the adhesive or even the inks and dyes in the paper, all of these elements can have toxins that can seep into your home. Nicholson adds that even mildew can generate behind the adhesive and vinyl, which could lead toxins to develop throughout your home over time.

Panels are another increasingly popular option.

Find wooden frames and staple or stick fabric onto the panels. Nicolson says that this project would look beautiful on the whole wall, accent walls or as panels. Nicholson adds that attaching the fabric is quite easy since it’s light and can work with double-sided tape. This would complement the look nicely in a front entryway, dining room, or as an accent wall, such as behind a headboard in a bedroom as partial covering on one section.

Nicholson Tip: If you’re going with a fabric wall covering use natural liquid starch for application. Choosing a breathable fabric is also important so you don’t trap moisture.

Going with no pattern is the easiest, says Nicholson. Panels can be mismatched and look interesting and striking on the wall. If you want a pattern, Nicholson suggests going with a small pattern because if they don’t line up perfectly it won’t be as obvious: “Rich jewel tones or dark colours that speak to the fall season could be really lovely in a space.” 

Whether you are adding wallpaper, barnboard, shiplap or something else, creating a layered home can be made easy by starting with your walls and building from there, says Lori Bryne, designer at Costandi Designs in Truro, N.S. Grasscloth is a classic wallcovering and can add a warm texture to any space without being overpowering. “I love the colour variation within grasscloth applications, as well as the timeless factor of it,” she says.

The draw of textured wall coverings is that it offers another layer of warmth and texture to a space, says Bryne. “Adding that extra element can take the room to the next level and give dimension,” she says.

East Coast Living