Posted on March 08 2021
Have you ever found yourself asking questions such as; what are the different types of wallpaper designs and styles? Do you know the difference between traditional and modern wallpaper pattern? Maybe you want to switch up and upgrade your interior style but can’t decide which direction to go in.
Worry no more! Welcome to our new article series, Defining Wallpaper, where we give you the rundown on common wallpaper terminology, such as mica, paste the wall, vinyl, and much more! Whether you’re new to the wallpapering world and looking to learn more or a seasoned interior design veteran brushing up on your knowledge, we hope these articles help you on your next project.
This week, we’re taking a look at the different wallpaper categories and styles!
Major Wallpaper Categories
The following categories are the major ones that you’ll find when browsing wallpaper sites online or in-store. While some wallpaper products fall into multiple categories below (such as a floral wallpaper design that’s also modern), these categories represent the basic descriptive term for wallpaper patterns. Each category below includes a brief description of the wallpaper design elements and a visual example.
1. Abstract Wallpaper
Let’s start with one of the most popular styles in the design world today. Abstract is an emerging interior trend for 2021. This is the style for you if you are looking for a perfect mix of minimalist elegance with modern and artistic touch.
Abstract wallpaper patterns generally veer towards the more artistic side, with many designs focusing on the interplay between color rather than depicting an actual object or recognizable image. That being said, its abstract elements means these patterns are quite flexible and versatile in terms of where it's used, whether it's a large living room wallpaper or a small powder room.
This wallpaper example above is a pattern that layer colour and brush strokes to create a seamless horizontal pattern that is reminiscent of an artistic landscape. The textured canvas background adds depth and a creative aesthetic. What makes it abstract are the nonfigurative visual elements and the use of colors splashed around in a less structured manner. The artistic side of this wallpaper style comes into play when you take a close up look at the wallpaper design itself:
Note: The serene pale blue shades used in this wallpaper are designed to calm, create a harmonious peaceful background, and stimulate the creative sides of its home-dwellers.
With the focus on the texture, line and color this Blue Abstract Brush Strokes wallpaper is recommended to be used for walls, ceilings and wooden surfaces. With any abstract wallpaper, it may not necessarily be the design that catches your attention first, but the colors and how they're presented.
2. Classic Wallpaper
Classic wallpaper design is the All-Time favorite in the Interior World. Aside from its timeless beauty and stylish interior, nothing adds excitement to a room quite like this eye-catching wallpaper design. Almond Blossom wallpaper patterns that have stood the test of time, it is based off of Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting, Almond Blossoms. Van Gogh created this painting for his new born nephew as a symbol of new life. It references a chinoiserie patterning with rich texture and colour and will add a touch of art and culture to your interiors. This historical patterns will not only fill your home with a majestic character but it will also add an elegant and classy hues to your space evoking a sense of refinement and grace.
As one of the broader wallpaper categories on this list (“modern” and “transitional” being the other ones), you can find many different design categories within the classic wallpaper category. Think of “classic” as more of a feeling or mood, one that inspires a more historical and sophisticated look. Because of this, you can easily narrow down your options when you’re out shopping for new wallpapers simply by combining the “classic” wallpaper term with other wallpaper categories (e.g. classic floral, classic damask). Here are some examples!
Within the classic wallpaper category, some common designs include damask floral, and stripes.
3. Damask Wallpaper
Damask wallpaper is instantly recognizable because of their iconic patterning (just Google “damask pattern” and you’ll see what we mean). Damask wallpaper features an interlocking floral design that is more often than not brimming with exceptional detailing. While this category makes use of floral patterning, it’s not hard to distinguish floral wallpaper from damask. The difference between Damask and floral wallpaper categories? Damask designs generally have a more structured, geometric-like patterning whereas floral designs can show similar repetition or designed in a more free forming manner.
Teal Stamped Damask is a transitional wallpaper that uses a highly traditional floral damask pattern with a texture that gives off a stamped or weathered effect. Metallic sheen coats the damask, which contrasts elegantly against the matte background. Use this pattern if you want to effortlessly add class to any space especially lounges, hallways
Within the damask wallpaper category, you’ll find designs that fit different “moods.” This Teal Stamped damask wallpaper is darker, and gives off a more classic, sophisticated look. Some damask designs feature a "chain" that borders the floral elements) whereas others, like this one, use negative space as a "border”.
4. Geometric Wallpaper
There’s always wonderful reasons about introducing geometric pattern to our homes and loving the on-going geometric trend with its interlocking tessellating shapes. A sense of harmony and rhythm is achieved whilst being visually stimulating. And like the floral trend, geometric patterns have never really gone out of fashion. Well, adding interest into your interior through defined repeating shapes can be soothing and reassuring to the eye as they create a sense of order, do you agree?
Geometric wallpaper is all about using shapes and lines to create a highly repeated design. Most of the geometric designs you'll find within this category feature symmetry. The main mood for this wallpaper category is contemporary, funky, and energetic.
Using solid linework to create an illusory and dimensional cubed pattern, this White Sharp Geometric wallpaper design is a great example of the types of geometric wallpapers you’ll find. Geometric wallpapers such as this one also offer a minimalist look, perfect for creating an upscale, modern aesthetic with its softer and playful aesthetic-edge.
Of course, “geometric” doesn’t just mean straight lines or angular shapes. Whereas the previous example had a more cutting-edge aesthetic, this one is softer and playful.
5. Faux Finish Wallpaper
As one of the most popular wallpaper categories of last year, faux finish is a term that’s used a lot in the interior design industry but may be unfamiliar to homeowners. Basically, faux finish wallpapers are those that mimic other materials. It's known for its photorealistic appearance as well!
If you are looking for creative ways to transform your bare walls into something unique and spectacular, gorgeous and almost looks touchable faux wallpapering is the way to go. Faux effect wallpapers are known for their intriguing look that will completely transform the space either it is traditional or classic, or modern and contemporary, the look and feel of faux effect patterns makes an excellent choice for residential spaces that require some character and personality.
Below are some of the major subcategories:
Brick wallpaper gives off a very contemporary, stylish look that’s perfect for any home. It presents a low-key yet always stylish appearance that’s effortless.
Interior Designers often expressed their love and admiration for exposed brick walls, revealing all the cool ways in which home-owners can take advantage of them and turn them into beautiful interior design features.
One of the advantages of our brick wallpaper is that it comes in many different colors and is easy to install, meaning you can change the decor and ambiance of a room without tearing down the walls or making any major changes.
This iconic Black Realistic Faux Brick pattern features a weathered effect and excellent use of light and shadows to create a highly realistic brick pattern. Texture is applied throughout the design for a realistic feeling as well, making this a great cozy kitchen or living room wallpaper.is a favorite among interior designers and homeowners alike. Whether used on a single wall or on all four walls, it's a stylish choice for sure!
For a high-end, industrial aesthetic, nothing beats concrete wallpaper. Many designs in this category feature “cracks” or “stains,” which gives it a weathered or aged look.
Due to its expensive and luxurious style, faux concrete is the top choice for living room, dining room, and bedroom, it is also the best option for bathroom, kitchen, home office and even near the staircase. Is it a versatile design which means you can use it in any space for a more welcoming look and more character vibe.
Here’s an example of a concrete wallpaper mural, which can be customized based on the room size. The quote can also be removed or kept on, depending on your tastes.
This urban style Rough Concrete Mural wallpaper mural features a weathered concrete wall with uneven coatings of paint and rust spots for an industrial look. The beauty of this concrete wallpaper allows you to conveniently incorporate it into your home décor without having to go through a major renovation process. The brick pattern is simple and classic for added versatility. It’s non-pasted and requires special adhesive when applied to the wall.
Whereas brick wallpaper is more modern and concrete wallpaper features an industrial flair, wood wallpaper is all about making your space feel cozy and relaxing. Whether you are looking to create a Scandinavian style interior or a cozy dark brown farmhouse feel, this peaceful pattern works well in bedrooms, bathrooms, and family-friendly spaces.
For a unique look, this wood wallpaper features multi-colored “slabs” of wood in a herringbone pattern. Other wood patterns might feature vertical or vertical wood panels.
Brown & Blue Rough Herringbone is a realistic feature of worn wood peeling off is amplified by its textured finish. Use it in a bedroom as a cozy rustic wallpaper.
6. Floral Wallpaper
Floral wallpaper is one of the most recognizable wallpaper categories of all time, and it’s probably what most people imagine when they hear the world “wallpaper.” Within the floral category, some veer toward the more classic style while others are more contemporary. Overall, floral wallpaper offers a sense of grace, timeless, and sophistication that is not unlike the classic or damask wallpaper categories.
This wallpaper pattern allow people to experience the outside and the wilderness of nature within the comfort of their own home. By simply looking at our floral wallpaper hung at your wall either in your bedroom, living room or dining room; you would have the same feeling of happiness and sense of calmness.
This stylish Pink Floral Wavy Stripe wallpaper features realistic blooming florals that climb the wall in a wavy stripe pattern. The subtle background with illustrated flowers contrasts with the bold florals to create a chic and delicate design perfect for a floral powder room wallpaper. Its bold design and color makes it stand out, and it's not the typical colors normally seen with floral wallpaper.
7. Modern Wallpaper
Sometimes referred to as “contemporary,” modern wallpapers are all about cutting edge designs and a sense of newness. Some of the previous examples can be considered “modern,” such as the faux finish or geometric designs. When searching for wallpaper for your own home, simply saying you want modern wallpaper may not be enough to narrow down the options. Instead, use terms like “modern floral.” Here are some examples of wallpapers that fit into the modern or contemporary wallpaper category:
This glamorous modern Navy Ginko Biloba Leaves wallpaper features lined ginkgo biloba leaves that are coated heavily with a gorgeous metallic sparkle. The leaves overlap to form a slightly geometric pattern, while the shimmer and linework take this wallpaper to the next level.
8. Striped Wallpaper
Probably a wallpaper category that needs no introduction, striped wallpaper is a design that’s been around for quite some time. While striped wallpaper has had its fair share of naysayers (“stripes are boring!”), the striped wallpaper designs of today are fun, dynamic, and trendy. Whether horizontal or vertical, striped wallpaper designs can help make a small room appear larger than it actually is.
This wallpaper is sure to make a lasting impression with a range of designs including pinstripes, subtle beads and metallics. With hints of nautical themes, stripe wallpaper is a popular choice for those who want to visually extend the wall upward, making the ceiling appear vaulted higher than it actually is and to make a room feel wider and more expansive and are typically employed in living rooms, waiting areas, and parlors.
Taking the traditional striped pattern and updating it, this wallpaper features metallic embellishments and a textured design that makes it ultra stylish and modern – probably words that you wouldn’t normally associate with striped wallpaper.
For a super contemporary take on striped wallpaper, take a look at this creative example. Each “stripe” is actually the image of a folded newspaper – a highly original design twist on a classic category. This bold and brilliantly large striped pattern features a subtle linework design full of sharp triangular angles. The micro shapes and lines are similar to aztec design. A subtle metallic sheen shines through from the background, while light texture embosses the geometric linework.
9. Transitional Wallpaper
Transitional wallpaper designs walk that fine line between classic and modern – it’s a bit of both, actually! This wallpaper pattern give you the best of both worlds. They are the perfect timeless harmony between traditional wallpaper and modern wallpaper styles that result in an edgy and unique contemporary finish. Our transitional wallpapers include floral wallpaper fusions of “old” and “new”, classical stripes with a textured twist, updated damask wallpaper designs, and more.
For a minimalist yet sophisticated look, this wallpaper features a scratched herringbone design that is perfect for any space - large or small. The small details breathe life into this pattern, giving it a modern appeal. Use this pattern on all walls or as an accompanying wallpaper to a feature wall!
Other Wallpaper Styles
Most of the time, the following wallpaper terms below aren’t necessarily referred to as an entirely separate wallpaper category, but are used to describe the wallpaper’s particular visual style. These styles can be found across different categories. For example, you might find a watercolor wallpaper in floral, damask, and geometric categories.