Staying true to classic design is the best way to maintain a timeless look for your home. It is equally important to add excitement into each room with at least one of the latest design trends, thereby keeping your décor current and fresh.

Today, wallpaper is a traditional material that is being designed and applied in some fabulously creative and modern ways. It has been around since the sixteenth century, and as you can imagine, it has experienced a lot of changes since that time.

Due to lack of demand, I was saddened to see most of the specialty wallpaper stores close in the Charlotte area about eight to 10 years ago. With only a few retail stores offering wallpaper products these days, the public is unaware of all the beautiful designs that are being offered now.

One of the hottest trends is the use of bold, oversized graphics in two- to three-color tones. It’s a great seller because it combines a traditional design element depicted in a contemporary way.

For example, traditional paisley, damask and floral patterns are printed 10 to 15 times larger than the average scale in fun colors with a solid background. There’s even wallpaper made with shimmering flecks of granite and mica. Natural fiber wallpapers such as hemp, arrowroot, grass cloth and silk are super hot right now. You won’t be disappointed with the abundance of patterns available.

In my opinion, there’s no one more knowledgeable about wallpaper in Charlotte than Joan Hobbs of Joan’s Designer Wall Coverings. She’s been in business since 1987. She shared some of her knowledge with us, including some quick tips to help you in selecting, measuring, installing and removing wallpaper.

Q. Where are some of best places for homeowners to find wallpaper?
Through wallpaper installers, interior designers and Sherwin Williams.

Q. Is there any trick to ordering wallpaper?
It should be ordered by the single roll because most are packaged in double or triple rolls. As for measuring, I suggest having your installer measure for accuracy.

Q. What should homeowners know before installing wallpaper in bathrooms and kitchens?
Consumers should choose vinyl coated wallpaper or one that has a sealer to lock out moisture. It should also be listed as washable.

Q. Have you installed a lot of the natural wallpapers?
Absolutely. You name it, I’ve installed it. Natural fibers like grass cloth and fabric wallpapers are beautiful. In fact, the natural papers show seams between each roll. That’s actually the beauty in these products.

Q. So does that mean it’s not normal for seams to show in other papers
Well, dark papers shrink more than non-dark papers because of the heavy inks. They will sometimes show a seam that can be colored in later by an artist or installer. Also, wallpapers cut on a beveled edge, for smoothing purposes, will show a fine white seam.

Q. What’s the average cost of wallpaper?
I’ve installed wallpapers that range from $25 to $300 a single roll.

Q. Do you have any advice for someone that wants to tackle wallpaper removal?
Yes. Spray the surface with a product called Diff, found at your local hardware store. Mix it with hot water in a spay bottle, until the paper releases.

Q. Are there any types of wallpaper on the market that consumers might not be aware of?
Decals have been around for a while now but have come along way. They are being used in residential and commercial applications. They include logos, quotes, custom designs and graphic designs.They are easily removable.

Q. Would decals require professional installation?
It would be best to have the larger or trickier designs done by a professional. However, the smaller ones can be done alone or with the help of another person.

Penny Law is owner of PCL Interiors, a studio specializing in residential design. Visit her Web site at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *