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Featuring classic patterns, dynamic modern designs and a mix of materials, wallpaper -which dates back to Egyptian and Roman wall paintings – is back.

Wall coverings in homes emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages, when the upper classes used intricate and decorative tapestries as décor and to minimize drafts.

The use of wall coverings boomed during the Renaissance with beautifully woven fabrics used as decoration on walls, tables and doorways.

Around this time, paper was introduced as a less expensive, more practical alternative to fabrics and tapestries.

This classic pattern – Antonelli Damask by Thibaut – lends a pop of color and a traditional touch to a marble-clad bathroom.

This classic pattern – Antonelli Damask by Thibaut – lends a pop of color and a traditional touch to a marble-clad bathroom.

Eventually, wallpaper was de rigueur in Western Europe. Patterns emulated scenic tapestries and brocatelles – and Americans often imported these papers. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, wallpaper grew in popularity, with manufacturers creating block-printed paper squares and designers adapting varying patterns, including chinoiserie, flocking and scenic papers.

By the 1920s, futurist and cubist designs hit the market. Industry innovations continued – including vinyl wallpaper in 1947 and pre-pasted papers during the 1950s.

More recently, wallpaper has enjoyed resurgence and is now available in a diversity of styles, materials and patterns – with natural textures and patterns typically overriding ornate designs in popularity.

Following are some wallpaper basics:

Vinyl/Vinyl Coated. Vinyl is the most widely used wallpaper on the market and is just that – pure vinyl. Vinyl coated is paper coated with vinyl. Both options are durable and easy to clean.

Embossed. The design side of the paper is raised and the reverse side is hollow – creating a raised textured effect. Anaglypta – the granddaddy of all wallpaper manufacturers – creates beautiful embossed designs.

Metallic/Foil. A polished metal ground is used to create shiny metallic wallpaper – then a design is printed on top of the metal.

Satin. Sheen is achieved on the paper from polishing or glazing the ground before applying the design.

Traditional Print. Hand blocked wallpaper is prized for its beautifully crafted designs. Traditional printing is done with custom-made, wood-faced printing blocks. Examples of this include wall coverings by Schumacher.

Digital Print. The evolution of digital printing has enabled wallpaper designers to go in wild new directions. Options abound – digital prints can replicate foil, lacquer, flocking, grass cloth, wood and more.

An elegant dining room features sophisticated silver leaf wallpaper designed by Thibaut.

An elegant dining room features sophisticated silver leaf wallpaper designed by Thibaut.

Flock. This has a luxurious velvet-like texture, with a three-dimensional effect. It is fabricated by dusting powdered silk, wool or flock onto a patterned surface paper, creating a piled effect.

Mural. A mural is an expansive depiction of a landscape or specific scene.

Grass Cloth. Woven from a range of grasses, this classic choice lends a subtle texture to any space and is now available embroidered with diamond grids, studded with nail heads and even stenciled with allover patterns.

Moiré. Moiré originally referred to the shimmering quality of French silk – moiré wallpaper emulates that look with an irregular wavy finish which creates an elegant water silk design.

Bamboo. Made by applying bamboo reeds or vines onto a paper backing, this style is typically handcrafted and environmentally friendly.

Silk. Threads are applied to a paper backing, creating a light elegant texture. This style is very delicate and not for high use areas.

Beaded and More. Wallpaper manufacturers are increasingly adding ornamentation like recycled glass, metallic highlights and beaded embellishments to their designs.

We designed this contemporary Chicago living room with traditional floral patterned wallpaper by Thibaut.

We designed this contemporary Chicago living room with traditional floral patterned wallpaper by Thibaut.

One of our favorite wallpaper designers is Thibaut. In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the company has unveiled a beautiful anniversary collection – from damasks and florals to embroideries and Jacobean reveries.

We love that wallpaper is back – and that the onslaught of new materials and patterns is encouraging homeowners and designers to make a bold statement with vibrant prints, vintage looks and whimsical patterns.

If you really want to wake up a room – wallpaper it.

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