By Dave Nemeth

Wallpaper has made a huge comeback over recent years; and although it is still available mostly through interior designers, decorators and specialist stores, it is important to understand when, where and how this amazing decor product can be used.

One of the most important factors to be mindful of is that the walls of your home are the largest and most noticeable areas and ultimately have the ability to dictate the entire look and feel of your home.

If you are thinking of applying wallpaper, then the very first thing you need to do is check if the walls are perfectly flat, especially here in South Africa where many of the internal walls are textures or Spanish-plastered.

Walls need not be perfectly flat in order to apply wallpaper, and if they are not, then you risk extra expenses when smoothing out the surfaces,

There are thousands of patterns and colour variations on the market, and a host of materials to enable different applications.

The most popular types of wallpaper:

  • Vinyl wallpaper. Within the class of vinyl wallpaper, there are three types to choose from as they all have different attributes – vinyl coated, fabric backed and paper backed.
  • Fabric-backed wallpaper is durable, washable, and can be used in high-traffic areas of the home.
  • Flocked wallpaper is mostly referred to as “textured wallpaper”, as the manufacturing process involves the application of synthetic fibres that produce a raised pattern effect.
  • Natural wallpaper is a great way to bring texture into a room, and is available in a variety of materials including grass cloth, hemp, jute and cotton.
  • Custom wallpaper is gaining popularity as it gives you full flexibility to to have any image or pattern printed. Since custom wallpaper is becoming a lot more affordable, it can now be used as a lower-cost alternative to certain ready-made wallpapers.