Bringing The Outside In With Wood Effect Wallpaper
Many of us are looking for ways to introduce some texture and interest in our homes, increasingly we are incorporating natural materials into our spaces to encourage a sense of well being. Alternatively, maybe you want to have the look of wood cladding without committing to such permanent structural work? The growth of wood textured wallpaper for walls and the sheer variety of types and styles available might provide just the solution you are looking for!
What is a wood effect wallpaper?
The simple answer here is a wallpaper that looks like wood, however within the term ‘wood effect wallpaper’ there lies an extremely wide range of types, compositions, styles and price brackets.
Some wood style wallpaper is created by printing a wood pattern onto a standard pulp / vinyl backing paper, these tend to be fairly simple to hang and fall at the lower end of the price spectrum. They can give a realistic look but might not have the texture or tactile quality of more expensive papers.
Woven wood wallpaper or real wood wallpaper is usually handcrafted and consists of authentic wood sliced into very thin veneers which are then dye cut and hand laid into the required pattern (usually onto a non-woven paper backing). These papers can give a variety of different looks but they all will have a high degree of realism and an amazing tactile quality. They will be understandably more expensive and may need specialist hanging techniques.
Examples of the different types of paper
Above is a woven real wood paper where wood shapes are inlaid on a metal foil background to create a sophisticated finish.
Below is a vinyl wood finish wallpaper from Anthology available in a range of shades
What ‘looks’ can I achieve with wood patterned wallpapers?
Wood wallpaper for walls can give a surprisingly wide range of different looks and fit into many style / themes.
Rustic wood wallpapers and distressed / weathered wood wallpapers will suit a relaxed country style and can help to create a warm and welcoming feel to a space. Light grey, naturals and pale oak wood wallpapers can suit a coastal or beach theme and will be a good choice to help achieve a Scandi look. In contrast burnt or charred wood wallpapers and different species (Bamboo wood wallpaper, Teak and Ebony wood wallpaper etc) can give a parred back feeling where the materials take centre stage. If you are wanting a dramatic and statement look you can also consider a wood look wallpaper – a real wood paper with geometric shapes and inlaid marquetry will certainly turn heads wherever it is used.
Harlequin Drift wallpaper gives a rustic, heavy grained look which is ideal for country style schemes.
The colour of the wood wallpaper can be a very natural, realistic choice or it can be a much bolder option. Printed wood look wallpapers and the more expensive real wood wallpaper can be found in some surprisingly rich and vibrant shades.
Arte Elements wallpaper range contains some bold coloured real wood papers.
Another example from Arte Wallpaper above, is a woven real wood paper where wood shapes are inlaid on a metal foil background to create a sophisticated finish in a striking deep blue hue.
As with trees in nature, the texture of wood finish wallpapers varies enormously and can also be a key factor in the finished look. Smooth and minimal grained papers will generally suit a clean and contemporary scheme whereas more heavily textured and burl wood papers will give great character and depth to a space, ideal for more dramatic looks.
Where can I use wood look wallpapers?
With careful consideration wood effect wallpapers can be used in most areas of the home. Living, dining and working spaces will suit most types, styles and colours of paper. More muted and paler designs could easily be hung on all walls and the bolder styles may need to be limited to one feature wall, a cosy corner or a bold chimney breast. A very dramatic, intimate dining room would be ideal to showcase one of the handmade intricate real wood papers on all walls with some statement lighting to highlight the texture.
Phillip Jeffries Deco Wood Gatsby wallpaper looks stunning used here in this naturally dark hallway – the use of wall lights highlights the beautiful grain and using it above the panelling makes it a practical choice too.
Bedrooms can also take a more dramatic wood wallpaper; texture and heavy grains are ideal for creating a cosy, welcoming space and would be a great contrast to crisp cotton and linen bedding and softer window treatments and cushions.
Phillip Jeffries Against the Grain Rare Cane paper show above looks amazing on a single feature wall in the modern space above. A wonderful textural contrast to the sleek furniture, rug texture and light colours.
Less delicate wood wallpapers would be recommended for high moisture environments such as bathrooms and kitchens. A washable, vinyl design would be ideal. Again, high traffic areas such as hallways and rooms with young children and pets would also probably suit a more practical, hard wearing choice.
Tips and considerations for using Wood effect wallpapers
As we have touched on above, modern wood wallpapers can suit many applications but there are elements that should be considered to make sure you are getting the best option for your home.
- Think about where you are using the paper, make sure the construction of the paper suits the usage of the space. Use delicate, handmade papers in spaces where they will not be easily damaged and more robust designs for areas of high traffic, strong light and family spaces. Strong direct sunlight could potentially bleach real wood and deeply coloured papers.
- Colour / shade considerations and wallpaper texture. Think about the size, shape and natural light that your space gets. A very large area could be overwhelmed with a bold grained paper or a darker wood effect paper. If you have fallen in love with such a paper, consider using it on one wall only. Think about what else you are planning on putting in the room, if you have chosen a bold grain wood wallpaper make sure it does not clash with the wood grain finish on furniture. Consider a painted furniture design or flat wood finish to avoid overload. Likewise think about the material you use for soft furnishings, plainer cloths in soft yarns (wool, cotton and linen) will give a visual and textural contrast to the wallpaper. Use patterned fabrics and rugs with care.
- How does the wallpaper need to be hung? Modern wood wallpapers can be the standard paste the paper application or possibly use the paste the wall method. Make sure you / your decorator understand fully any specific supplier advice for hanging the paper to ensure you get the best finished result. Some papers require specialist paste and walls to be primed. Delicate handmade real wood papers will need particular care when hanging as rough handling or paste smudged onto the front face will often damage the wood. Check all rolls before you begin work for any defects or issues and ensure you have enough for pattern matching, trimming and possible hanging mistakes. Some decorators specialise in certain types of wallpaper so if you are investing in a costly design ensure yours has worked with that type of paper before. Check the maintenance advice for wallpapers, some can be gently sponged, others scrubbed, and more delicate designs will need very gentle care.
Cost and price considerations when using Wood effect wallpapers?
Cost of wallpaper for a project will undoubtabley be a consideration and this will depend on various factors.
- Composition of the paper and manufacturing methods. A wallpaper made of real wood with hand laid pieces will be considerably more than a printed paper on a standard backing. Some papers are priced by the roll (usually approx. 10mtrs on a roll) others will be charged by the linear meter. Consider the width of the paper too, some papers are a standard 52cm and others will be much wider. Keep this in mind when working out quantities and how they will be used. Factor in any specialist pastes and possibly using a highly qualified professional to hang your chosen paper.
- Chosen brand position in the marketplace. The style and type of paper will dictate the price to a certain extent however some brands and ranges command a higher price level than others. As a guide the ranges we have looked at in this article are priced between £50 a roll to over £400 per linear meter!
- As discussed above in tips and considerations, careful thought to where you are using the wallpaper is helpful here. A very delicate paper used in a high traffic area may need replacing more quickly than a robust design. A high-end paper doesn’t have to be used in a large quantity, think about using it on one area to create a feature and minimise costs.
An example above of the hand construction technique used to create Arte Timber real wood wallpaper.
Wood effect wallpaper ideas and inspiration-
Now we have considered the more practical elements of this type of paper let’s look at the true beauty and versatility of wood grain papers…
- Try using a wood effect wallpaper on a single feature wall, corner or area of your space. Or hang above a dado rail where delicate paper is more protected.
- Love the look of a traditional wood panelled room but you don’t want the expense or permanence? Look at the wood panel wallpapers that are on the market as another option.
- Don’t be constrained by the traditional image of wood panelling running down the wall – the paper can be hung horizontally to give a different look. Wood effect papers can be used to great effect on a ceiling in the right space to create warmth and depth.
- A more cost effective option when using an expensive design is to use panels of the paper framed by wood moulding. This can give a traditional panelled look if repeated or can form a focal point above a sofa or bed.
Realistic looking oak panel wallpaper from Andrew Martin above will give a traditional look in various wood shades.
Pick a single wall or corner in your room to paper, ideal if using a high-end paper. The Ajiro range from Maya Romanoff is ideal.
A ceiling papered in a wood effect paper can be a great way of adding depth to a space such as an office.
Simple furniture shapes and materials can be a lovely contrast to a richly textural real wood effect wallpaper from Elitis and Phillip Jeffries.
A contemporary marquetry inspired wood wallpaper brings a delicate elegance to a bedroom from Maya Romanoff.
Wood effect paper used in panels creates a smart look in a traditional dining space taken from Elitis Essence De Bois wallcoverings.
Cole & Son Zebrawood paper is a mix of weathered driftwood and animal markings. In this bright and eclectic colourway, it will certainly make your space a talking point!
Here at TM Interiors we work with most of the current interior suppliers on the market, we have an extensive library of wood effect wallpaper at our fingertips and can help you to find the perfect choice for your project. Let us know which area of your home & your budget and we will be able to suggest some beautiful papers to bring your project to life. We can also fully assist you with your interior design project, upholstery and window treatments, flooring needs and accessory choices so please get in touch with our friendly team!