Design Decision: Paint vs. Wallpaper
Before there was Apple vs. PC, Coke vs. Pepsi, or red vs. blue, there was a primal conflict that drew sharp battle lines. When you wanted to make a change in your surroundings, which did you choose: paint or wallpaper?
If wallpaper sounds a bit old-fashioned, you may have missed a few rounds of that battle. While paint may be the wallcovering of choice in home improvement stores, specialists know that wallpaper is back, in a big way.
“I love wallpaper; I love what it does for a room,” says Beth Zentzis, a design consultant at Hirshfield’s Woodbury location. She’s seen an upsurge in interest, which she attributes to some powerful pulls.
“The younger homeowner who hasn’t lived through the painful process of wallpaper is embracing the cool new graphics now widely available from wallpaper vendors,” notes Beth. “The seasoned homeowner who has lived through the era when we used to wallpaper every wall in the house, has forgotten the pain, much like forgetting the childbirth process, and now fondly remembers how much style and mood it brings to a room. They are willing to commit to a focal wall in the master bedroom or a fantastic paper in the powder room.”
Wallpapering isn’t right for every situation. The cost/benefit analysis includes your time horizon. “How long will they get to enjoy it? If they plan to be in their house less than two years, they are more likely to paint,” says Beth.
Those who think of wallpaper as a relic of a bygone era might be surprised by its modern versatility. “Every trend will have wallpaper that relates,” observes Beth. “Contemporary-graphics are all the rage; period homes (Arts & Crafts, Victorian, etc.) always have reproductions available.”
Far from being pushed aside, wallpaper is a hot topic on social media. Customers often bring their smartphones to the store, and “Pinterest is quickly brought up to show me what they are after,” says Beth.
Like most epic confrontations, one side will never win all hearts. Beth doesn’t spend much time convincing people one way or the other. “Clients coming in are looking for one or the other,” she says. Unlike Coke vs. Pepsi, there is no way to perform a blind test of any sort. But like Apple vs. PC, the choice is a reflection of personal style.
Wallcoverings shown available at Hirshfield’s!
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