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Interior inspiration: Choosing wallpaper for a period property

wallpaper for a period property

From quaint beamy cottages to the high ceilings and ornate mouldings of Victorian houses, we’re drawn to the unique character and distinctive features found within period properties.

And while it’s good to work with your property’s features – showcasing them, rather than glossing over them with your décor – it is entirely possible to stay true to your personal design aesthetic. 

Here’s our guide to choosing just the right wallpaper to suit your period home and interior style… 

Enduring motifs, such as organic or geometric forms – especially in elegant neutral tones – will showcase your property’s period features without jarring or feeling too dated.

Nutley – in luxurious shades of cream and metallic taupe, the interlacing Elder tree leaves and blossoms offer a contemporary take on patterns such as William Morris’s ‘Willow’.

Kemptown – a pleasing white geometric line over a textured greige grasscloth paper.

Coleton – a striking large trellis design with a strong Art Deco influence.

If you’re keen to keep your décor and wallpaper aligned with the era of your home then opt for a traditional design. Clearly this depends on when your property was built, so we recommend carrying out some online research – such as this article on the wall coverings that were typically used in particular eras. 

For example, woven damask fabric can be dated back to the Middle Ages – initially featuring fruit and flowers before extending to monograms and scroll motifs based on stylised acanthus leaves and feathers. However, the distinctive pattern was only converted into wallpaper in the 1840s, when roller printing replaced hand printed techniques, and the Victorian era saw a boom in damask wall coverings.

Hurst Damask – featuring a metallic scroll motif printed on a highly textured ground, this wallpaper has a three dimensional hand-printed quality to it.

Lindfield – another classic damask pattern. 

Vita – with a textured surface and muted colour palette, this design has the appearance of traditionally printed wallpaper. 

Alternatively, give a gentle nod to your property’s original decorative style by incorporating a traditional colour palette or vintage motif – such as illustrations of fish, birds, insects and animals – within the wallpaper design.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, our bespoke design service enables you to commission a wallcovering from scratch. This might mean taking inspiration from our substantial archive or using a remnant of an original wallpaper as a starting point, before creating a new design in your chosen colour palette.

If you prefer a more modern and minimal look, it’s still possible to indulge your personal style while being sympathetic to your home’s features.

Morganite – another semi-plain wallcovering that injects subtle texture with its mix of raised inks, metallics and soft matt finishes. We think this would look fantastic in an airy Victorian property.

Whatever the era of your home, wallpaper can enhance character and add style to your walls. We hope our article has given you some ideas about using wallpaper in your period property but please email us if you’d like some more advice a Enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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Interior inspiration: Sophisticated geometrics and texture

Geometric wallpaper

If floral patterns, conversational designs and intricate prints just aren’t your style, then why not consider a geometric or textured wallpaper for your home? 

Far from being psychedelic and retro, modern geometric wallpaper designs can be used to create many different effects, injecting pattern and adding striking visual appeal to a space. 

Dependent on scale, finish and colour, textured wallcoverings can range from sophisticated and understated to bold and statement-making – the possibilities are limitless. 

Here are our recommendations for geometric wallcoverings and textured wallpapers that will make a stylish and contemporary addition to your home…

If angular patterns feel rather stark and linear, why not look at a softer iteration of geometric design?

Our Butia wallpaper is a contemporary geometric design, inspired by exotic woven silk and rendered in soft, shimmering gradients of colour on a pearlescent ground. The gentle grading of colour, from dark to light, in a vertical column is reminiscent of the folds of a heavy silk curtain.

The Butia design is available in four deliciously muted colourways, featuring palettes of plum and coral; black, cream and taupe; teal, indigo and sage; and greige with wine and burnt sienna. 

On a smaller scale from Butia, our Garnet design consists of a textured ground with fine horizontal threads of sparkling metallic ink weaving across its surface to resemble the sheen of woven silk material. 

Printed on a pearlescent ground, our semi-plain Lucia will add a subtle textured finish to your walls and gives the overall effect of raw silk or raffia material. During the design process, we were inspired by the walls of desert island huts and the luxurious billowing drapes on an exotic beach-side cabana, but the beauty of Lucia is that it is very versatile and can easily be paired with an array of other patterns.

Inspired by the metallic lustre and intricately repeating angular cube forms found in the mineral, pyrite (or ‘fool’s gold’), our Pyrite design is a small coordinate that adds texture and dimension to walls. The colour range features exotic and jewel-like hues of emerald and amethyst as well as more neutral shades of sandstone and larimar. Featuring a combination of metallics and soft raised inks, Pyrite works beautifully anywhere, from living rooms to bathrooms. 

Our Morganite and Quarry wallpaper designs combine softly raised inks with shimmering metallics and contrasting areas of matt texture to add an understated and almost industrial edge to interiors. Morganite mimics the sheen and patination of aged metals, in a largely neutral palette with accents of tarnished rust and muted green. In an array of light tones, Quarry gives the delicate effect of bare plaster or raw, unpolished stone and would add interest to an airy Scandi living room or minimal bedroom.  

To achieve a smart, elegant and timeless look in your home, a crisp linear pattern could be the answer. 

Inspired by Art Deco motifs with a modern twist, Coleton is a striking trellis design which has been traced in metallic and raised inks on a large scale to add to its drama. This design would work especially well in a formal living room, hallway or dining room. 

If you’re looking for something a little less dramatic, Kemptown offers a simple and clean geometric trail design in a palette of appealing neutrals which is contrasted with a textured grasscloth paper ground.  

A subtle repeating pattern in a tonal palette can add visual interest without demanding attention. 

Our Fontwell wallpaper features an elongated harlequin diamond design, with a lustrous surface and gently varied hues for a restful effect. Fontwell is available in tones of cream and stone; plum and mauve; aqua and sage; sandstone and slate grey; and amethyst, berry and navy.

Similarly, Bosham features diamond shapes – on a smaller scale and this time mimicking a stylised depiction of the refraction found within a cut gem stone – in a variety of serenely cool mid-tones. 

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Not all geometric designs feature crisp lines and sharp angles. Add softness to your interior scheme with a curved pattern, such as the repeating scallops of our Paxhill design.

Paxhill is available in a variety of shimmering hues, featuring scales of differing texture, patination and metallic qualities, which are soft and pretty for a bedroom, bathroom or living area.

Do you feel inspired by our geometric wallpaper and textured designs? For help and advice about any of our designs or collections, please email us on enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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