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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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