Choosing wallcoverings for your home

Derrick Ng, the manager of the wallcovering division from Goodrich Global, shares his advice on wallcovering trends and tips on choosing and maintaining wallcoverings for the home.

1. Let’s start with wallcovering trends for this year.
Customisation and taking pride in creating a living environment that reflects our unique preferences and personalities is becoming a very popular trend among designers and homeowners likewise. The décor of your home should represent your personality as well as your interests. Some good examples are digital printed and hand-painted wallcoverings. Metallics have been a big theme for the past couple of years. We noticed that metallics – gold, silver, copper, bronze – often combined, are important in everything from fixtures, furniture and decorative accessories. These products are all available at Goodrich Global.

2. How have wallcoverings changed over the years?
Wallcoverings have changed considerably in the past years. New wallcoverings are rich, full of texture, with graphic design and tactile finishes. People want a real tactile feel to the paper and embrace designs with glass beads, sand or raised ink that give added dimension and added value. These three-dimensional papers with their shimmer and shine are attracting a whole new demographic of buyers, especially the younger generation in their 20s and 30s. They are attuned to the natural environment so natural wallcoverings like linen and grass cloths that bring the outdoors in are also popular.

3. What’s the common misconception about wallcoverings?
Wallpaper can be a beautiful addition to the home, but some common misconceptions deter people from buying the product. Before purchasing wallpaper, consider the following information from the Wallcoverings Association: Wallcoverings are not a good choice for kitchens and baths; wallpapers are a hassle to hang and remove; and you would get tired of wallcoverings very quickly. The truth is kitchens are in fact ideal places to decorate with wallcoverings because the protective coating on most wallcoverings make them washable and many are even scrubbable. Today’s high-performance, easy-hang wallpaper (many known as “non-wovens”) are easy to hang and remove. People are often so pleased with their selection that on average, they keep the same pattern up for many years (paint has about a three-year life span).

4. When choosing wallcoverings, what advice would you give for owners of small homes?
A very dramatic design can make a great decorating statement in a small space. If you wrap the entire room, including the ceiling, the walls seem to disappear, so that you don’t feel as if you are enclosed in a small room. Also, since many homes in Singapore may not have high ceilings throughout the house, and can make you feel out of proportion in these smaller rooms, wallpaper on the ceiling can help bring the room into balance and make it feel more comfortable. A very dramatic design can make a great decorating statement in a small space. To visually heighten a room, select vertical stripes. To visually lower a room or expand the width, use horizontal lines in the wallcovering.

5. Aside from covering all the walls with wallcoverings, what are some other ways to use wallcoverings?
There are many ways to use wallcoverings. Here are some suggestions:
• Line a china cabinet or bookcase
• Cover switch plates or electrical outlet cover
• Cover waste cans, pencil holders, any type of box
• Use to cover picture frames, or create a mat for pictures
• Cover a tabletop and protect with glass that is cut to fit
• Cover books or journals
• Use as gift wrap
• Cut out design and decoupage anything, including furniture!
• Make creative note/greeting cards
• Name tags for packages
• Laminate for decorative placemats
• Scrapbook supplies
• Add countless other arts and crafts projects

6. What would be your top tip on avoiding costly mistakes when choosing wallcoverings?
When selecting wallcoverings with larger designs and prints, try to look out for photographs and room setting images which are usually available in the sample books. These will give you a good idea on how a full wall might look like after installation.

7. Can you share some tips and advice on caring for and maintaining wallcoverings?
There are many different types of wallcoverings available now and each requires a different maintenance method. Vinyl wallcoverings are easier to maintain in general. You can simply wipe it with a damp cloth. For stubborn stains you may use mild soap or detergent, then rinse dry with absorbent clean cloth. For paper wallcoverings, use a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner to remove dust on the surface. For specialty wallcoverings such as natural and handcrafted materials or if you are unsure of the nature of your product, please contact your retailer for specific instructions.