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The Expert Guide to Designer Wallpaper (updated for 2021)

24 September 2021

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Has this been the decade of designer wallpaper? Designer wallpaper has been a major interior trend for the last 10 years, with a huge range of creative looks and interior styles available.  One reason designer wallpaper has been such a big hit in recent years is the sheer range of different styles you can find.  Paint of course is a great choice for an interiors project.  But only with wallpaper can you choose to create a subtle a distressed paint effect, add a swish of style with an ombre wallpaper, go for a shabby chic abstract look, dial it up and add in some tropical style or go full on maximalist with a luxury gold chinoiserie wallpaper.  

Here at Feathr HQ we keep a constant eye on which designs and styles people are hunting for.  Before we take a look at our favourite designer wallpapers from the last decade, let’s see which are the most popular designer wallpaper styles today.

 

What are the most popular designer wallpaper styles in 2021?


In 2021, these are the most popular designer wallpaper styles:

  1. Tropical
  2. Chinoiserie
  3. Abstract
  4. Geometric
  5. Maximalist
  6. Striped
  7. Floral
  8. Animal Print
  9. Forest & tree
  10. Pattern

 

What’s made these styles so popular?  Interior design trends play a big part in this, but the styles that are adaptable to lots of different interior decoration styles are the ones that tend to feature in the top ten list year after year.  Let’s take a deep dive into some of these styles and find out what makes them work.

 

Tropical designer wallpaper


If you want to add some glam to your home, tropical wallpaper is a great way to go.  Add an instant hint of beach, a touch of Los Angeles pool life, or the rich buzz of the flora and fauna of the jungle.  A great example of a tropical designer wallpaper is this fun and funky flamingo wallpaper.

green tropical flamingo bathroom wallpaper

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Tropical Shore’ tropical designer wallpaper images

 

Chinoiserie designer wallpaper


Chinoiserie style has been a huge trend in recent years, as people look to introduce exotic motifs and textures into their homes.  One of the great things about chinoiserie wallpaper is the wide selection of different styles within this category: you can choose from subtle textured wallpapers with patterns based on porcelain vases, through to impressive metallic wallpapers draped with sakura branches and cherry blossoms.  If you’re looking to wow, you can’t go wrong with a design like this saffron yellow chinoiserie wallpaper.

Yellow Beautiful Chinoiserie Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Kubla Khan’ chinoiserie designer wallpaper images

 

Abstract designer wallpaper


Abstract wallpaper and wall murals are a perennial favourite in homes around the world.  They provide a multitude of different styling options.  You can choose from subtle washes of colour as a quick way to recreate paint effects, or you can go for artfully distressed shabby chic wallpapers that create an aged effect that would take, ohhh, ages to create.  This abstract shabby chic wallpaper is one of our favourites in this category.

Cream & Brown Distressed Shabby Chic Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Oh La La’ abstract designer wallpaper images

 

Geometric designer wallpaper


The sharp forms and regular patterns of geometric wallpaper have made it a classic style, whether you’re looking to create a modernist home, a room with a mid-century look or even a formal Victorian hallway.  The current trends in geometric wallpaper tend towards luxury: think classic patterns with dark colours, dashes of metallic and perhaps even some rich detailing like flora and fauna.  This new geometric floral wallpaper is a great example, with birds and branches intertwined amongst a copper metallic trellis.

floral trellis wallpaper

>> See more geometric designer wallpaper images

 

Maximalist designer wallpaper


The Nineties and Noughties were the decades of minimalism, but they’ve long since given way to new decades and new styles.  Maximalism has (as it should) gone big in these last few years, becoming the go-to style for upscale interior design projects.  Along the way, its birthed other new interior trends, like the currently all-conquering Cottagecore.  Maximalist designer wallpaper is a great way to add some va-va-voom to your room.  Try this bold floral stripe wallpaper for example.

Brown Maximalist Floral Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘No Use Crying For Roses When Forests Are Burning’ maximalist designer wallpaper images

 

Striped designer wallpaper


Another classic wallpaper style that keeps getting reborn with fresh ideas and creativity.  Stripes are perhaps the most versatile of all wallpapers, hence why they are always in the top ten most popular styles.  The latest stripe wallpaper trends often feature elements from other styles: you’ll find funky tropical stripe wallpapers and charming animal print stripe wallpapers to be amongst the favourites of the day. 

Green & Silver Modern Stripe Wall Mural Hero Image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Bleinheim’ striped designer wallpaper images

 

Floral designer wallpaper


One of the biggest trends of recent years has been the homely style of cottagecore, with its playful nostalgia and pattern clashing.  This has meant floral wallpapers are once again back in fashion, particularly those with that cottage style: trailing branches and small flowers, with birds and insects interspersed amongst them.  Of course, other floral wallpaper styles have remained popular: why wouldn’t you want to bring a dash of beauty and nature into the home?  One of our all time favourite floral designer wallpapers is this stunning design by Finnish artist Reeta Ek.

Cream & Green Beautiful Abstract Flower Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘English Rose’ floral designer wallpaper images

 

Animal print designer wallpaper


Thankfully, the days when hanging animal skins on your wall was socially acceptable are long gone.  But you can still add some wild nature to your walls with ever popular animal print wallpapers.  Leopard skin wallpaper is of course the classic design in this category, but interior designers are now experimenting with a wider range of patterns: zebra and tiger pattern wallpapers exude pure luxury.   A great example of a classic animal print wallpaper is this metallic leopard print wallpaper.

grey and gold leopard print wallpaper

>> See more animal designer wallpaper images

 

Forest and tree designer wallpaper


In recent years, the understanding of the importance of trees has grown: particularly in how time spent amongst them can calm the mind and soul.  So it’s no surprise that forest and tree wallpaper has been one of the most popular styles in recent years.  This is the only leading category where photographic designs are popular, but favourites are those where an artist has hand drawn or painted trees, creating a calming mood that recollects time spent in a forest.  For that kind of mood, try this designer forest wallpaper:

Feathr Blue & White Watercolour Forest Wall Mural design image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Zephyr’ forest and tree designer wallpaper images

 

Pattern designer wallpaper


Sometimes, you just need to go back to the classics.  Although pattern wallpaper is no longer as popular as it once was, it still scrapes into the top ten styles: perhaps by virtue of the range of the styles within this category.  From subtle trellises or quatrefoil wallpapers, to traditional toile de jouy or modernist geometrics: pattern wallpaper has something for everyone.  To show how flexible this style is, we’ve picked this mid-century pattern wallpaper.

cream & white mid century pattern wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Five Finger’ pattern designer wallpaper images

 

Now we’ve looked at the top ten designer wallpaper categories, let’s take a deep dive into some of our favourite designer wallpaper patterns of recent years.   Whichever kind of project you’re working on, you’re sure to find a look that suits your home.  Another great thing about modern designer wallpaper, is how easy it is to hang.  All of our wallpapers are “paste the wall” – the easiest kind to install.  You just put the paste on the wall, then hang the wallpaper drop by drop – and thanks to the clever formulation of the paste, you have a good few minutes to adjust the drop on the wall so you can get the match just perfect.  If you need any more information on how to hang wallpaper, check out our great How to hang wallpaper guide.

 

Let’s take a look back at some of our favourite wallpaper designs that we’ve launched in recent years.

 

‘Time’ – an abstract texture wallpaper mural


The stunning watercolours stains and acrylic brush-strokes represent the traces of the passage of time on a stone surface. The gentle cool blue ombre color pattern creates nuances of light and shadow giving both depth and structure to this abstract texture wallpaper mural design. Add interest to a bedroom with this atmospheric wash of blue and gray abstract motifs and allow the hypnotic pattern to create the perfect sleep space.

green & yellow abstract texture wallpaper mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock/Jafara

>> See more ‘Time’ Green Abstract Texture Wallpaper Mural images

 

‘Cherry Blossom’ – a white cherry blossom wallpaper


Surrender to the calm and serenity of Sakura blooms with the Cherry Blossom wallpaper by contemporary artist Joanna Charlotte. This beautiful Sakura wallpaper is perfect as a bedroom wallpaper, or to create a romantic dining room. In its Vintage White colour, the Cherry Blossom wallpaper has a warm white background with grey and teal floral highlights.

White Cherry Blossom Wallpaper Hero Image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Cherry Blossom’ White Cherry Blossom Wallpaper images

 

‘Oh La La’ – a blue distressed shabby chic wallpaper


The Oh La La wallpaper displays the experimental, organic and textural nature of Slaughter’s art. To create this piece, which was originally a triptych of canvases, she poured, scraped, layered and otherwise manipulated paint on the canvas to create a wallpaper that is rich in both color and texture.

Blue Distressed Shabby Chic Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Oh La La’ Blue Distressed Shabby Chic Wallpaper images

 

‘Kubla Khan’ – a cream beautiful chinoiserie wallpaper


This cream beautiful Chinoiserie wallpaper has a subtle sandy background with a distressed style to add a vintage feel. The Kubla Khan wallpaper incorporates flowering cherry blossoms and beautiful birds sitting upon their branches. This designer wallpaper makes a beautiful feature wall for anyone looking for a floral wallpaper with cherry blossom designs.

Cream Beautiful Chinoiserie Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Kubla Khan’ Cream Beautiful Chinoiserie Wallpaper images

 

‘Takeda’ – a gold cherry blossom wallpaper mural


Luxury is truly unleashed with this metallic gold cherry blossom wallpaper mural. The gold metallic background is lightly distressed creating a charming shabby chic effect, whilst the beautiful detailing of the red cherry blossoms and branches adds to the exotic, luxurious feel of this gold chinoiserie wall mural.

Gold Cherry Blossom Wallpaper Mural

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Takeda’ Gold Cherry Blossom Wallpaper Mural images

 

‘Tempestas’ – a pastel beautiful cloud wall mural


If you’ve ever dreamed of floating up into the clouds, Tempestas can make that closer to reality than you ever imagined. This pastel beautiful cloud wall mural is more than a caricature of the sky. It blends dozens of whites, blues, and pinks to truly make you feel as if you’re existing in the air. It’s a fantastic choice for bedrooms and living rooms where people enjoy existing together.

Pastel Beautiful Cloud Wall Mural Hero Image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Tempestas’ Pastel Beautiful Cloud Wall Mural images

 

‘Mystic’ – a teal & grey abstract wallpaper mural


Mystic is a gorgeous wallpaper mural in an abstract style designed by painter Jen Merli. The teal & grey abstract wallpaper mural incorporates intricate detailing in gold that flashes across the watercolour background. The colours press against each other to create a backdrop that could be seen while standing on the beaches of the sea.

Teal & Grey Abstract Wallpaper Mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Mystic’ Teal & Grey Abstract Wallpaper Mural images

 

‘Birds Birds’ – a grey & green exotic tropical bird wallpaper


If you’re a lover of exotic tropical birds then this is the wallpaper for you. Amongst the winding jungle foliage, you’ll find hornbills, cockatoos and parakeets set amongst beautifully detailed floral illustrations. The on trend grey mist background adds an additional touch of style and luxury.

Grey & Green Exotic Tropical Bird Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Birds Birds’ Grey & Green Exotic Tropical Bird Wallpaper images

 

‘Aloha’ – a cream & green vintage palm tropical wallpaper


The Aloha wallpaper is a tropical sensation with verdant colours and designs that can transform a room. The cream & green vintage palm tropical wallpaper features many Bird of Paradise flowers that stand aloft stylish palm leaves to create a stunning tropical feel.

Cream & Green Vintage Palm Tropical Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Aloha’ Cream & Green Vintage Palm Tropical Wallpaper images

 

‘Eastern Secret’ – a green Japanese floral tree wallpaper


Eastern Secret is a bold wallpaper design that features images of cherry blossoms that climb across the room. This green Japanese floral tree wallpaper evokes a romantic mood through classic colours and gorgeous imagery. It adds a beautiful aesthetic to the room with a touch of the dramatic.

Green Japanese Floral Tree Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Eastern Secret’ Green Japanese Floral Tree Wallpaper images

 

‘You Don’t Find The Light by Avoiding the Darkness’ – a purple floral Dog Pattern wallpaper


The You Don’t Find the Light by Avoiding the Darkness wallpaper features duos of Dobermann Pinschers standing eye to eye with each other, bound together with a chain and key. The use of florals on the coats of the dogs softens their profiles to create a purple floral dog pattern wallpaper that is brimming with strength and control.

Purple Floral Dog Pattern Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘You Don’t Find The Light by Avoiding the Darkness’ Purple Floral Dog Pattern Wallpaper images

 

‘Dreamboat’ – a brown & cream shabby chic watercolor wallpaper


Dreamboat wallpaper was created based on the original artwork made by Kiki Slaughter. The brown & cream shabby chic watercolour wallpaper was originally created using acrylics and oils on canvas through a process of layering, pouring, and scraping paint to built texture and colour.

Brown & Cream Shabby Chic Watercolor Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Dreamboat’ Brown & Cream Shabby Chic Watercolor Wallpaper images

 

‘Zarafa’ – a black & cream floral wallpaper mural wallpaper


The romantic cream blooms of the Zarafa floral wallpaper mural are set against a moody dark background, creating a beautiful flower mood wall mural.

Black & Cream Floral Wallpaper Mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Zarafa’ Black & Cream Floral Wallpaper Mural images

 

‘Amsterdam’ – a brown & blue shabby chic vintage brick wallpaper


The Amsterdam vintage brick wallpaper brings a trendy industrial and urban look into the home. Featuring fine detailing and textures, this shabby chic brick wallpaper is ideal for recreating a subtle industrial brick wall look.

https://www.feathr.com/images/submissions/Amsterdam-Gallery-780x780.jpg

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Amsterdam’ Brown & Blue Shabby Chic Vintage Brick Wallpaper images

 

‘La Cueillette’ – a grey & blue beautiful romantic French wallpaper


This grey & blue beautiful romantic French wallpaper from watercolourist Claire de Quénetain speaks to a love for nature and romance. La Cueillette wallpaper (also known as ‘The Gathering’) has a light and airy feel that harkens back to childhood and times long past.

Grey & Blue Beautiful Romantic French Wallpaper hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘La Cueillette’ Grey & Blue Beautiful Romantic French Wallpaper images

 

‘Summer Fields’ – a blue vintage summer flower wall mural


Summer Fields (Vintage Summer Floral) wall mural has a way of creating a nostalgic feeling through its imaginative appearance. This blue vintage summer flower wall mural is made up of broad watercolour brushstrokes over small white flowers to create an inspirational setting.

Blue Vintage Summer Flower Wall Mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Summer Fields’ Blue Vintage Summer Flower Wall Mural images

 

‘Whisper’ – a grey & gold abstract wall mural


In this stunning grey and gold wall mural, a bloom of watercolours swirls around gold detailing. Beautiful, striking and original – if that describes your home, then this is the perfect abstract wall mural for you.

Grey & Gold Abstract Wall Mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Whisper’ Gold & Grey Abstract Wall Mural images

 

‘Persian Leopard’ – a blue dark leopard wallpaper


In this stunning grey and gold wall mural, a bloom of watercolours swirls around gold detailing. Beautiful, striking and original – if that describes your home, then this is the perfect abstract wall mural for you.

Blue Dark Jungle Wallpaper

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Persian Leopard’ A Blue Dark Leopard Wallpaper images

 

‘Shadows of the Deep’ – a blue deep sea wallpaper mural


The original artwork for this mural featured navy blue ink along with soft iridescent mica powder and white frothy pigment captures the energy of the sea in this multi-layered, dimensional sea wallpaper mural.

Blue Deep Sea Wallpaper Mural hero image

 

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Shadows of the Deep’ Blue Deep Sea Wallpaper Mural images

 

‘Safari’ – a gold & white beautiful shabby chic wallpaper


Kiki Slaughter is an American abstract artist whose process often involves mixing different types of paint through laying, pouring, and scraping techniques. Safari wallpaper is an excellent example of that and come inspired by the original artwork. The gold & white beautiful shabby chic wallpaper merges the old with the new in a delightful wall covering.

Gold & White Beautiful Shabby Chic Wallpaper hero image

 

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Safari’ Gold & White Beautiful Shabby Chic Wallpaper images

 

‘Sacred Smoke’ – a blue smoky watercolour wall mural


A dreamy and mystical blue, grey and taupe wall mural by LA artist Stacy Solodkin. A wonderful centrepiece design that can be used to frame a piece of furniture or feature within a room.

Blue Smoky Watercolour Wall Mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Sacred Smoke’ Blue Smoky Watercolour Wall Mural images

 

‘Another Level’ – a blue funky geometric wallpaper


If you are looking to create a retro feel geometric style, this wallpaper designed by artist Tim Muddiman is the perfect choice. The blue funky geometric wallpaper design features blocks, lines and angles that create a rhythmic pattern across the design. Clever use of colour creates shadow that draws us deeper into the rectangular latticework. Use this blue wallpaper as inspiration in a living space and coordinate with complementary blue soft furnishings.

Blue Funky geometric wallpaper in living room with yellow chair

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Another Level’ Blue Funky Geometric Wallpaper images

 

‘Huge Geometry 1’ – a teal & purple funky geometric wallpaper mural


The oversize circles and triangular shapes represented in this geometric motif wall mural create a striking backdrop for modern space. This funky geometric wallpaper mural design celebrates the geometric theme from the viewpoint of gigantism, yet it achieves a subtle and balanced effect thanks to the textured treatment and nuanced color palette. Why not create a geometric feature wall in a contemporary dining room for a modern eating space.

teal & purple funky geometric wallpaper mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Huge Geometry 1’ Teal & Purple Funky Geometric Wallpaper Mural images

 

‘River’ – a blue & gold abstract river wallpaper mural


Plunge into River – the stunning idealised landscape created by artist Miriam Stayte. Follow the undulating river as it meanders through it’s abstract backdrop, it’s passage highlighted in gorgeous metallic gold.  This stunning blue & gold abstract river wallpaper mural melds with the delicate floral blooms that drift languidly through the landscape. Choose this mural for a bedroom feature wall and allow yourself to drift away into the brooding landscape.

blue & gold abstract river wallpaper mural hero image

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘River’ Blue & Gold Abstract River Wallpaper Mural images

 

‘Wonderlust’ – a Wedgwood Wonderlust wall mural


Wedgwood & Feathr have collaborated with multi-disciplinary British contemporary artist Claire Luxton to create an original artwork inspired by six patterns introduced to the Wonderlust teaware collection. Luxton reimagined the new Wedgwood patterns with a living sculptural installation visualised in the artist’s East Sussex studio. Using florals, botanicals, taxidermy and live animals, Luxton created a multi dimensional installation involving sculptural, collage, photographic and hand painted techniques. The finished three dimensional sculpture was photographed in over thirty different sections by Luxton who then digitally stitched the artwork together in hundreds of layers before applying hand finished details, including water droplets and images of real life poison dart frogs.

wedgwood wonderlust wall mural in dawn with chair

Image credit: Shutterstock

>> See more ‘Wonderlust’ Wedgwood Wonderlust Wall Mural images

 

Wow! What a selection.  We’re delighted to have worked with so many talented artists to create these designer wallpapers.  Our artists come from all over the world and from across the creative spectrum, which is why we’re able to offer such a great selection of unique designer wallpapers.  If you want to explore our collections further, head over the designer wallpaper page for more inspiration.

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