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Wallpaper: Back In Style

Once out of favor, wallpaper is now making a comeback, and it's nothing like what you remember seeing on your grandmother's walls.

Designs have expanded in all directions. The Early Show's style maven Christy Ferer shows some of these latest trends.

Many remember the wallpapers of the 1960s and 1970s, when bright geometric patterns, pop-art designs and vinyl were all the rage. But by the mid-'80s, wallpaper slowly began to fall out of favor. Instead, homeowners stripped their walls of it -- opting for a more minimalist look.

According to the Wall Covering Association, the downward trend for wallpaper took a noticeable plunge in the mid-'90s when homeowners, instead of hanging wallpaper, began painting them in neutral colors.

Now, wall coverings have once again come into vogue. Leading trends include murals, coverings with an aged elegance or gentle worn look, and especially textured looks. Others are pushing the design envelope -- adding all sorts of tactile dimensions. In fact, some cutting edge wall coverings are made of anything but paper.

Mural Wall Coverings
Be it a Parisian street scene, a baseball field or a children's storybook fantasy, murals are a popular choice in customizing any room.

  • "La Rue De Paris" Wall Mural from York Wallcoverings, $279.99 (6-feet by 10-feet), $599 (9-feet by 15-feet full wall)
  • "Under the Lights," (Baseball) Wall Mural from York Wallcoverings, (6-feet by 10-feet), $599 (9-feet by 15-feet)
  • "Carousel Horse" Wall Mural Accent from York Wallcoverings, $89.99
    Available at

    Textured Wall Coverings
    Anything textured in wall coverings is extremely popular. Elements used range from grass cloth to sand to animal textures to even glass. Almost any element that can be glued can be made into a wall covering. The sky is the limit, and so is the price. Although the average wall paper may cost between $20 to $30 per roll, "couture" wall coverings can cost more than $200 a yard. Many of these looks, however, are being knocked off and sold at much lower prices.

  • "Alligator Alley" moc crocodile wall covering by Elizabeth Dow, $58/yard
  • "Quill" feathered wall covering by Elizabeth Dow, $85/yard
  • Leave it to Beaver" fake fur wall covering by Elizabeth Dow, $65/yard
    Available at
  • "Loofah" sponge wall covering from Carnegie Fabrics, $33/yard
    Available at
  • "Stream" Sculpted Wall Surface by Modular Arts, $119/32-inch Square Panel Innovative sculptured wall panels made of gypsum rocks ground into powder (Installation requires panels to be secured with screws, seams filled and sanded); Available at
  • "Bedazzled" Glass Beaded wall Surface from Maya Romanoff, $200/linear yard; Available at

    Wall coverings can also be used to make or decorate home accessories:

  • A lampshade decorated with a botanical fern wall covering
  • A box decorated with fake fur wall covering
  • Placemats and coasters made from mock crocodile wall covering

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