Wallpaper trends: It’s the “feel” that counts

Wallpaper by Erismann

Amazing but true: last year, Germans spent 700 million euros on wallpaper. It has been a real boon to the industry, as German manufacturers’ domestic sales reached 158 million euros (an increase of 3%), with nearly 37 million rolls of wallpaper sold (an increase of 2%). Foreign sales even increased by more than 10%, and manufacturers expect continued growth for the current year. The reason: never before has there been such a broad range of creative possibilities on offer for wall design. Two of the most important criteria for purchasers are authenticity and “feel”.

But what do the experts have to say about the latest wallpaper trends? According to Sigrid Frommberger, Creative Director of Rasch, “Handmade, ‘imperfect’ products are all the rage.” She also told us how Rasch spots up-and-coming trends: its team of five designers (comprising five nationalities) visits a range of international trade fairs, explores shops in big cities and is always on the lookout for inspirations. They then translate what they have found into mood boards which serve as the basis for a style guide featuring four to five themes every six months. Frommberger believes that “the eclipse of the physical world by virtual reality” is a megatrend, and this is why products must increasingly be pleasant to the touch as well. As to upcoming trends, Rasch is looking for “industrial chic”, “wilderness”, “hypernature”, and “deluxe” to make their mark.

Designer Lars Contzen believes it is important that “wallpapers are now able to serve as a communications medium for the user. Identity, authenticity and sustainability are product success factors.” No longer is it sufficient for wallpaper to simply be decorative; today, it must be “honest”. The wallpapers of the seventies failed because they were “flat and shrill”, and nothing more. There was simply no harmony between wallpaper and furniture. This is no longer the case for the revival: “Now that we can outdo the 1970s, wallpaper can indeed be saved.”

A little tip: the German Wallpaper Institute’s Hamburg showroom is the perfect place for finding out about the latest trends in wallpaper. With exhibitions changing on a regular basis and 10,000 samples provided by German manufacturers, the showroom delivers a comprehensive overview. Workshops are also available.

Heike Gessulat

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