There has been a lot of talk around grey recently, is it passe or a classic? A new neutral or overdone? It started out as the latest colour a couple of years ago, but has moved on to a shade that gives a sense of belonging, inclusion and acceptance, and in these uncertain times, people are looking for security, so it’s the perfect colour for a bedroom where you want to be cocooned and escape from the world. Grey is a colour that is neither black or white, it is virtually absent of colour, so it’s an ideal base colour for any decorating scheme. The general trend now is that grey on grey and flat colour has had its day, and it is now being used to add texture as a grey bedroom wallpaper, grass effects and 3D murals, and blended with other colours. Now greys are warmer, not cold, to give a feeling of softness and calm. Here’s our edited choice of the latest bedroom wallpaper ideas around.
Stripes are timeless and create an interesting background that is unobtrusive but striking. Stripes give the illusion of height, so if you have low ceilings, it’s a good choice. Use it on all four walls. It could also be hung horizontally to give the illusion that the room is wider than it is. Go for a natural handwoven and coloured jute that looks like fabric with a frayed edge for a unique look Insero Uno, £80 per linear metre, arte-international.com
If you are looking for a classical look and to make an impact with your grey bedroom wallpaper, this all-over design is a winner. If you don’t, or can’t, put pictures on the wall, a wallpaper with this much interest, serves the same purpose – there is always something to look at. It takes inspiration from an architect’s drawing of traditional buildings. It would be a great choice if your walls are less than perfect – it will hide any lumps, bumps and fine cracks. It’s paste the wall, so easy to apply if you aren’t a confident decorator. Histoire de l’architecure Amsterdam, £175 for 3 rolls mindtheg.com
Current thinking on feature wallsPaula Taylor, Colour & Trend Specialist at Graham & Brown says
“ A feature wall is a great way to add a splash of personality into the home, enabling you to experiment with pattern and colour without committing to full room coverage. Select a design that is bold and eye-catching then team with neutral tones to accentuate the wallpaper whilst allowing it to shine.”
Textured wallpapers first appeared in the 70’s but not like these, this range of wallcoverings is made from botanical fibres that are entirely natural, sustainable and renewable. A variety of grasses and plant fibres are handwoven and finished before being backed and trimmed. It’s a truly natural product and each strip has subtle differences, so it creates a natural pattern of tone and texture for a subtle but luxurious finish.
Mark Butcher, Design Director of Mark Alexander says “The use of natural materials has always been an intrinsic quality of Mark Alexander. Sustainability continues to be at the forefront of our minds. The layering of these natural materials, from silky abaca to the rich, organic texture of raffia, to the subtlety of Japanese paper, creates beautiful textures that offer a contemporary expression of the handcraft tradition.
Wall murals are big news and create an instant impact in a bedroom, and there are so many amazing styles to choose from AND the great thing about these is they are Peel and Stick self-adhesive grey bedroom wallpaper, so if you are renting, they are ideal. When it’s time to go, just peel it off. Peacocks Clan 4 by Andrea Haase at Wallsauce.com price dependant on size but work on around £200 for a 3m long wall
David Harris, Design Director at Andrew Martin says “Animal and bird motifs are on trend this season and there are endless possibilities, from traditional bird designs to flocked monkeys and penguins. Fine art-inspired wallpaper is also having a moment with life size art murals proving popular. However, don’t blindly follow trends and above all, only choose a style if you really love it.”
A floral grey bedroom wallpaper but barely-there, this enduring design – Cow Parsley, £85 a roll from Cole and Son is pretty but not overly so, its subtle tones are created by a silhouette stem and seed head design with an etched background to give it depth. It would work in a town or country house and is often used in children’s rooms too. A good all-rounder.
Don’t live in a loft or warehouse? You can still get the look of concrete walls with a grey bedroom wallpaper that provides a patina of age. This would work well in a room with a tall ceiling, but it’s simple design would work equally well in a smaller room.
Diminutive prints work well in smaller rooms as they don’t dominate, and this naïve print is charming. From a distance it’s just an all-over pattern, but if you look closely, amongst the leaves are racoons looking back at you. It would be a good choice for an older child’s bedroom, a transition from child to young adult, but would look great anywhere. The colour is pale and calming.
For a bit of oomph, this grey geo wallpaper has outlines of rose gold which adds shine and a touch of glamour. The outlines define the shapes and make them stand out. The grey base is a mixture of on-trend concrete-effect and a plain. Use the metallic highlights to add accents in the room, like this side table, lighting or picture frames. Colour Block Geo wallpaper, £40 grahambrown.com
Dreamy delicate etchings of a stormy sky with clouds scudding across a wall are perfect in a bedroom. Weather images or night skies are an enduring choice and work in contemporary or traditional rooms. This would also be a showstopper on a ceiling.
Marble, raw plaster, concrete, any kind of effect is really popular right now and this one is unashamedly painterly, it’s not meant to look real, but looks as if it has been painted onto the surface. Simple but stunning.
“From plaster effects to stone-look finishes, from matt chalk to subtle mica and metallic sheens, all our plain and textured wallpapers and wallcoverings are designed to provide depth and interest and create the perfect backdrop for any scheme in any room. We are seeing more customers gravitate to these collections and wanting to add interest to their walls. Part of our wallpaper collections include sensuous textural effects such as marble, plaster, stone & grass cloth.
Another paint effect with a nod to Jackson Pollock, this deeply textured wallpaper design uses the latest digital print technology. The papers are coated, not woven, with environmentally-friendly inks.
Murals are a great way to create a look kids will love, are they interested in geography? Choose a world map. Love dinosaurs? There are plenty of designs to choose from, as well as unicorns, fairies, cars or farm animals. There are also lots of wallpapers that will grow with them and grey doesn’t have to be grown up.
Rachel Kenny, Head of Studio at Wallsauce.com says
“When it comes to children’s bedrooms, designs that reflect an age aren’t as popular as they used to be. We are seeing customers install neutral designs that would look great in any room. For example cloud prints in nurseries and antique jungle styles in younger childrens’ bedrooms’.”
This largely depends on where you live and the size of the job. Some decorators charge a day rate of around £190 – £250 in the South East, or they might charge by the job. It all depends how much there is to do, and how bad the walls are underneath. You can get quotes online from local decorators, there are plenty of sites, checkatrade.com is the best known, or try approvedexperts.co.uk. which is part of ratedpeople.com. Another useful online source is nextdoor.co.uk where you can ask local people for recommendations. If you do want to tackle it yourself, use a paste the wall design, it’s easier to tackle for a beginner.
It all depends on personal taste and the size of the room. It can be overwhelming to begin with as there is such a lot of choice out there, you can even design your own. But think about your favourite things – love nature? Choose a landscape; Art lover? choose designs from the Old Masters, museum collections or art photography; Interested in astrology? A night sky, the planets or astrological charts. Geology is another great look, like looking inside a piece of agate or creating a marble wall. Above all take your time and make sure it’s not something that is fashionable at the moment and might date – choose something you know you can live with.