Wallpaper Designs Through The Decades

*This post is written with the assistance of Wallpaper From The 70s

I’ve been a homeowner for 10 years now, and I love nothing better than to pop into a DIY store at the weekends and browse the wallpaper section. Of course, before I discovered backdrops for photographers and bloggers I used wallpaper samples which did the same job. But now walking around and looking at the many designs give me inspiration for my own home. I quite fancy the idea of a wallpapered feature wall. Wallpaper designs have come on tremendously over the decades, as well as the feel! But did you know that the first wallpaper printing machine was invented by a Frenchman, Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf in 1785? In fact, by the 1800s full-on wallpaper murals and extravagant scenes were introduced.

Wallpaper Designs Through The Decades
Wallpaper Designs Through The Decades

What brought me to write this post on wallpaper designs through the decades, was my recent post on men’s hairstyles of the past. I know that sounds strange but, while I was researching that article I came upon a rich history in the past that I don’t really know much about. The decades that my parents grew up in. Therefore I’ve decided to go back and revisit different things of the decades gone by and this week, it happens to be wallpaper. It’s not as boring as you may think!

Wallpaper Designs of the 1920s

My late dad was born in 1929, and growing up I loved to hear his stories of when he was a child. He always said his mum was very fashionable and ahead of her time. She loved bright colours and patterns to give the rooms in their house a lift. But the wallpaper trend of the 1920s was very much Downton Abbey. Art deco, glitz and glam designs. You could get a blue and cream geometric print, peacocks and shells were popular at that time. Classical elegance. If you can imagine flappers, jazz and cocktails you are on the right track.

Wallpaper Designs of the 1920s
Wallpaper Designs of the 1920s

Heading into the 1930s

Wallpaper designs of the 30s headed into the vintage style we know today. Floral with an abstract flair, art deco started to diminish and out came these original and at times bizarre designs that you either like or you don’t!

Designs of the 1940s

Floral print. Not much more I can say about the 40s. Floral made its appearance from floor to ceiling wallpaper. Nowadays it would be customed for one wall or even only the top half of the walls in the spare bedroom! Pink floral and green floral geometric designs were apt for the 1940s post-war.

Rocking into the 1950s

Prepasted wallpapers were introduced around the 50s making it more accessible to all. Retro wallpaper designs, in greys and plums and mood bursting blues, kept the 50s alive. Although repetitive geometric shapes gave a closed-in feeling with some designs in smaller rooms. Now though these retro designs would be perfect for feature walls.

The Swinging 1960s

Wacky, bright, bold and psychedelic patterns, hit the 60s wallpaper designs. Beatle mania hit the radio and the daring new funky wallpaper styles hit the homes. Pop music was a huge influence on the lives of people in the swinging 60s.

The Earth-Loving 1970s

Orange and brown, strange but wonderful colour combinations. That was the 70s. The hippie nature-loving era brought out the love of brown and geometric designs. Gone was the harsh bold wacky psychedelic patterns of the 60s and now more down to earth, trends. Wallpaper from the 70s brought us realistic visionary designs, revolutionary times were happening with space exploration on the horizon. 

Image credit - Wallpaper from the 70s
Image credit – Wallpaper from the 70s

The Fantabulous 80s

The decade of the rise of technology, gadgets, and the future. Woodchip wallpaper and Artex walls and ceilings were massively popular. Peach wallpaper and coloured carpets were the rages. Black and red, a colour combination that took over the house along with wallpaper borders. Bold clashing colours, trendy hipster patterns were here alongside the shoulder pads!

The 90s

It honestly felt like yesterday, but with the beginning of the 90s some 30 years ago white and beige walls were in All white kitchens were at the top of the most wanted. Comptempory designs were beginning to take shape. Embossed wallpaper was on-trend alongside the likes of Take That! In the late 90s, floral and damask wallpaper patterns were hugely popular.

Well, there you have it, another trip down memory lane with wallpaper designs through the decades. Which was your favourite wallpaper decade?

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this nostalgic post!

rachel bustin


Thank you for sharing

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