Dressing the walls of a room with paint or wallpaper has been the general way since the 18th Century. With commercial printing, wallpaper also became financially viable for all households, not just the rich.
Wallpaper has been a feature of all our homes since the 1930s; going in and out of fashion since. In recent decades it’s seen a popular return as a way of livening up our rooms. But paint and wallpaper are only two of the materials we can use to dress up our walls. For more practical reasons, other materials have been commonly used in the kitchen and bathroom.
Some of the most common wall panels in kitchens and bathrooms are used to protect the walls. The backsplash feature in a kitchen is still often covered in ceramic tiles, which are easy to keep clean with a damp cloth. But in recent years we have seen stainless steel, glass and acrylic used for the same function. With patterns and colours readily available in these options, they’ve become very popular for contemporary kitchens.
Meanwhile bathrooms have also favoured ceramic tiles, along with more recent trends like natural stone.
Some of the latest developments in wall coverings were show at 100% Design this week. These include new moulded acrylic panels with waterproof joining system. These these can be printed with any design you choose. They are eco-friendly too – made from 50% recycled materials and 100% recyclable.
Another acrylic product on show was Lustrolite, which has the look of a quality glass screen, but is in fact comprised of acrylic layers — Again perfect for shower walls and kitchen splash backs. This product is 20 times more impact resistant than glass, and is also easily cut with ordinary woodworking tools. No need for specialist class cutters.
Beautiful natural stone with a difference
Patterned natural stone options were featured at 100% Design. Antolini has developed a process to create patterns and textures in stone for an effect that almost looks like polished glass. It’s a completely new process which can create a polished or matt look, complete with a pattern of your choice – In fact any pattern can be produced this way. It’s a great option to customise walls and counter tops in your kitchen or bathroom. It might not be cheap but it will be classy!
Wall panels for other rooms
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Anaglypta wallpaper became a popular feature in many homes. Anaglypta has a raised pattern and can be painted with ordinary household paint to complement the colour palette of any room.
You can now get 3D wall panels made from gypsum plaster, which go up like large tiles to create a feature wall. The contemporary patterns are ideal for modern home interiors. Just like their predecessor, Anaglypta, they can be primed and painted in any colour you want.
They are really easy to put up too with only very simple tools necessary. The process is very similar to ordinary tiling. You can see how to do it here.