Advancements in paint technology notwithstanding, wallpapers continue to make a strong case for themselves. They are cheaper than paint in the long run and offer a greater choice of finishes, textures and colours. And lest we forget, wallpapers are cheaper and easier to maintain than paints. With so much going in its favour, installing a wallpaper in your home seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
What isn’t as straightforward though is the debate around installing wallpaper in the kitchen. There was a time when wallpapers were suited for use in only bedrooms and living rooms. Wallpaper technology has come a long way since as modern wallpapers are durable enough to be installed in all areas of a house, and your kitchen is no exception.
A wallpaper installation today, unlike those of yore, is far more capable of weathering humid or steamy areas like the kitchen. And by weathering, we mean the wallpaper can easily retain its integrity for a decade or even longer. It is also far more versatile and easier to work with. No wonder then that wallpapers are increasingly the preferred wall-covering choice for homeowners in the UK.
Here we look at what you need to know when choosing and installing a wallpaper in your kitchen.
1) How to pick a wallpaper that suits a kitchen environment?
A kitchen’s environment imposes a heavy toll on its walls. Moreover, it can also get messy and if you are prone to creating a mess in the kitchen, your choice of wall-covering should reflect that. Because of these factors, most people lean towards either tiles or paint (brands usually sell a more durable variety of paint for kitchens) for their kitchen.
If you use a conventional wallpaper in such an environment, it will accumulate dirt and lose appearance due to its thin size and a tendency to absorb different smells. That is also why you should stay away from wallpaper that is fabric based or excessively textured as grime builds up in their embossing’s details.
Thankfully, you can now choose from an entirely new range of wallpaper for the kitchen that is wipeable, and more importantly, washable. Once you’ve shortlisted a brand, check if the wallpaper can be cleaned with a moist cloth and mild cleaning products.
You can do this by locating the wallpaper roll’s label, which will have one of the following symbols,
- One wave – it means you can wash the wallpaper and use it in kitchens and other high humidity areas.
- Two waves – it means the wallpaper is washable and you can clean it with a cloth or sponge.
- Three waves – it means you can clean the wallpaper using chemical detergents.
- One wave and brush – it means the wallpaper is high-quality, resilient to mechanical stress and can be cleaned using hard brushes.
- Three waves and brush – it means the wallpaper is extremely high-quality and can be cleaned using a brush and mild abrasive or detergent.
2) Which types of wallpapers are suitable for kitchens?
There are two types of wallpapers that you can use in kitchen areas. These are vinyl and washable wallpapers.
In vinyl wallpapers, colours and patterns are printed onto a vinyl film which is then pasted onto a layer of paper. Made from ethylene, which itself is a derivative of natural gas, vinyl is a chemical that is impervious to water and highly durable. As such, wallpapers made of vinyl are washable, tough and don’t fade on exposure to sunlight. However, this imperviousness to water is also a drawback as it makes it very hard to strip a vinyl wallpaper off the surface.
Although both can be cleaned with water, washable wallpapers and vinyl wallpapers are not the same. A washable wallpaper for the kitchen features a thin and transparent plastic coating that covers the pattern printed on the base paper. This plastic coating makes a washable wallpaper resistant to marks and stains and allows you to use a damp cloth to wipe it clean.
3) How to choose the colour and pattern?
Colours and patterns can infuse new life into any room in your home. And if you want a large pool of colours and patterns to choose from, wallpapers are your best bet. The variety that wallpapers offer is amazing. You can buy them in simple designs or even go the funky wallpapers for kitchen route. You can also choose a kitchen wallpaper in keeping with the décor you’d like to achieve. If you desire a calm and serene décor, opt for a wallpaper with a delicate and simple design. If you want the décor to cheer you up every time you enter the kitchen, a colourful and vibrant wallpaper is an apt choice. Either way, it is usually the colour or the pattern that forms the highlight of any wallpaper. So, if you are going for simple or neutral colours, pick an elaborate pattern to go with it. And if you are going for bold and bright colours, a simple pattern would suffice.
While colour and pattern are important factors, the rest of the kitchen should also figure in your wallpaper choice. And by that, we mean its existing elements like the countertop, cabinetry and hardware colours. You should also pick a wallpaper design that doesn’t end up looking out-of-date after a few years. If your kitchen follows a country décor, wallpapers featuring flowers, herbs, vegetables or even farm animal themes would be a good choice. If your kitchen is contemporary, you can go with wallpapers that feature geometric patterns like circles, squares or even asymmetrical lines. Kitchen wallpaper patterns that mimic brick, stone or tile surfaces are another popular option. However, none of these ideas is set in stone and you are free to create a style and décor that is entirely your own.
As a final point, remember that wallpapers with horizontal stripes make a room appear wider while those with vertical stripes create the illusion of more height. Similarly, wallpapers with big patterns make a room appear larger while those with smaller patterns foster a more intimate and cosier atmosphere.
4) How to use wallpapers to make a statement?
The answer here lies in the versatility of wallpapers. Kitchen wallpaper trends are dime-a-dozen, which helps you make a statement with ease. For instance, you can restrict the wallpaper to only one wall, which essentially creates a feature wall in your kitchen. With a feature wall, you can go for an extravagant, quirky and eye-catching wallpaper design, colour or pattern. Using such a wallpaper for the entire kitchen might be too overwhelming. A feature wall provides ample space to let your imagination run wild. For instance, people are known to use wallpapers featuring intricate designs, flowers and even their favourite music artist.
The key is to pick from modern kitchen wallpaper designs that reflect your preferences and add a dash of personality to your kitchen. This also makes more economic sense as you can pick premium wallpapers since you are covering only one side of the wall.
To add to that, you can enhance the impact of your feature wall in two ways. Firstly, you can place a large mirror on the wall opposite your feature wall. Secondly, you can paint all the other walls white or any one of the dominant solid colours from your wallpaper.
5) Wallpaper for the ceiling?
A ceiling can have quite an impact on a kitchen’s overall appearance, which is why a wallpaper for the ceiling is not a bad idea. In fact, wrapping your ceiling with the same wallpaper as the walls is a great way to make the kitchen appear more coherent. And if you are game, you can even make your ceiling the star attraction instead of going for a feature wall.
6) Other ways to use a wallpaper in the kitchen?
There is no limit to the number of ways in which you can use wallpapers to create a striking effect in your kitchen. For instance, did you know you can use a wallpaper as a splashback? Just make sure that what you choose is a proper kitchen wallpaper for backsplash and comes coated with acrylic, glass or special lacquer to ward off the effects of water exposure.
You can also line the back of your cabinets and shelves with wallpaper. The choice of wallpaper for this purpose can be as wacky or bold as you want. Again, ensure the wallpaper comes with a good-quality coating that resists scratches and general wear.
7) What are the current wallpaper trends for kitchens?
For country and traditional kitchens, classic wallpaper designs continue to hold sway. A typical country kitchen wallpaper features designs and patterns like stripes, spots, botanical prints and florals. And depending upon the colourway, pastoral scenes can suit traditional and contemporary designs equally. If your kitchen follows a contemporary and smart style, soft- or light-coloured striped wallpapers are recommended. If you want something bolder, wallpapers with unusual colours and geometric prints work wonderfully well.
One of the more popular modern kitchen wallpaper ideas is the industrial look. Digital wallpaper technology has enabled manufacturers to create wallpapers that uncannily mimic the surface finish of stone, weathered wood and even concrete. This makes digital image wallpaper ideal for not only adding texture but also an element of smoothness to the overall décor of your kitchen.
To sum it up, wallpapers in your kitchen are a better option than paint. They offer a tremendous amount of variety, can be comfortably washed, last for a long time and are more environment-friendly. If you need more help with choosing the right wallpaper design for your kitchen, consult your local wallpaper installer or get in touch with us. Highly Decorated is a leading name in the wallpaper installation, wallpaper restoration and other decorating services industry and is based out of Essex.