Are Wallpaper Borders Coming Back In Style?

Wallpaper was once a staple of interior decorating in the U.S., especially from the 1930s through the 1960s. Just watch a movie from these decades. Wallpaper is everywhere! Its popularity fell away in the 1970s but came back in the 1980s and 1990s, per Business of Home. '80s designs didn't necessarily cover entire walls but instead used strips of paper or vinyl as a border or accent. These borders bounced back and were more popular than larger accents with a print or pattern because, at the time, wallpaper was hard to apply and even harder to remove.

The wallpaper, or rather the wallcovering industry, has learned its lesson and is bouncing back. As Living Etc. says, having people stuck in their houses during the COVID-19 pandemic gave everyone a chance to rethink their décor. A trend from 30 or 40 years ago, once passé, is generating interest again. People are looking to elevate their rooms without spending much money or making a big commitment to a specific design or color.

Your house, your rules

Of course, you can apply paint, borders, or wallpaper anywhere, yet according to SheerLuxe, borders are trending right now. Borders are being added as a cheeky supplement to a wall in need of color or as a way to punch up the lines that define the room. Borders can run along the top of the wall to create extra height, but they can also outline doors or windows, help emphasize the angle of a staircase, or frame art. Use them as vertical stripes or create tall rectangles to break up a flat surface. Alternatively, apply a border in a horizontal line to create a wainscot effect. Wherever that border goes, the eye will follow.

Borders inject personality and a distinctive style into a room. At some point, you may consider using a border as a companion to wallpaper since this may be more practical than decorating with paint. Today wallcoverings come in different styles and textures, most of which are super easy to clean and maintain. They protect your walls in ways paint can't — think scratches and dents. Depending on the look you want, paper or vinyl may be a less expensive way to enhance a wall. Even if your choice is more expensive than a simple paint job, wallcoverings tend to last longer in the average interior.

To border or not to border

If you're on the fence regarding borders or wallcovering in general, consider how the industry has had time to vastly improve the application process. At one time, paper of any kind was only hung by professionals who painstakingly matched the pattern at the edge of each roll to the next roll and used glue to stick the paper to interior surfaces. Such experts still exist, of course, although nowadays, hanging wallpaper is much easier whether you hire a crew or do it yourself. 

Notably, today we have peel-and-stick wallcoverings and borders that are as convenient and user-friendly as a post-it note. Placing these patterns on walls, ceilings, and more is so easy previous generations of home decorators must be jealous. Additionally, borders and wallcoverings offer many innovative prints, colors, and styles. Spoonflower is one of several resources that offer DIY self-adhesive panels of stickable and removable wallcoverings in panels from 1 to 12 feet long in patterns from florals to abstracts. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.