For the past 20 years we’ve had walls that said nothing to us at all. 

We were treated with an insolent, extremely costly contempt by them, as they looked down at our incredibly long, greige (grey, beige) nostrils, which was a reflection of the untidy people scuttling around inside.

They were not sexy or comfortable. We had to be content with a ‘play of light and shade’ on a textured wall — which is fine if you’re that kind of person. 

But let’s face it, if you are that kind of person, you’re going to die alone and friendless.

We all want spaces that are welcoming, inviting and warm. Which is why it’s no surprise to me that wallpaper is making a comeback. 

A room with wallpaper is more welcoming. You’re accepted into it, you’re part of the story, part of the joke, part of the furniture.

You can change the colour of a wall by painting it. But when you paper a wall, you take it to somewhere it’s never been before. 

Jennifer Lopez on the catwalk wearing a dress similar to Versace's green jungle print wallpaper

Jennifer Lopez was seen on the catwalk with a dress that looked similar to Versace’s green jungle print wallpaper.

Versace's green jungle print wallpaper. The fashion houses, such as Gucci and Versace, love creating wallpapers because it¿s great branding

Versace wallpaper in green jungle print. The fashion houses, such as Gucci and Versace, love creating wallpapers because it’s great branding

Big names such as Gucci, Versace, Ralph Lauren and Hermes all have wallpaper lines, with prices ranging from £76 per roll for Christian Lacroix, to £365 for a roll from Gucci

Big names such as Gucci, Versace, Ralph Lauren and Hermes all have wallpaper lines, with prices ranging from £76 per roll for Christian Lacroix, to £365 for a roll from Gucci

Is it too expensive? You can just put it on your existing furniture. 

Designer wallpapers can be expensive enough to make homeowners faint. This is why so many of us choose a fancy wallpaper for the downstairs toilet — we get all the pizazz of four walls of colour out of just one roll.

There is another option to save money on high-end wallpaper: don’t put it on your walls. 

Instead, the trend for ‘luxe-cycling’ (that’s luxury upcycling) involves covering furniture with it instead. ‘You can literally paper anything,’ says luxe-cycling expert and TV presenter Zoe Pocock, from, who reveals that thicker papers, regardless of price, work best. 

‘I suggest starting with a coffee table, as they’re a simple shape — but you can wallpaper wardrobes [right]You can get the designer look at half the price with sideboards or chests of drawers.

‘You simply paint the furniture first, then stick your paper on with PVA glue instead of wallpaper paste, before cutting off any excess. 

To protect your paper, finish with a coat of Polyvine decorator’s varnish, which was developed for using on high-end wallpaper in hotels and restaurants, and gives a wipeable finish.’

Another trick is to frame a wallpaper sample — usually costing less than a few pounds — as wall art. Beautiful wallpaper can be used to cover tiles to create coasters.

Wallpapers have an enormous amount to say, and their resurgence marks the revival of the ‘chatty room’. I’m a huge fan.

And I’m clearly not alone. According to experts, online wallpaper searches have increased by 50% since the epidemic.

Wallpaper is very British. In the 18th century, we became obsessed by the idea of ‘pattern’. 

However, pattern was extremely expensive and highly up-market. 

Then suddenly we were able print the entire pattern and make it mass-produce. 

This was an attempt to show the middle class a style that would be loved by the powerful and superrich.

This is wallpaper’s greatest attraction — snobs hate it. Faux opulence is the worst thing for design enthusiasts. It’s a direct ape of the highest end market. 

That’s why, after the past 20 years of plain beige minimalism, wallpaper feels like the naughtiest thing you could do.

Wallpaper was in its last days around the middle of 1980s. It’s very Dynasty. 

 It’s Sloanes, shoulder pads, frilly Laura Ashley — everything that the past three decades despised. 

We want something new — but, inevitably, it’s something old, which is why taste is so fabulously cannibalistic; it will always eat itself.

Wallpaper is a great choice for my home, which was mostly built in the 17th century. 

I’ve had so many fights with wallpaperers over the years who have wanted to smooth down the walls but I insist on paper going on wobbly walls — it creates something very rich and decadent. 

At our home in Cornwall, all the ceilings are wallpapered with pale grey stars — my wife’s idea — and I love it. This is a new way of working with wallpaper.

You get what you pay when it comes to price. When I first started designing wallpaper 25 years ago, there was a perceived financial pain barrier of between £15 to £25 per roll. 

A model wears a dress during the 2-15 Ready To Wear fashion event. Wallpapers have taken inspiration from the catwalk

A model is seen wearing a gown during 2-15 Ready To Wear. Wallpapers take inspiration from the catwalk

Menagerie wallpaper described as 'an ornate fantastical pattern featuring hearts, colourful trailing blooms, exotic butterflies, birds of paradise and mischievous monkeys'

Menagerie wallpaper is described as “an elegant fantastical pattern featuring hearts and colourful trailing flowers, exotic butterflies, birds-of-paradise, mischievous monkeys, and birds of paradise”.

From runway to living room 

Fashion designers are now requesting that our walls be covered in the same expensive patterns as we wear.

Big names such as Gucci, Versace, Ralph Lauren and Hermes all have wallpaper lines, with prices ranging from £76 per roll for Christian Lacroix, to £365 for a roll from Gucci.

Your walls may end up costing you more than your handbag.

But nowadays, people seem happy to spend around £70 per roll, and good-quality wallpaper goes up nicely, making an immediate impact. A thin, disposable wallpaper looks sloppy.

At the very top end you have companies like de Gournay, who are all about hand-painted wallpaper and charge about £1,000 a metre. It’s exquisite, turning your wall into art, but clearly only a tiny few are going to pay that.

The fashion houses, such as Gucci and Versace, love creating wallpapers because it’s great branding. 

And while you can fake a shade of Farrow & Ball paint, you can’t fake something like a Cavalli leopard-print wallpaper, rich and operatic and little bit trashy in the poshest Italian way.

Bold, big design is your best bet.

 My first ever wallpaper collection was in 1999 and the brief I got from Graham & Brown was to make it very small-scale, as unpatterned as possible, and use very discreet colours. 

It was amazing to see how a tractor drove through this.  

You don’t want wallpaper to be euphemistic, you want it to be a statement.

Most homeowners, however, still seem to favour wallpaper on just one wall — which I’m still not sure I approve of entirely. 

In the 1950s, the feature wall was created. It can help make your living space appear larger. 

The only way to get it just right is for the three other walls to be in close proximity with the pattern wall.

You don’t want pink flamingos everywhere you go, so you might consider having three walls of pink.

Two years ago, lockdowns made us think about interiors more. It is enough for us to stare at the same four walls every day.

Go back to when our houses were created — whether that’s 1880 or 1930 — and all those spaces would have had wallpaper. Wallpaper is a must in the bay windows, skirtings, picture rails and picture frames.

In these rooms, wallpapers work best. Wallpapers are charming, jolly, and can give these rooms a warm suburban smile. 

Though wallpapers can seem outlandish, by embracing them we’re actually celebrating the ordinary a bit more — and there’s nothing wrong with that.