The mention of wallpaper may send a shiver down your spine because it conjures up images of your (austere) grandmother’s living room — or a childhood of arduously helping your parents scrape it off your walls. Before you write it off, though, hear us out. Believe it or not, when chosen tastefully, wallpapers can make your living space look luxuriously chic.

Historically, wallpaper began as extravagant tapestry in wealthy homes, inspired by wall paintings used by Egyptians and Romans. It is no surprise, then, that exquisite, bespoke wallpapers are the wall art of choice in many designers’ homes and swanky hotels around the world.

When it comes to interiors, wallpaper can play a starring role in your living space, drawing the eye and adding dimension and colour into your home, as well as manipulating spaces with visual tricks. Wall coverings, especially by skilled artisans, can transform your walls into works of art — in a way paint can’t.

If you’re afraid of your living space looking too cluttered, skip the ceiling-to-floor installation and choose certain feature walls you’d want to stand out, or have wallpaper as decorative panels on the wall.

From master suites and living rooms to bathrooms and stairways, a strategically chosen wallpaper design — be it subtle, romantic, or urban chic — can instantly add flair to a venue. Check out these 6 bespoke wallpaper makers whose designs have adorned luxury hotels, homes of the rich and famous, and palaces for the modern royals.

(Main image credit: Cole & Son ; Featured image credit: @netaporter)

1
Pierre Frey

Headquartered in Rue des Petits Champs since 1937, this French house’s designs have adorned walls, sofas, and even staircases — from Salone Del Mobile to luxury hotels around the world. The brand, started by designer Pierre Frey, draws its inspiration from the art of ethnic groups in faraway locales, eighteenth-century France, and contemporary art.

Pierre Frey’s collections feature various themes ranging from classic to contemporary, and customers can also opt for made-to-order designs.

www.pierrefrey.com

(Image credit: @lamaisonpierrefrey)

2
Allyson McDermott

Inspired by her childhood in Nigeria, Kenya and Malawi, Allyson McDermott specialises in the conservation and recreation of historical wallpapers. Looking to designs dating from the 17th to 20th centuries, the artist has been credited for rediscovering century-old techniques such as varnishing, woodblock printing and gilding.

McDermott’s designs have adorned the walls of historical places such as the Palace of Westminster and the Temple Newsam.

www.allysonmcdermott.com

(Image credit: @allysonmcdermottstudio)

3
Griffin & Wong

Specialising in hand-painted “Chinoiserie” wallpapers inspired by oriental elements, Griffin & Wong was established in collaboration with descendants of the original Suchow Silk-Workers Craftsman Guild.

The brand’s current wallpaper collection consists of 26 oriental wallpaper and nine western scenic murals hand painted on coloured silk wallpaper backgrounds. The designers work closely with clients to bring one’s design vision to life.

www.griffinandwong.com

(Image credit: Griffin & Wong)

4
Phillip Jeffries

Phillip Jeffries, founded by Eric Bershad in 1976, specialises in hand-crafted wall coverings. Now in its fourth decade, the brand is spearheaded by Bershad’s sons — who work with skilled artisans and craftsmen to create some of the most sought-after wallpapers in the world.

Phillip Jeffries stocks more than 1,100 natural wall coverings, which include materials such as Japanese paper weaves, gold leaf, grasscloth, hemps, silks, linens, granite, as well as bespoke specialities.

www.phillipjeffries.com

(Image credit: @danielcharleslodato

5
Cole & Son

Founded in 1875, Cole & Son has produced some of the most iconic wallpaper designs in the world. The house’s art can be found in many prestigious buildings, including the Buckingham Palace. Cole & Son now offers a selection of 1,500 wallpapers with designs representing styles across centuries.

www.cole-and-son.com

(Image credit: @cole_and_son_wallpapers)

6
Gracie

Gracie, a New York-based, fourth generation family firm, produces exquisite hand painted “Chinoseirie” and Japanese wallpapers that have decked the walls of various esteemed clients — such as interior design firm McMillen‘s office, and actress and decorator Elsie de Wolfe’s residence.

The first firm to import hand painted wallpapers since their original creation by Chinese artisans in the 1700s, Gracie’s design studio now consists of a 15-strong production department skilled in painting murals, producing custom lacquer furniture, and providing museum quality restoration.

www.graciestudio.com

(Image credit: @housebeautiful)

Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.