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Modern glamour
A little shimmer goes a long way

Photos by Photographic Design, Ltd. and Matt Haas

May 2015

Despite the public’s general aversion to wallpaper, Suzan Wemlinger, owner of Decorating Den Interiors/Suzan J. Designs in Milwaukee, says that wallpaper is "coming back in a big way." And what’s more? Metallic wallpapers, especially those cast in softer gold and brass tones, are trending, adding touches of modern glamour to the most ordinary of spaces.

Wemlinger experienced the transformative power of metallic wallpaper firsthand when she redesigned the basement powder room of a Wauwatosa home. Playing off of the ceiling’s exposed piping and the existing floor tile’s metallic sheen, she selected a wallpaper design with a brass geometric pattern. "I thought the geometrical look was an upscale way to work with a basement room," says Wemlinger. "It’s not overly dressy but makes it (the bathroom) feel more adult."

Looking to implement the trend in your own home? Here's what you need to know.

The result is a design effect that feels both contemporary and vintage, a feat achieved through the strong contrast between the wallpaper’s teal-colored base and brassy pattern.

Traditional metallic sheens include silver, gold, copper and brass, but an entire rainbow of colors, including shimmering purples, reds and greens, are also available.

As with many wallpapers, metallic wallpaper designs feature a variety of prints and textures. A busier print combined with some texture, like an embossed paisley, creates a dynamic statement.

Since the wallpaper easily becomes the focus of the room, keep the space’s other necessities simple. Wemlinger used a consistent all-white theme for the bathroom’s other adornments.

Light will bounce off the wallpaper’s sheen, so give careful consideration to what light fixtures you choose and where they are placed.

Keep an open mind. "The homeowner was very open to something different than what she had previously," notes Wemlinger, adding that this willingness to welcome change is essential.



This story ran in the May 2015 issue of: