Plain Wallpaper: The Guide
Plain wallpaper makes life more colourful! The wide choice of colours as well as multi-faceted structures and material surfaces leave nothing to be desired. Even if plain wallpaper models don't come with printed patterns in different colours, they can still be given unique and effective finishes through exclusive surface materials, embossing, texture or relief. Unsealed, smooth and structured surfaces of non-woven wallpapers can also be painted over. The Guide explains the best use of one-coloured wallpaper, lists popular colours and introduces a variety of models. A few clever design tips round off the topic.
Table of Contents
- What are the most popular colours for plain wallpaper?
- For which rooms is plain wallpaper most suited?
- How do I find matching plain wallpaper to complement patterned wallpaper?
- Which surfaces of non-woven wallpapers are suitable for painting over?
- What are the different types of plain structured wallpaper?
- What are the different types of plain-coloured wallpaper with and without patterns?
- Why are uni-coloured wallpaper models always a good decision?
- Our tips: Give interior design concepts a direction with plain wallpapers
Uni-coloured wallpaper models are available in a fantastic range of shades. Amongst the most popular colours - which also provide plenty of combination potential - are black, white, grey, blue, red, green, beige and gold.
Black exudes extravagance, elegance and style. The most mysterious of colours can appear very dominant if it takes up a large part of the room, e.g. as plain wallpaper. Rooms with a lot of daylight, light-coloured floors and white contrasts can tolerate more than one black wall. In any case, strong colour contrasts are required and metallic hues complement black particularly well.
In terms of wall design with plain wallpaper, the colour of purity and innocence has a very clean, modern effect. White is the perfect way to provide colour-intensive pattern wallpapers with a neutral frame. Plain wallpaper in white is the perfect partner for feature walls with very dark patterned wallpaper.
Neutrality has its merits, as the colour grey proves beautifully. As a "solo artist", grey appears very puristic and elegant, giving a softer look to black and white or intensifying strong colours such as orange, yellow, violet and magenta. Grey helps shape the room and visually "moves back" walls and corners that are painted with this colour.
Sea and sky, infinite vastness, freedom, cool clarity. Blue is great for relaxation, promotes concentration and has meditative qualities. It inspires the imagination and boasts a sophisticated character. Depending on the shade of blue, the room can appear wider or narrower, higher or lower. In combination, blue and green tones guarantee a very special atmosphere.
Red is the colour of fire and love. Red touches the heart, it stimulates, it is emotive. As plain wallpaper, this sensual colour with great presence and even greater dominance is a fabulous design partner for wallpaper models with a light background and red and orange patterns, or as a contrast to white, yellow or blue. In rooms focussed on conviviality and activity, red is a fabulous choice.
Green is pure nature. Green is the colour of hope, which is based on growth and new beginnings. Green is life and joie de vivre, spring and freshness. This colour adds the perfect dose of energy to a room and fills it with balanced harmony. Depending on the specific shade, it can be inspiring or calming. Plain green wallpaper models can create dark magical or light fruity styles in the room.
Beige is a jack-of-all-trades among plain wallpaper colours. It evokes a sense of pleasure and triggers positive associations, e.g. with creamy substances or soft sand. Beige is an earthy feel-good colour that works in perfect harmony with a wide range of other hues, including plum, orange, brown or white.
Gold is the colour of sheer luxury as it exudes radiance, brilliance and splendour. It is also seen as the colour of the sun. Even in small quantities, gold radiates sophistication and uniqueness. Plain gold wallpapers with embossing or relief finishes appear particularly refined and high-quality. Gold is the perfect combination partner for black, light and dark red, blue and green shades.
Plain wallpaper can be used to decorate all four walls of a room or complement a design wallpaper with an expressive pattern. One-coloured wallpaper models are often used in bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms.
The bedroom is where we give our body and soul a rest, where we go to find sleep. Colours which meet this need for rest and relaxation can be introduced into the boudoir with the right plain (often structured) wallpaper. Alternatively, exquisite patterned wallpapers with fabulously atmospheric designs can be used to create a feature wall while the other walls are kept in plain colours.
Plain wallpaper models in trendy colours are still among the top favourites in the kitchen. They look cool and modern. Two plain wallpapers in different colours can be combined to amazing effect. For interior design concepts with a specific pattern theme, accent walls are a great option. The remaining walls should then be plain-coloured.
The choice of wallpaper for dining rooms depends mainly on the general interior design style. The options are varied: pattern wallpaper on all walls, a mix of a patterned feature wall and single-coloured walls, or only plain wallpaper in the preferred shade are all possibilities. For more unusual and specific furniture styles or themes, plain wallpaper is the best choice.
In the living room, one or two plain wallpaper models can be used to add a sophisticated touch. If the room is primarily used as a relaxation space for reading or watching TV, plain wallpapers in soothing colours have a calming as well as modern effect. A combination of plain wallpaper and patterned wallpaper is another great option for living rooms, too.
The plain wallpaper model should pick up a recurring colour of the pattern to create a harmonious overall picture. Instead of using plain wallpaper, it is also possible to paint the other walls in one of the pattern colours.
Choosing a recurring colour of the pattern
Pattern wallpapers come in two or more colours; tone-in-tone fusions as well as precious metal details are also possible. In order to determine the appropriate shade for the plain wallpaper, a specific colour from the pattern should be chosen. Ideally, this will also have a positive impact on the layout and light conditions of the room.
Painting the walls
Painting the other (non-wallpapered) walls of the room in a matching colour is obviously more economical than buying matching plain wallpaper. You can find suggestions as to which colours of the sample wallpaper are suitable for painting the other walls in our Shop. The correct colour code will enable you to have the wall paint mixed in a paint shop or DIY store.
It is then applied to the old (or newly attached) wallpaper. White lining paper is the perfect basis for a coat of paint.
Non-woven wallpaper surfaces without coating, special finishes and sealing are all suitable for painting over. Non-woven wallpaper models that meet those requirements can have a smooth surface or a structure - both types are options.
Smooth non-woven models without coating or structure offer an even surface that can be painted quickly and with high colour saturation. The result looks clean and professional. White non-woven wallpaper (e.g. lining paper) with a smooth surface is the ideal basis for authentic colour results. If a plain non-woven wallpaper with a smooth surface is already in place, it should first be painted white (for light colours) or grey (for dark colours).
Textured wallpaper is characterised by a raised and tactile surface. The structure can be fine, coarse, relief-like or in a material imitation (e.g. stone, leather) look. Non-woven wallpaper which can be painted over repeatedly can boast linen-like, braided or ornamental structures, to name but a few examples.
Textures give the wallpaper a special visual and tactile feel and dynamic movement. The term "structured wallpaper" includes models with embossing, texture and relief effects.
Depending on visual and haptic qualities, a distinction is made between fine embossing, medium embossing and deep embossing. A variety of pattern structures is possible, e.g. dotted, nubbed or studded, fine-grained, capsule-shaped or organic structures. Material imitations, e.g. of stone, metal, leather, are also created by embossing processes.
The term "texture" describes the nature of a material or surface. With regard to wallpapers, textures are created both by their material and through the appearance with which a surface is associated. The texture of textile and natural wallpaper types is a result of the tactile material component. In the case of wood- or leather-look wallpaper and some imitation stone wallpapers, the texture reflects the appearance of the respective material. The "feel" of the material is associated with the look of wallpaper (without actually existing).
Different relief levels are created by emphasising or deepening a motif or pattern of the wallpaper surface. This surface can consist of different materials: more often than not it is vinyl, but flock is another possibility. Reliefs give the wallpaper depth and three-dimensionality.
One-coloured wallpaper models come in a great variety of material textures and unique pattern structures. These include non-woven wallpaper, textile wallpaper, leather-look wallpaper and nature wallpaper.
The carrier material of a non-woven wallpaper consists of cellulose and textile fibres which are compacted by binding agents. It is easy to hang, can conceal cracks and can be removed completely in a dry state. Surface materials can be non-woven, but also vinyl, textile and natural fibres with or without structure.
Vinyl wallpaper is characterised by a plastic-coated surface; the carrier material can be paper-based or non-woven. Plain-coloured vinyl wallpaper types are particularly robust, hard-wearing and water-repellent, which is why these types can also be used in wet rooms without any problems. They are available in smooth or structured finishes or as material imitation wallpaper.
For textile wallpaper, the upper layer consists of natural or synthetic textile fibres which are applied as warp threads (lengthwise) or fabric to the (non-woven or paper) carrier layer. A variety of materials such as cotton, raffia, felt, linen or silk create their own optical and tactile structures and textures, ranging from coarse to very delicate.
Very short viscose fibres are laminated onto the carrier layer under electrostatic charge to form the surface of velvety soft flock wallpapers. The flocking creates patterns of all kinds which stand out from the background. Plain-coloured flock wallpaper adds delicate tone-in-tone luxury to the room.
With special structures such as crocodile or snake skin imitations, leather-look wallpapers are deceptively realistic. The pattern structures are created by faithful reproductions of various animal skins. Tanned or antique cowhide can also be reproduced in an authentic manner. Besides the typical leather shades, plain imitation leather wallpapers come in many other colours.
Grass, raffia and cork are just some of the examples of natural materials that make up the surface of natural wallpaper models. They are applied to the carrier layer as individual fibres, pieces of bark, particles or fabric. The original colours and textures of various different materials create natural pattern textures. Dyed natural materials provide a more colourful option. Glittery mineral mica stones add an extravagant touch.
An irregular fold structure is the trademark of crush wallpapers. The optical effects vary, depending on the arrangement of the folds. The pleats and creases are reminiscent of wood grains, thin twigs, or veins, to name just a few examples. Uni-coloured crush wallpapers are given a certain element of exclusivity by stunning pleat arrangements created with the help of a special technique.
There is a huge number of different concrete looks and although the general colour is grey, there are different shades (depending on the type of concrete and external influences). A distinction is made, for example, between fair-faced concrete, foamed concrete, porous concrete, weathered concrete, etc... Structures can be visually and haptically perceivable.
Lining paper, also known as renovation or waste paper, is wallpaper that consists entirely of cellulose and textile fibres. This creates a smooth surface which is the perfect base for wall paints. Uneven areas and cracks can be smoothed out which is why it is often used as a basis for decorative pattern wallpaper.
Plain wallpaper is the perfect partner for pattern models. These days, it is available in every trendy colour under the sun. These often washable wallpaper types can create both a light and a dark ambience.
Perfect partner for pattern wallpaper
Large-scale, unusual or striking patterns are best suited for feature walls. The remaining walls are then covered with a matching single-coloured wallpaper or painted in a matching colour. This creates a harmonious and attractive overall picture that is pleasing to the eyes and senses and does not overwhelm them.
Modern colours according to the current zeitgeist
Plain wallpapers are available in every season's trend colours. This allows creative designers to bring the hippest contemporary colours to the wall. There is no limit to individual interior design ideas, because current furniture and home accessories are usually matched to wallpaper and wall colours.
Easy creation of light or dark ambience
A light or dark ambience can be created more easily with plain wallpaper than with multicoloured patterned wallpaper. Personal preferences can be met and visual room/layout corrections are possible, which has a positive impact on the room effect. Choosing the right wallpaper colour can make the room look larger or provide a lighter feel.
Single-coloured vinyl and non-woven wallpapers often boast a washable surface. With the cleaning properties wash-resistant, scrub-resistant and super-scrub-resistant, plastic-coated wallpapers provide the strongest cleaning characteristics, while non-woven wallpapers are mostly "just" washable.
- Wallpapering ceilings: Plain wallpaper models with structure, e.g. imitation, natural and textile wallpapers, turn the ceiling into a real eye-catcher. This adds interest to the room, especially when more intense and darker colours are chosen. It can also visually reduce the height of the room. It is a good idea to recruit a diligent assistant in order to make this type of project a success.
- Colour-Blocking with grey: Choose plain wallpaper in grey and a favourite colour of your choice. Now create a feature wall with the wallpaper in your favourite colour. The remaining walls are bedecked in the grey wallpaper. The grey walls help to make the wall in your favourite colour the centre of attention, while the other walls are more subtle and understated.
- Fruity-fresh cosiness with textile wallpaper: Fabric wallpapers have a slightly insulating effect and are also a tactile pleasure due to their consistency (warp threads/fabric). They contribute to a general atmosphere of well-being, especially when fruity and fresh colours are chosen. How about a wallpaper with a surface that consists of sophisticated shimmering warp threads in bright orange or light blue?
- White textured wallpaper: White wallpaper with embossing, relief or texture finishes adds a sense of sophistication to clean and simple interior design styles. An imitation stone wallpaper with a whitewashed masonry look is particularly suitable for a staircase or a dining room in the sought-after Country Look. In the bedroom, imitation wallpaper with a weathered wooden beams look in white can emphasise a cosy Shabby Chic theme. Natural materials such as cork bark or raffia dyed white create a distinctive ambience.