Marble, brick or concrete: Wallpaper models in stone looks create deceptively realistic stone walls. Three-dimensional and with a striking structure, stone motifs on walls provide a modern or rustic ambience.
Stone-effect and concrete-effect wallpaper: The Guide
Stone wallpaper has established a strong position in interior design. This is partially due to the fact that humans have always built and designed their homes with stones. Stone effect wallpaper models imitate different types of stone and concrete, but they can do so much more. They provide a sense of cosiness, structure and originality. These authentic, sometimes three-dimensional wallpaper types can appear cool and rough, warm and sensual, or elegant and luxurious.
Table of Contents
- Which types of stone motifs feature on wallpaper?
- What marble effect motifs are particularly popular right now?
- Which characteristics of exposed concrete feature in concrete effect wallpaper?
- Which colours are typical for stone wallpaper?
- Which rooms are most suitable for concrete wallpaper?
- Which interior design styles benefit the most from stone and concrete style wallpaper?
- Why are stone and concrete walls so popular as wallpaper motifs?
- Our tips: Design ideas with stone effect wallpaper
Numerous types of stone are fantastic style templates for stone-look wallpapers. For example, various types of natural stone as well as brick- and slate-look and 3D stone imitation are all options for stone designs.
Natural stone types like granite, marble, limestone and sandstone, slate or travertine can be reproduced very authentically on wallpaper. Based on their age and origin, natural stones are divided into the categories magmatite, sedimentary rock and metamorphic rock. Every single natural stone is unique.
Brick is a reddish-orange-brown masonry material in the shape of building blocks. It is "baked" from clay or loam. Solid bricks are amongst the oldest building materials known to man, typical, for instance, of the Middle Ages. To this day, the classic, robust clay brick has lost none of its popularity.
The terms "brick" and "clay brick" are more or less interchangeable. They are made from clay or loam. The difference to "regular" bricks lies in the wide range of formats, colours and structures that clay bricks come in. In terms of colour, for example, terracotta, yellow and grey are all available. Shapes and structures range from traditional to ultra-modern.
Stone wall look
The arrangement of country- and castle-stones in a compound and according to a certain pattern results in a solid stone wall. The appearance and effect of the wall depend on the material, colour and technique. A cream-coloured natural stone wall has an original charm, while a grey brick wall appears very accurate and straight-lined.
Clinker is the name of masonry bricks which are fired at high temperatures from feldspar, fireclay and other clay minerals. Various added components give it different colour nuances. Clinker bricks can be formed by hand or by machine. The "clinker look" describes an arrangement of oblong rectangular clinker bricks in an offset pattern.
Jet black slate is a versatile material and consequently appears in a plethora of different (but always luxurious) variations on stone wallpaper. One of the more popular looks is that of slabs of slate imitating wall panelling. Slate can be arranged like narrow clinkers, but more often than not it is the striking structure of this beautiful natural stone which is emphasised.
Plaster is a mixture of sand (or clay), water and binding agents used to smooth out masonry and walls. A distinction is made between smooth plaster and textured plaster; the latter in its various forms is considered a decorative component. On wallpaper, some of the more popular plaster looks are rubbing plaster, scraped plaster or harling.
3D stone imitation
With 3D stone imitation wallpaper, brick masonry and stone walls can be reproduced true to the original and appear deceptively realistic. Deep embossing, reliefs and foamed structures create realistic stone effect surfaces. Visual and tactile characteristics merge to provide fascinating sensory effects.
Marble is a sophisticated and multi-faceted natural stone that stands for pure luxury. Popular wallpaper motifs feature black, grey, white and golden marble.
Black marble with delicate white, silver-grey or golden veins has a sophisticated exotic quality that demands attention and creates a fascinating depth in the room. It appears mysterious and unfathomable and its unique beauty is captivating. One of the most famous varieties of black marble is the Spanish Nero Marquina.
Grey marble comes in many shades and gradations. It is available in a very light shade of grey, in medium grey marbling, but also in dark anthracite like the Carrara Bardiglio marble from Italy. In terms of wallpaper, a grey marble look opens up any number of individual design options.
White marble is a luxury classic. It is generally associated with the interiors of palaces and castles. There are several shades of white ranging from pure white to cream white and rose white, all with different veining. Carrara marble from the Apuan Alps in Italy is one of the most famous white marble varieties.
For luxury interiors with a natural touch, golden marble is the quintessential choice. It comes from Italy, Greece and India and offers the most diverse gold nuances with veins in shades from white to amber or multi-coloured. Its rarity makes it so valuable and, in terms of stone imitation wallpaper, it is simply extraordinary.
Concrete effect wallpaper models are considered modern and cool. But there are many facets to concrete, as the visual characteristics of exposed concrete (including formwork shell, concrete elements, light and dark concrete) prove.
Formwork shell as a design element
The formwork shell reproduces the inner surface of a concrete casing and gives it a rough surface with structure. The structural appearance depends on the type of formwork. Board formwork is one of the best known varieties. The imprints of the individual boards can be seen in the concrete, together with the wood grain.
Concrete-look wallpaper can feature individual concrete elements or concrete blocks as parts of a wall. Depending on the arrangement, this results in a variety of different structures that provide movement in the room. In addition, pre-cast concrete elements or blocks are not uniformly designed but can vary in shape, size and detail.
Similar to white cement, a very light colour makes this otherwise very rough and solid building material a little softer, whilst also standing for a cool, clean and modern ambience. Light concrete-effect wallpapers are well suited in rooms with limited daylight to achieve the desired look.
Dark concrete has a stern and sober quality. It is clearly focused and has an understated effect. Old concrete with traces of weathering or moss deposits has a peculiar aura that highlights the soft, nostalgic side of this otherwise hard and unforgiving material. Dark concrete is very suitable for strikingly extravagant feature walls.
Popular colours for stone patterns on wallpaper are primarily inspired by the real colours of various types of stone and concrete. The focus is on grey, white, beige, cream, black, brown and red.
Grey is the typical colour of cement and concrete. Various types of marble, bricks and masonry stones can also be grey (light grey or dark grey). This neutral colour has a very modern character and a discreet effect. It emphasises any bright colours used in interior design concepts. Due to the large variety of stone structures, grey is always flexible and in motion.
White is the colour of the luxurious Carrara marble from Italy; it is also the best known type. It is not uncommon for stone walls to be whitewashed with white lime paint, giving them a refined character. The colour of light and purity illuminates the room and is also suitable for puristic Scandinavian looks.
Beige is the French term for natural wool. This mixed shade comes in light and darker facets as well as intermediary shades of grey-brown, light grey, greyish-yellow and light yellow. It exudes a natural character and complements many other colours. Stone patterns in beige have a harmonising and warm effect.
Cream or cream white is lighter than beige and softer than pure white. It has a yellow, sometimes a delicate red component. Overall, the colour appears sophisticated and understated. On stone wallpaper, clinker walls and marble are often depicted in cream shades. Although fundamentally different in terms of structure, in cream both types of stone have an elegant appearance.
Granite, marble and slate - these black natural stone variations stand for upscale luxury in modern wall and floor design. The colour of the night has a mysterious and sophisticated effect which is accentuated in distinctly different ways by the structure of the respective stone type.
In stone wallpaper design, the colour of the earth is often represented by traditional clay bricks. However, facing bricks in shades such as red-brown or ochre-brown are also very popular in stone motif wallpapers, especially when the brown nuances provide a light-dark contrast. The combination of colours has a dynamic, rustic effect.
The stimulating signal colour red is no wallflower. Classic bricks have a typical red-orange colour, but clinker bricks, roof tiles and sandstone can come in beautiful shades of red, too. Red bricks are a distinct feature of traditional architecture in Northern Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. Stone patterns in warm red create a cosy atmosphere.
Although stone and concrete are very robust and fairly rough materials, they can also have a very cosy effect. So it comes as no surprise that stone and concrete wallpaper is often used in living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms and hallways.
A reddish-brown brick wallpaper in an open, loft-like living room, or a dark stone wallpaper that creates an artistic contrast to clean white walls? Designing the living room in a stone look is an expression of individual lifestyle preferences.
The theme determines the style - and this applies to stone and concrete wallpaper in the bathroom, too. Those who love a bit of luxury and sophistication frequently choose marble or granite. Other modern luxury stone looks include slate and basalt. Blocks, slabs, tiles, bricks, the formwork skin of concrete - form and finish are important factors, too. Combining stone looks with wood is particularly popular.
Whether modern or country house style: stone and concrete look wallpapers, preferably washable and with a robust surface, are fabulous choices for this busy and social space. Amongst the most popular and contemporary looks are slate, marble, brick, stone walls and plaster structures. Young people tend to like motif wallpapers featuring concrete walls with graffiti.
The dining room can be rustic, natural or ultra-modern. Brick wallpaper can be as great an option as expensive-looking marble with beautiful veining. Clinker walls in warm shades of brown, red and beige conjure up a rustic country feeling. As a wallpaper motif, a wall made of quarry stones has a natural effect.
We all know it: it's the first impression that counts! In the hallway, an attractive stone wallpaper not only reflects the stylish taste of the house or apartment owner, but also suggests much more. It can be practically anything from clinker bricks to terrazzo and marble mosaic, just as long as the imitation stone or concrete exudes a certain degree of exclusivity and adds to the harmony in a room.
Concrete looks in the industrial style are very much in demand right now. The many different stone motifs available suit personal tastes from country house style to shabby chic.
The industrial look is inspired by old, large abandoned factory buildings. Materials such as metal, iron, wood and even "naked" weathered concrete are the main elements of this interior design style. Lines are clear, traces of time are more than welcome. The high design factor, often inspired by art, is reflected in furniture and decoration.
Shabby Chic describes an enchanting mix of nostalgia and DIY. A combination of flea market finds, heirlooms and home-made items, often with clear signs of use and a patina steeped in history. Whitewashed stone and clinker walls, brick walls with a weathered look and old cement walls with crumbling plaster are perfect for this style.
Country house style
The country house style comes in many country-specific variations. While in northern Germany brick and sandstone are at the top of the list of favourites, in Spain and southern France it is natural stone in all its facets and colours. Specific bricklaying techniques can also point to a particular region.
Light or dark stone and concrete wallpaper motifs create the desired ambience which is achieved in no time with non-woven wallpapers. Stone surfaces with textures and reliefs provide a deceptively realistic look.
Light colours for an airy ambience
Stone and concrete wallpaper designs in light grey, beige and white open up the room. They add light and are ideal style companions for the romantic Shabby Chic or cool Industrial look. Lightness, effervescence and understated elegance are all welcome features of stone designs in light colours.
Dark colours for rustic ambiences
Rust-coloured red clinker brick, black slate and anthracite-grey concrete are examples of dark stone and concrete imitation wallpapers which emphasise a rustic and very natural style. Depending on the type of stone, a sophisticated, extravagant aspect can be introduced, for instance with dark marble.
Easy application of non-woven wallpapers
Stone-look wallpaper models with a non-woven carrier layer are easy and quick to apply. The wall is pasted for each length of wallpaper, which is then put up directly on the wall. It is not necessary to paste individual strips of wallpaper and observe soaking times. Wallpaper with non-woven backing can be removed later without leaving any residue by simply peeling it off when dry.
Stone surfaces with structure and relief
The more realistic a stone-look surface appears, the more it appeals to the haptic sense. This means that a stone motif designed with structures or reliefs can be experienced via several senses and has a three-dimensional effect. The mind tricks us into thinking that the depicted texture can be felt and is associated with characteristics such as rough, coarse-grained or smooth. This increases a sense of well-being.
- Cool stone fragments: Masonry or stone walls are particularly well suited as wallpaper motifs for "half-wall designs". This way, wall and room can be newly divided, for instance to set the scene for a seating area. Another option is to create the illusion of a partially exposed old stone wall. This is achieved by wallpapering only half/a part of the wall with a stone wallpaper and deliberately cutting the outer length of wallpaper somewhat irregularly, for example around the individual stone edges.
- Combinations with stone wallpaper: The right mix provides a sense of exclusivity. Play with textures and structures such as concrete and fine birch wood, marble and baroque ornaments, rough linen and natural stones. Special surface materials, varied pattern designs and plain-coloured wallpapers offer an infinite number of possible combinations.
- Concrete wallpaper without pattern repeat: For living rooms or offices, urban styling can easily be achieved with high-quality concrete imitations in digital print by Piet Boon by NLXL. These wallpapers without pattern repetition can be hung without rapport and appear fantastically realistic.
- Marble and granite for sophisticated furniture surfaces & decorative objects: A boring chest of drawers can be transformed into a fabulous showpiece by beautifying it with marble-look wallpaper. DIY fans can build (round or square) plywood columns, cover them with wallpaper in a slate, granite or natural stone-look and create unique decorative objects.