Between the Baseboard and the Crown Moulding: What’s On Walls in 2018?

Wall coverings are a very important part of any building, whether it’s a home, an office, or a business. While the most popular option may always be traditional painted drywall, wall coverings have always been a topic of innovation and creativity. It seems there are as many ways to decorate walls as there are people decorating them.

With so many options on the table, it can be overwhelming to you if you’re trying to choose something that’s both trendy and practical to use on the walls of your home. How can you strike a good balance between function and form while still staying on budget? And what can you choose that’s right on the leading edge of style without running the risk of eventually looking dated?

Let’s look at some of the choices you have, based on what’s likely to be coming soon to a wall near you.

Fabric Coverings

One of the most unique trends gaining some traction today is the use of fabric wall coverings. Materials like hemp are being braided into durable, beautiful wall coverings that are applied like wallpaper, providing texture, color, and a really unique look. These are great for areas with lots of foot traffic, as well as spaces like eating areas, where chairs and tables often rub against the walls.

Vintage Wood

In a world where wooden pallets are fashioned into more products than any ever dreamed possible, it’s no surprise that repurposed wood is in vogue for wall coverings. Recovered barn wood, old flooring, house siding, and countless other products from demolition or renovation are being sanded down and covered with paint, stain, or just varnish and being applied on walls as chair rail, trim, or complete paneling.

Glass Beaded Wallpaper

Speaking of wallpaper, it’s still around, and it’s more beautiful and versatile than ever. One specific technique is to bead it with glass, providing greater depth, sparkle, and elegance than ordinary wallpaper could ever present. The way it refracts and redirects light through the room via those tiny beads is like no other effect you can achieve.

Functional Coverings

It seems like we all accumulate more and more stuff all the time, to the point that closets and drawers beg for mercy. Clever storage systems can utilize crates, baskets, and even hooks to help you simultaneously organize and beautify your space, without the cost and difficulty of addressing both functions individually.


Forget your image of tapestries as sound-dulling declarations of the family crest, hanging from cold castle walls. Fabric items made all over the world are gaining popularity as a way to provide a contained burst of color and character in the middle of a neutral-shaded wall, an item that’s easy to switch out with seasons, tastes, or new travel destinations.


For a long-lasting and colorful finish that’s unique and easy to clean, think about covering your walls with a tile mosaic. These can be made of countless materials, from glass to seashells, captured in large tiles that are easy to install and maintain. They provide an unpainted surface that can handle the bumps, rubs, and splatters of daily life, with easy cleanup.

The tried and true painted wall will always have a place in buildings of every kind, but for situations where other options are practical, 2018 looks like a year where creativity will hit a new level. As you think about how to decorate or redecorate, spend some time researching options like these and the many others available to you, and choose a finish that will be beautiful, functional, and practical for years to come.

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