Decorating walls with wallpaper imitating the color and texture of natural leather is a fairly common design technique. Such wallpaper looks expensive, dignified, presentable and very realistic. However, in pursuit of a chic gloss it is very important not to overdo it. Otherwise, an exquisite interior can quickly turn into ridiculous and tasteless. This article will discuss how to properly apply and combine leather-like wallpaper in the interior. You will also find tips for choosing non-trivial finishes and many successful photo examples.
Leather-like wallpaper will always have a multi-layer structure – the base and the top decorative layer on which the pattern is applied.
In this case, the surface of the last layer can be both smooth and textured. Depending on the base material, the following types of fights are distinguished:
Paper. This is the most affordable option. The canvases are several layers of fairly thick paper. Due to the use of natural material, such wallpapers have high vapor permeability. Your walls will “breathe”, which means they are not afraid of the formation of mold or mildew. The surface of a completely paper wallpaper will be smooth, and the drawing itself will not have a high level of realism. And in terms of strength and moisture resistance, they will be inferior to vinyl or non-woven products. This finish can only be used in dry, well-ventilated areas. Also, do not forget that paper does not retain color stability well when exposed to UV light. A thin layer of vinyl can be applied to the paper backing for improved performance and decoration. Such a surface will be more resistant to moisture and sunlight. There is an opportunity to make the decorative layer embossed, to give it a light shine, which in general makes the pattern more natural;
Vinyl. They are distinguished by high aesthetic qualities. Pattern and plot can be conveyed as realistically as possible. In this case, polyvinyl chloride is used as a basis. Vinyl wallpapers are highly durable, lightfast, moisture resistant. If the surface was additionally coated with varnish to give a decorative shine, this also increases the service life of the coating as a whole. However, despite all the advantages, do not forget that vinyl belongs to the materials that do not allow air to pass through. Only rooms with a good level of ventilation can be pasted over with such wallpaper;
Non-woven. These wallpapers are the most expensive. But their cost is fully justified by both operational characteristics and high aesthetic indicators. The coating is moisture resistant. The wallpaper can be washed repeatedly with a damp cloth or sponge without damaging the surface. The non-woven linen is very dense, it does not stretch or distort during gluing, which makes it possible to maintain the exact geometry of the pattern and dock the canvases together as accurately as possible. The material is breathable. A satin pattern can be applied to its surface. Also, the surface can consist of matte and glossy areas at the same time;
Self-adhesive. Such wallpaper is made on the basis of PVC film. But unlike the three previous types, they are single-layer. This makes the coating impractical and not durable. The quality of the drawing itself also leaves much to be desired, one can only dream of its realism. And by choosing self-adhesive wallpapers of dubious quality, there is a high probability that they will begin to peel off arbitrarily over time.
- Also, on order, wallpaper can be made from really natural cowhide, which is subsequently embossed. Such wallpapers can imitate both the texture of the skin of a crocodile and a python and many others. They are produced not in the form of roll material, but more often in the form of sheets, which must still be skillfully combined. The cost of such a product will be very high, and there can be no talk of humanity in this case.
Popular pattern options
The whole variety of prints and plots can be roughly divided into several groups:
Crocodile skin. This pattern can be called quite strict. Such wallpapers are chosen mainly for finishing workrooms, conference rooms or spacious living rooms in private mansions. In nature, crocodile skin is very dense and rough, so if you want to convey this effect as naturally as possible, you should choose vinyl or non-woven wallpaper. The pattern is distinguished by its clear lines and even a certain roughness, therefore it is better suited for use in men’s interiors. Crocodile decoration will also be appropriate in light hallways;
Snake skin. This pattern is very popular due to its dynamism, which is achieved due to the difference in the size of individual scales and their uneven arrangement. With the help of such wallpapers, you can easily highlight a particular area and make the interior volumetric. Snake skin wallpaper is most often used to decorate bedrooms or workrooms. In this case, it all depends on the color scheme. Very harmoniously, such a print complements interiors in a marine or modern style such as high-tech or minimalism;
Zebra. Unlike rough and “cold” wallpaper imitating crocodile or reptile skin, wallpaper imitation zebra has a certain softness of lines and brings comfort to the room. That is why such a print can be used even for decorating a children’s room or a girl’s bedroom. Zebra wallpaper with pink accents is very popular. And the classic colors are a dynamic addition to the restrained monochrome interiors in modern styles;
Leopard. If this color is abused, then the interior can look vulgar. Leopard wallpaper has a pleasant warm color scheme, therefore it gives the interior warmth and comfort, but in order not to spoil the impression, they should be used in moderation, dosed. Most often this is just a small fragment of a wall, no more than 1 meter wide, which is designed to draw attention to one or another area. Leopard wallpaper is most appropriate for bedrooms or living rooms;
Stripes. If all of the above plots are more suitable for interior decoration in progressive modern styles, then for classic or ethnic interiors it is better to choose leather-like wallpaper with a pattern in the form of stripes. This print is symmetrical, the surface can also be textured and have a slight glossy shine, which will add luxury to the interior;
Quilted leather. No less popular type of wallpaper, which is distinguished by restraint and luxury at the same time. This pattern will be a great addition to classic interiors or interiors in the English style. One of the most popular themes is the carriage coupler. It is customary to decorate the wall with such wallpaper, to which the bed adjoins. Often these wallpapers are called 3D for their visual volume effect. The surface is usually smooth to the touch.
Please note that any print is repetitive, so before deciding to buy one or another type of leather-like wallpaper, be sure to unfold the roll and see how the strip looks in general. It is possible that the pattern will be excessively rippling.
In addition to the classification by the print used, the leather-like wallpaper can be divided by color.
In this case, the same pattern can be made in each version. The color scheme is one of the determining factors in the selection of such material.
Dark shades. Dark textures look as natural as possible, but are often overly gloomy. Therefore, it is not the best option for a small room.
The dark finish will harmoniously fit into light interiors as a contrasting element. At the same time, you need to paste over such wallpaper either one separate wall, or a small fragment of it. To emphasize the noble texture on dark wallpaper, it is recommended to equip additional lighting;
Light shades are most often used for decoration in rest rooms. Light-colored leather-like wallpapers look very elegant, while the texture on them remains quite distinguishable.
A multi-colored palette can be represented by shades of red, blue, green, yellow. It is customary to use colored leather-like wallpaper, for example, to decorate an accent wall, to highlight niches or wall protrusions. In this case, the color must necessarily overlap with another decor item in the interior.
Applications in the interior
Wallpaper imitation leather, especially when it comes to vinyl or non-woven fabrics, have very high performance characteristics and a long service life.
And finally, a few useful tips: