9 Of The Best Trick Wallpapers

Kate Worthington

It’s official. After decades of plain painted walls taking precedence, wallpaper is back. And not just back – it’s never been more in vogue. But we’re not talking any old wallpaper. Like all the best trends, this reincarnation has a very particular twist. We don’t want walls that look like they’ve been papered, oh no – this is all about surfaces that aren’t quite what they seem, designs that trick the eye and make you look twice.

From t rompe l’oeil tiles to rustic, timber textures, walls just got interesting. Why go plain when you can go concrete, wood or brick? The joy of wallpaper’s new guise is that it can dramatically change a room's look and feel – transform your space into a Manhattan loft, an east London warehouse or a gentlemen’s club library with nothing more than paper and paste.

If you’ve got a room in need of a little personality, one of these nine designs should do the, er, trick...

Nothing says ‘give a damn’ like concrete. With its brutalist, what-you-see-is-what-you-get look, it will rough up even the sleekest of rooms. Just the thing for bland spaces in need of attitude.

Murals Wallpaper Bare Concrete Wall Mural, £25 per square metre, available at Murals Wallpaper

Less stripped-back than concrete but still with a whiff of the industrial, this scrap wood design has a warm and inviting feel thanks to its homespun look. The palette of different timbers and neutral tones makes for a flattering backdrop – try it in a bedroom or living room for a wood-cabin vibe.

NLXL Scrap Wood Wallpaper in PHE-06, £199 per 9 metre roll, available at John Lewis

All trends start in Brooklyn... Originally used on the ceilings of New York’s interiors as a cheaper alternative to the expensive plasterwork of Europe, the humble tin tile is now a design statement in its own right. Get the look with this trompe l’oeil wallpaper made in collaboration with Parisian boutique Merci.

Merci Brooklyn Tin Tiles Wallpaper 05, £215 per 10 metre roll, available at Rockett St George

If bona fide Victorian tiles are out of reach, designer Louise Body’s wallpapers create the illusion of period ceramic designs without the price tag (and the grout). Choose from a variety of tile designs and colours to match your scheme.

Louise Body Flora Tile Wallpaper, £75 per 10 metre roll, available at Louise Body

Introducing wood into a space is a fail-safe way to add warmth and cosiness. Pale timbers like birch bring a Scandi simplicity, but there's no need to get the drill out – this plywood-effect paper does the job without the DIY.

Piet Hein Eek PHM-37 Plywood Wallpaper, £199 per 10 metre roll, available at Rockett St George

Books furnish a room but if you haven’t the space to accommodate a library, this bookshelf-effect design adds depth and character without the clutter. And the dusting.

I Love Retro Classic Bookshelf Wallpaper, £70 per 250 cm, available at I Love Retro

Channel gentlemen’s clubs with a roll or two of this panelled-effect wallpaper. Its rich teal tones will add a sophisticated touch to any reading corner. Best served with a velvet armchair and a G&T.

Young & Battaglia Petrol Panelling Wallpaper, £70 for 250cm, available at Mineheart

Add a little swag(ger) to your space with Deborah Bowness’ unique designs. Available in white, grey or pink, this ceiling swag print nods to Miss Haversham-esque faded grandeur.

Deborah Bowness Ceiling Swag Wallpaper, £99 per 10 metre roll, available at Deborah Bowness

Fans of the industrial look, take note; the key to Soho loft style is, of course, a bit of brickwork. Injecting texture and warm, terracotta tones to interiors, it’s easy to see why exposed brick walls have caught on. Head over to Murals Wallpaper for some wall-to-wall cool.

Murals Wallpaper White Paint Bricks Wall Mural, £25 per square metre, available at Murals Wallpaper

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

7 Ways To Fake More Space At Home

Jessica Alba's Beverly Hills Home Can Now Be Rented For £9,000 A Month

Your Mind Will Be Blown By This Japanese Gift-Wrapping Method