Wallcovering trends 2023: Victoria Sass of Prospect Refuge weighs in on the proceedings

Photo by Chris Mottalini

Along with industry color leaders proclaiming their versions of COTY (color of the year), other interiors-related industries like to weigh in on what’s hot and what’s not, and their field includes wall coverings. From remodeling websites to individual interior designer blogs to lifestyle sites, there’s no shortage of forecasts for styles, colors and prints for wall coverings in 2023. Graphic prints, floral and nature-themed prints, metallics, maximalist prints, wall murals and among the listings found online.

Even wallcovering companies like to do a little guesswork. York Wallcoverings, the largest and oldest producer of wallcoverings in the United States, recently announced its 2023 Color of the Year: amber, “a golden hue praised for its warm, rich and comforting tones,” according to York. “The color signifies a shift towards spaces that promote positive energy, as well as the continued rise of natural inspirations in homes today.”

So how, where and why should you include wall coverings in your home? – we asked Victoria Sass of Prospect Refuge Studio in Minneapolis. Here are his five pro tips:

  1. More than walls: Consider wallpapering unexpected places, such as wardrobes or closets, for a whimsical touch. We’ve lined the inside of a bar nook in our Gucci Kitchen project with an original House of Hackney dinosaur print.

    Photo by Canary Gray

  2. More than paper: We like to use fabrics on the walls for a softer feel. You’ll have to go the extra step to have it professionally backed, but it’s worth the extra effort for a unique and comfortable look. The entrance to our Triangle Park project features the tea stained print of a Barbarian Decors fabric leading to the walls, complemented by a delicate ribbon border.

    Photo by Chris Mottalini

  3. Murals: For another paper-like alternative that’s deeply customizable, consider a meaningful mural. We worked with local duo She She to create this one-of-a-kind powder coat wallpaper inspired by Monet’s water lilies for a Linden Hills home.

    Photo of Judith Marilyn

  4. Matchy-matchy: When you really love a print (and want to make a big impact), consider wallpaper with a coordinating fabric for an immersive pattern approach. In our Triangle Park project, we took it a step further with a French pattern for the walls and draperies, including a curtained bookcase.

    Photo by Chris Mottalini

  5. Atmospheric: Paper doesn’t always mean pattern. Give your space a moody vibe with subtle gradient-inspired color. Our Heritage Modern project featured a hand-painted Japanese paper wrap in rich shades of plum for a dramatic powder bath.

    Photo by Canary Gray

First stop: Hygge & West, based in Hudson, Wisconsin, the go-to online store for modern wall coverings.