Subtle black and white stripes are classic.
I'm a huge fan of wallpaper. Huge. If your visceral response to hearing that is..."Ugh! I hate wallpaper!", I have to believe you just haven't seen what's out there right now. It might just blow your socks off. The other common response to wallpaper is, "I just hate taking it down when I don't like it anymore!", and sure, it's no fun to strip wallpaper. But it's no fun to constantly pluck dog and cat hair off of my clothes and have to carry a jumbo sized lint roller in my purse either...but, I sure love my four legged children and that's a small price to pay for all the joy they bring me. Wallpaper's the same way.
There's two ways of going about choosing the right one for you and your home. The first option is by far the most fun. Choose what you LOVE! The one that makes you say, "OH MY GOD! THAT'S SO GREAT!". The good news is that you'll love it for quite a while. The bad news is that the papers that typically elicit that kind of response are normally the trendy ones and as we all know, trends fade and so might your love of it...eventually. Personally, I'd rather love something fiercely for a time and then have to deal with the "break up", than settle for feeling mediocre about something because I know it won't "hurt" so much when it's over. But, hey, that's just me.
A damask is timeless. The larger and more open the print,
the more updated and almost contemporary it gets and of course color is key.
Now, of course there are times and spaces where a bit more subtly is needed....that's not to say I couldn't fall in LOVE with a subtle pattern or color palette...and there are certainly loads of papers that will provide interest but will stand the test of time and if applied properly, might never need to come down. Ok. Never is a long time. But, you know what I mean. So, live a little. Let loose. Consider wallpaper your artsy friend that makes every situation a bit more interesting.
Here are some of my current favorites:
Love me some toile.
This is the kind of pattern that would work with everything. I would select this for someone afraid of wallpaper and the removal of it after a few years. This could transition from a kids room, to a guest room, to an office...and back to a guest room over the next 40 years.
Moroccan grasscloth. Swoon.
Loving all the trellis wallpaper.
Mod and fab. Created by Merrimeko in 1964 and still going strong.
But my all-time favorite is still this wallpaper by Seabrook...so sad it was discontinued. The flowers were about 18" in diameter and I can't believe it's gone!
Have a great day!