You've probably noticed that wallpaper has made a huge comeback -- and it's gotten a heck of a lot more beautiful since your grandma decked out her hallway in velvet-flocked hydrangeas. "Today's options are far more sophisticated than the kitschy vinyl stuff you remember from the seventies and eighties," says green interior-design expert Kim Nadel of Niche Design.
And, like most things in the design world these days, they're also greener. Whether you go for bold prints or subtle patterns, you can find low-chemical, vinyl-free wallpaper from managed forests or coverings made from natural materials, such as bamboo paneling and sheets of plant fibers. The adhesives even come in versions that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Check out our favorite styles and get hanging.
From top to bottom:
GRAND Jubilee by Mod Green Pod ($60 for a 27-inch roll of 5 yards; modgreenpod.com): FSC-certified paper finished with a water-based protective glaze.
Knit by Cavern Home ($155 for a 27-inch roll of 5 yards; cavernhome.com): Hand silk-screened with nontoxic inks.
Lulu by Angela Adams ($135 for a 54-inch roll of 3 yards; 800-255-9454): Recyclable paper with water-based inks.
Large prints work best on accent walls or in small spaces, such as alcoves; understated patterns add depth when applied to all four walls.
1. Muscat small by Missprint ($124 for a 20 1/2-inch roll of 11 yards; hermitageisahome.com): Hand-printed on paper from managed forests.
2. Garden birds by Louise Body ($210 for a 20 1/2-inch roll of 11 yards; hermitageisahome.com): Water-based inks on responsibly sourced paper.
3. Herringbone by Palace Papers ($90 for a 26-inch roll of 5 yards; wallpapercollective.com): Silk-screened by hand using water-based inks.
Fibers can soften large, cold walls; cork and bamboo are perfect for small rooms.
1. Natural Finished by Cali Bamboo ($75 for 4 feet by 8 feet; calibamboo.com): Renewable paneling.
2. Burlap by Zoffany ($150 for a 36-inch roll of 4 yards; 800-395-8760 or greendepot.com): Handmade from sustainable burlap.
3. Marble Brown by American Cork Products ($3 for a square foot; amcork.com) Responsibly harvested from live trees.
4. 1969 Lotus by Phillip Jeffries LTD. ($32 for a 36-inch roll of 1 yard; 800-576-5455 for stores): Made from extra-fine arrowroot.
For papers, Nadel likes Roman's low-VOC Paste for Unpasted Wallpaper or the Kitchen & Bath paste for high-humidity areas (discountpaint.net). Tiles and paneling require a stronger adhesive, such as the DriTac Eco-E216200GR (800-394-9310 for stores), which is VOC-free and has an anti-mildew agent.