Trends come and go like the never ending tides, but if home decorators wait long enough trends that went from hot to not will eventually roll back in. One of those trends is wallpaper.

The history books say that the Chinese were using rice paper, with painted nature scenes, to wallpaper their homes as early as 200 B.C. In the 16th century, wallpaper was imported to Europe from China. In 1675, at the age of 23, a French engraver named Jean-Michel Papillion made wallpaper come to life by repeating designs that continuously matched from one sheet to the next. Since 1930 wallpaper has gone in and out of fashion.

In 2019 it started making a comeback - again. Wallpaper is now a key trend for 2020. The world of wallpaper offers a long list which includes Chintz, trompe l’oeil, 3D, and tapestry.

Chintz is printed with designs featuring flowers and other patterns in different colors, typically on a light plain background. Now more than ever designers are taking inspiration from the past to influence the present. The new chintz look is all about sophistication and style.

In the interior design world, Trompe L'Oeil is used to describe realist wall murals that are painted to create an illusion of three-dimensional spaces. Historically, an authentic trompe l’oeil mural is hand-painted by an artist. This style is sure to introduce a touch of elegance, charm, and personality to any space.

Trompe-l’œil literally translates as trick of the eye. This wallpaper is a master of disguise. For example, walls may look tiled when they are not. The surprising illusions create depth, as well as a focal point in a room. Due to the intricate designs typical of the trompe l’oeil style hiring a professional wallpaper hanger is highly recommended by interior designers.

3D Grid is a wallpaper pattern that uses “indented” rectangles to create a small-scale compact visual. A shadowing effect in the top left corner of the rectangles provides a sense of depth with a concave look. Translation, beige does not have to be boring, not when there is a perceived texture.

Tapestry-like designs are a perfect focal point for a room. Often inspired by tranquil landscapes, they bring the beautiful colors of the outdoors inside the home. The muted palette of greens, blues, and neutrals can provide the color inspiration for the entire room.

If wallpapering an entire room feels too busy, consider making a single statement wall. Homeowners seem to be willing to invest in designs that have a certain element of nostalgia, designs that speak to them. This practice is better than blindly following a trend that will go out with the tide of time.

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday editions.

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