History of wallpaper: from its origins to the present day

Everyone knows wallpaper, this very trendy wall covering in interior decoration, but what about its origins and history? Here is an article dedicated to the history of wallpaper, from its creation to its evolution over time. We tell you everything!

The origins of wallpaper

It seems that the very first appearance of wallpaper took place in China, before the year 1000. Originally, artists made them by drawing directly on large surfaces of paper or fabric that were intended to decorate the walls of the richest homes. But it is at the beginning of XVIe century that the wallpaper takes a consequent rise in Great Britain, before appearing in its turn in France during the XVIIIe century.

The rise of wallpaper

It is a certain Jean-Baptiste Réveillon who imposes himself as the great master of wallpaper, producing in his workshop exceptional models in silk, embroidered with gold thread, intended for the most noble French families. Faced with a growing demand, competitors entered the market and by the end of the 18th century, there were more than forty wallpaper factories in Paris alone! France quickly became a reference in the field, renowned for exporting the best quality wallpaper. The whole world was clamoring for them, so much so that the wallpaper that lined the walls of the diplomats' reception room in the White House was made by the French company Zuber & Cie. It is under the reign of Napoleon III that the wallpaper takes a real boom by expanding its market to the working classes, with the appearance of low-cost models. In the middle of the 19th century, innovative and hitherto unseen wallpaper was offered, such as embossed, gilded or trompe l'oeil models.

Modern day wallpaper

The twentieth century saw the heyday of wallpaper, whose production continued to grow. From the 60's onwards, old concepts were put aside to make way for bold and colorful patterns. In the 80's, it became the first wall decoration in the world! A dazzling success that will however know a lull at the end of the 90s and in the 2000s with the arrival of the minimalist trend. In recent years, wallpaper has regained its letters of nobility, it is now considered one of the essential tools in interior design. Wallpaper strips or panoramic wallpaper, they are at the heart of the trend, we find them everywhere, of all kinds and for all tastes. At Illustre Paris we like it big! We are proud to offer 4 models of high-end panoramic wallpapers, made as real works of art. They are real scale reproductions of 4 gigantic paintings by the artist Laurence Amélie, whose smallest details have been restored to the print.

You now know a little more about the history of wallpaper and its evolution through the ages. Something to shine at your dinners with friends.