Bold and Brash New Trends in Wallpaper

Wallpaper’s never really gone away. Sure, maybe it’s gotten a little muted lately. But it’s back in a big way these days, especially with surprising applications in the restaurant and hospitality sector.

That’s true from Wilmington, N.C. at the ARRIVE Hotel, to the Viceroy and Duck Duck Goat in Chicago, to the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis, to the Cyrus Hotel in Topeka, and the Hotel Deco in Omaha.

But nowhere is the concept of maximalism in wallpaper more lavishly applied that at Freedman’s Restaurant in Los Angeles.

It’s in a nondescript 1980s strip mall in Silver Lake, a spot selected by owner Jonah Freedman in March 2017. By November of that year, he’d designed, decorated, sourced and opened up his multi-faceted jewel of a restaurant.

“I wanted to create something brand new, but looked like it had been there for 40 years,” he says. “L.A. restaurants are usually bright and airy with sharp lines, but we wanted something warm, patterned and textured, with a little more visual noise.”

He did it with wallpaper – six different kinds, four from William Morris patterns. On the bar wall is “Compton” by Morris and Co. On the banquette wall is its “Golden Lily” its “Strawberry Thief” on the bathroom hallway, and its “Rosehip” in the kitchenette area.

Along the kitchen wall is some 1940s dead stock wallpaper, and in the bathroom, Cole and Son’s “Miami.”

It’s all meant to create a comfortable, homey and welcoming feel. “Because it is so eclectic most people can identify and connect with it,” he says. “They have a flood of old memories – like: ‘My mother or my grandmother had that wallpaper.’”

It becomes a dominating design factor, especially with its colors and textures. It’s not meant to shock, but it’s a strong and bold choice and intentional in terms of its visual effect. “It changes everything,” he says.

And it’s doing that coast to coast.

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