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With winter here, now is the perfect time to focus a little attention on your indoor areas. Since spending a lot of time at home recently, you may have realised that some of your rooms could use a bit of a refresh. Changing up your walls can be an affordable game changing solution for a new look that can be coordinated with your current furniture. We spoke to expert residential interior design expert, Anna Cuthbert of Cuthbert Interiors to get her thoughts on wall covering trends.

Do you think that wall coverings are a good focus for a winter project?
I think that giving your walls some attention is great for anytime of the year!  However, winter is a particularly good time to add some texture and layers to the palette of your rooms.

What are some colour trends that you are seeing?
There are lots of earthy tones and sage greens. We seem to be moving away from mustard which was everywhere for a while. Using clay and burnt umber shades is popular. It's all about moving the outside indoors.

What about wallpaper? 
Again, it's all about inviting nature inside your home. Older techniques such as using natural fibres are very chic at the moment. Using grass cloth or vinyl that looks like grass cloth that gives texture to the touch, is something that I recommend. There is every kind of wallpaper out there nowadays including murals. Design is definitely embracing an organic feel that is a departure from bolder colours and patterns  of the past. Wallpaper is a very cost-effective way to change  a room and is something that can be easily swapped out in a few years as the owner's tastes change.

Speaking of old trends, what are some things that are out of style now?
Things change more slowly in New Zealand than other parts of the world so that is a tough question. One thing I don’t do much of anymore is a lone statement wallpaper wall that complements paint. At minimum, I recommend wrapping two to three walls for a more cohesive look.

Should you try to paint and wallpaper yourself?
Never! Never! Never! When hanging wallpaper it can be incredibly difficult to match the patterns and it can easily become a disaster. Hiring a professional is not that expensive.  Typically, it runs about $70 to $90 a roll. It is not worth it to try to DIY especially if you are using expensive paper.

Do you have any budget tips for paint and wallpaper?
You can hang a special textured white wallpaper and then paint over it to create a little drama. This sort of paper is really reasonably priced. To make a room look wider, try painting horizontal stripes. To make the ceilings look higher try vertical stripes.

What should you consider before putting your home on the market?
You want to go with something that will have the most mass appeal. I recommend off-whites and silvers. Stay away from anything loud or bold colours. If you have any doubts about your selections, contact an interior designer first before you add paint or wallpaper. 

Any tips on selecting artwork to complement your new look?
You need to select pieces that are going to complement your colour scheme. You don’t want them to be overpowering. I always recommend buying New Zealand artwork which of course supports local artists. It does not have to be expensive - there are great prints out there that are affordable and quite beautiful. Buy what  makes you smile and not just what is on trend.

Anna Cuthbert is a renowned local interior designer with decades of experience in the business. She has a unique approach to interior design that incorporates client input every step of the way. She has relationships with the best contractors and retailers in the country which allows her to secure the best prices. Her work has been featured in national and international magazines. For more information visit her website

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