Australia and Wallpaper

It’s a strange thought, I know. Especially from someone like myself who, by my own admission, is probably one of the least observant people in the world.

Mind you, it has taken me almost 3 and a half years to notice. So, here’s the thought.

“Not much wallpaper around these parts, is there?”

Hanging WallpaperBack in England, wallpaper is extremely popular. Pop over to Google.co.uk and punch in ‘wallpaper’ and you will discover on page 1…..

  • Wallpaperdirect – ‘Buy wallpaper online’ comes top.
  • Modern Wallpaper – Graham & Brown offer the most design driven modern wallpaper on the market.
  • Cole and Son (Wallpapers) Ltd – Manufacturers of over 1500 wallpapers.
  • John Lewis Wallpaper – Revamp your room with our wide range of designer wallpaper.
  • Buy Wallpaper from Homebase – Your online store for Decorating.

And that’s just the top five results. From page one you can also access Osborne & Little wallpapers, HousetoHome wallpapers, Selectwallpapers, Laura Ashley wallpapers, Mydeco wallpapers, Swarovski Elements, Homebase, Decorate4less, Indoorliving and Sandersons wallpapers.

That’s a lot of wallpapers!

Now, I’ve been in quite a few houses here in Australia and I’ve never seen wallpaper hanging on the walls of any of them. Not one! But then, as aforementioned, I’m not very observant.

So I asked Mrs BobinOz if she’s seen any wallpaper in any house anywhere here in Australia?

“No.” She said.

Has she seen a wallpaper shop anywhere here in Australia?

“No.” She said. Adding that it was a strange question.

Yes, I know, that’s why I started this post with “it’s a strange thought”.

But wallpaper shops do exist here in Australia.

A similar search for ‘wallpaper’ in Google.com.au reveals…

  • Wallpaper.net.au – comes top, but it’s Free Wallpapers, Mobile Wallpapers & Mobile Ringtones.

Of course, yes, those pretty pictures you can put on your iPhone are also called wallpapers. The fact that it comes top here in Australia kind of proves my point. But elsewhere on page 1 in Google Australia you will also find…

  • Vision Wallcoverings – They sell wallpaper.
  • WallPaperShop – They have the tagline ‘Just wallpaper one wall to make that perfect statement’ – Is that desperation to flog a bit of wallpaper?
  • Wallpapers Online – Australia’s only wallpaper. (Well, no, they’re not the only ones, but I see where they are coming from.)
  • The Ivory Tower – Brisbane online Wallpaper Shop

The Ivory Tower? That sounds like a place for lonely people to me, so I checked it out. According to wikipedia, they say the term has become associated with ‘connotations of a wilful disconnect from the everyday world……intellectuals engaged in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life…….esoteric, over-specialized’.

So yes, great name for a wallpaper shop in Australia.

And that’s Australia’s top five for wallpapers search results in G. But elsewhere on the page you will see Crockers Paint, who also sell wallpaper, WallpaperDecor, WallpaperBrokers, AussieMurals and WallpapersCoverings. Plus there are four paid ads on the right, whereas back in the UK there were eight.Wallpapering

So somebody, somewhere in Australia is buying wallpaper, but I don’t know who. Do you?

I think the results of this experiment are quite straightforward. The UK loves wallpaper and Aussies don’t. And for the record, they are also not that big on carpets and I don’t miss either. Australia is more of a painted walls and tiled floor kind of place.

Clean, crisp, cool and very well suited to a hotter climate. See, it all makes sense in the end.

 

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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Melinda May 26, 2011, 12:07 pm | Link

    Haha they did have lino in the kitchen! And an almost fluorescent green kitchen bench. And brown tiles in the bathroom and toilet room. It was liked stepping back in time! Mum went for a visit to England in ’99 and some of us tore up the lino for her haha. Within the last few years she has had most of the carpets removed – I did a couple of rooms since I’ve had to move in to prepare to move to England. She also had the kitchen redone so she has a marble bench top. She did try to fix up the “green top”, as we called it, years ago with interesting results, but I’m glad she finally called in the professionals!

    Oh dear, I hope not! Some things should never make a come back. 🙂 She insists that she likes the patterned wallpaper so It’s there to stay, she’s just waiting for me to leave so she can get everything out of the loungeroom and have the carpet ripped up.

    • BobinOz May 27, 2011, 4:53 pm | Link

      Well, we are on a roll here, aren’t we? Do they have a lava lamp?

      I shouldn’t laugh, my parents (God rest them) once had a chocolate coloured bathroom suite installed! I’m not sure which week that little item was fashionable, but I missed it and so did most of the rest of the world. Of course the bathroom floor had lino.

      But as they say, each to his own. It would be a dull old world if we all went for white tiles and cream painted walls.

  • Melinda May 20, 2011, 5:08 pm | Link

    Haha, I loved this. Having parents who came over to Australia almost 40 years ago, I grew up with wallpaper all over the house and.. grey carpet! Or hideous brown patterned carpet. The wallpaper from the loungeroom is still up (kind of). Mum refuses to rip the wallpaper off the wall, I suspect the reason is because it was so expensive! It is grey with silver branches on 3 walls and gold kind of basket weave pattern on another wall. I suspect my father may have been delirious in the heat when he chose it. I hope that would be the excuse, because I cannot think he would have been in his right mind!
    My siblings and I, all 5 of us haha, have managed to gang up on her and convince her to replace some of the carpets and wallpaper, with wood floors and painted walls. But the loungeroom is sadly stuck in the 70s..

    • BobinOz May 23, 2011, 5:22 pm | Link

      Melinda, your parents place sounds fantastic! Do they have lino in the kitchen?

      I can see what’s going to happen here, you and all of your siblings will finally get your way just as grey carpets, brown patterned carpets and wallpaper come back into fashion.

      Then you’ll have to put it all back again!

  • Nathan May 10, 2011, 11:38 am | Link

    I think that it is interesting to note the difference in cultrures around the world. Culture is what makes everyone in thin world different from one another. If we all like the same thing life would be pretty boring.

    Also, Trends come and go. So wallpaper isn’t stylish in Australia but maybe it will be in 20 years, who knows. What’s popular in one place might not be popular in another.

    • BobinOz May 11, 2011, 1:05 am | Link

      Exactly Nathan

      It would be a horrible world if we all like the same thing, no doubt about that. But imagine if we all liked wallpaper, the same pattern!

      Go on, really imagine it. See, horrible world.

  • Ms. Grace May 9, 2011, 3:16 pm | Link

    It is not just the Australians that don’t do wallpaper. The Americans don’t fancy it either and neither do the Europeans. If you look at any of the show homes here in oz (Metricon for example) you may come the the conclusion that Australia perhaps is far ahead of the UK when it comes to home design. Much more innovative, appealing and exciting compared to the new builds in the UK. Just because something is different in Oz or not the same as back home doesn’t mean its behind.

    • BobinOz May 9, 2011, 9:23 pm | Link

      The ‘Australia is behind’ thingy was started by…………… a wallpaper salesman. Well, he’s gotta try, hasn’t he?

  • Mr Kindle May 7, 2011, 3:43 pm | Link

    There’s probably a good reason why wallpaper doesn’t sell well in Oz…the summers are too humid!

    I think if you were to use wallpaper in houses in Brisbane it would not last more than one stinking hot, humid summer!

    • BobinOz May 9, 2011, 9:17 pm | Link

      Would save the bother of scraping it off the walls, just wait for it to slide off by itself.

  • Gary Perrin May 5, 2011, 11:38 pm | Link

    ‘As with EVERYTHING Australia is behind the rest of the world’.
    And God love us for it.
    Wallpaper sucks.

    • BobinOz May 6, 2011, 7:49 pm | Link

      Yes, I like that Australia is behind the rest of the world and if you go to Stradbroke Island, that’s 20 years behind Australia! Even better.

      And wallpaper, it is a love it or hate it thing, we’ve got your vote Gary.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Crave Interiors May 4, 2011, 11:54 pm | Link

    As with EVERYTHING, Australia is way behind the rest of the world. Mention wallpaper and most people think of grannie’s grim 70’s brown wallpaper or even the old wood chip stuff BUT it’s not like that anymore!

    Go Australia and spread the word or rather spread the wallpaper love!!

    • BobinOz May 5, 2011, 9:21 pm | Link

      Hi Crave

      Is this an advert? Are you trying to sell us wallpaper?

      I checked out your website, incredibly, you sell Graham and Brown, the dudes who came second in the UK search.

      And it’s only $149 a roll. Mrs Pitcher will be pleased, that’s a saving of $51 on what she found. Sadly too late though, she imported.

      Anyway, how’s business? Love the tagline…… spread the wallpaper love!!

      • Crave Interiors May 6, 2011, 1:55 am | Link

        Hey Bob,
        No, not advertising. Just love wallpaper and love discussing it. I know wallpaper isn’t for everyone (Gary), I’m just happy to supply it to those that feel the same way about it as I do.
        Thanks Bob

        • BobinOz May 6, 2011, 7:46 pm | Link

          OK, I’ll take one roll.

          Just kidding!

          Cheers Crave.

  • Mrs Pitcher May 4, 2011, 7:17 pm | Link

    I have wallpaper in my bedroom……….. did have to get my mum to bring it back from the Uk !!!

    did find it in oz at a cost of $200 per roll ! bit much when its six quid in B and Q !!

    Love Mrs Pitcher

    • BobinOz May 5, 2011, 9:11 pm | Link

      Proof, it ever it was needed, that I’ve never been in your bedroom Mrs Pitcher.

      That aside, I can’t stop grinning at the image of your mum boarding a plane to Australia with rolls of wallpaper under her arm. Hehe!

      Cheers

      Bob

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