Designer wallpaper is generally a way of describing wallpaper which is different from the everyday paper you'll find in most stores and furnishing shops.
The description is often dismissed as simply a way of charging more for a paper than it's worth. Or it's the domain of those who consider themselves to be more 'sophisticated' than the rest of us!
While there may be some truth in this, genuine designer wallpapers do have features which mark them out from the rest. These features can depend on the design, the method of manufacture, the materials used in the construction, the company who market it, or the designer themselves.
Some companies will either have their own designer in-house, or will employ a well known designer to produce a new range. They then rely on the reputation of the designer to help sell the product. They rely on the designer to know their market, and to be able to come up with designs which a section of their clients will appreciate.
Because a designer will take time to come up with initial ideas, refine them, test them, do trial runs to see if the concept works in practice, the whole exercise becomes very expensive.
That initial financial outlay has to be recovered. Because designer wallpapers aren't normally sold in the same quantities as ordinary papers, they tend to be more expensive.
Many specialist companies make use of their name and reputation to sell their products. There's a feeling among the public that this is just a clever ploy to sell overpriced wallpaper. But if it was, customers would soon get wise to it, and the company's reputation would suffer.
It takes years, decades even, to build up a respected reputation, and a business would be foolish to risk their hard-earned reputation by putting anything other than top quality papers on the market.
Many companies have their own 'look' or 'character'. Their papers will reflect this, and their customers will expect it.
Some papers rely on their unique construction or material quality. They may have many printing stages, or employ metallic or fabric additions to make them stand out.
Although there are many 'different' papers available, the term 'designer' is not generally applied to any which just have some quirk or unusual feature.
It's possible for you to influence how your wallpaper will look. Some companies give you the ability to select the color for a particular design, and also to decide on all the colors.
The independent designer
Many designers work on their own, producing their own products. They are individuals with their own ideas and vision. They make their own decisions and follow their instincts.
How will you know?
So how do you know if a designer wallpaper is worth buying? Like you know about anything else you spend money on.
Do you have enough money to buy it, and is it worth it to you?
When buying items such as clothes we often see something we really want, something which stands out from the rest. Then we look at the price, and discover we've picked the most expensive product!
This is no accident. A seller will always try to get the best price for their product. If they think a product is worth $39 instead of $29, they will obviously charge $39 to maximize profits. If customers think $39 is too high, then the item won't sell.
So if you see a paper you really like, the question you have to ask yourself is, "Is it worth it to me?"
If you think it's too expensive - 'it's only paper, after all!' - then it's not worth it for you. If you think it will look wonderful on your walls and give a unique and personal look to your room and you can afford it, well, it's your call!