There are a million ways to style the classic interior design staple of grasscloth wallpaper. From a neutral, minimalist home office to a bold, dramatic dining room, grasscloth wallpaper easily upgrades interiors. Whether matte or metallic grasscloth, small-scale or wide and open, grasscloth wallpaper adds incredible texture and dimension. Sustainable, timeless, and absolutely stunning, eco-friendly grasscloth wallpaper packs an aesthetic punch while being kinder to the planet. No matter what the square footage or function of one’s space, grasscloth wallpaper adds just the right amount of flair. Though the style is everywhere, one might wonder: exactly what is grasscloth wallpaper? Follow below for a bit of context surrounding grasscloth’s enduring popularity and what the best grasscloth wallpapers are on the market today. We will also feature photos of eight stunning spaces sure to make you fall in love with grasscloth wallpaper.
What is Grasscloth Wallpaper? Why We Love It!
Grasscloth Provides Texture and Versatility
We love grasscloth wallpaper for a number of reasons. First and foremost, grasscloth wallpaper is stunning aesthetically, with its natural texture and multidimensional weave. There are so many options currently available on the market, making grasscloth wallpaper not only beautiful and effective but also incredibly versatile.
Grasscloth wallpaper might boast floral prints resembling antique tapestries, neutral tones with metallic flecks or saturated, graphic colors. A few grasscloth wallpapers we love are pictured above. They include the Yangtze Taupe Grasscloth Wallpaper, Chang Taupe Grasscloth and Peninsula Navy Sisal Grasscloth Wallpaper from Brewster. We also love the Luzhou Grasscloth from Perigold and the Grasscloth Wallcovering in Pink Sand from Serena & Lily.
It Has a Fascinating History
Another reason we love grasscloth wallpaper is that it has long stood the test of time. The wall covering can be found in historic homes of centuries past all over the world — including in the United States. Those interested can peruse the Historic New England collection of historic grasscloth wallpapers on their website. In the 19th century, grasscloth wallpapers found in the US were created from local grasses tinted and woven or sewn together with thread. Either they were created locally or they were imported from the UK or Asia.
This mint and gold colored fragment of grasscloth wallpaper in the HNE collection from Haverhill, Massachusetts marked “Japanese grass cloth” is particularly special. Many grasscloth wallpapers dating to the early 20th century were block-printed with images of birds, foliage and flowers. As early as 1905, manufacturers had begun to produce faux-grasscloth wallpapers, which were printed to imitate a woven texture.
Historic grasscloth wallpapers pictured above from the Historic New England archives collection include a swatch of the Sampson Gifford House Imitation Grasscloth. The collage also includes a sample of Gray-green Grasscloth from Haverhill, Massachusetts. Also pictured above from the collection are a partial sampling of Grasscloth Wallpaper from Sampson Gifford House. The penultimate is an unused sample of Brown Imitation Grass from Gedney House. Last is a sample of Japanese machine-made Foliage, Exotic Birds, Willough Boughs and Flowers Grasscloth Wallpaper from Kimball-Grow House.
Natural Grasscloth is Rapidly Renewable and Eco-Friendly
Unlike vinyl and PVC-coated wall coverings, natural grasscloth wallpapers are fairly eco-friendly and sustainable. According to Pacific Designs International’s post “What is Grasscloth?,” the wall covering is typically made from sustainable and fast-growing organic materials.
These include “jute, hemp, sisal and reed.” PDI explains that “most of the grasscloth produced today is hand-crafted in Asia,” where it is “harvested from sustainable crops of renewable fibers.” After harvesting, these reeds are split, “air dried in the sun” and “colored with water-based vegetable dyes.” The reeds grown for grasscloth wall coverings grow quickly, require very little water and need little processing. As such, grasscloth wallpaper has emerged as a surprisingly sustainable homeware product.
Many grasscloth wallpapers are attached to paper backings and mounted with water-based adhesives rather than plastic or rubber adhesives. As such, “grasscloth remains earth-friendly throughout every stage of its lifecycle.” Grasscloth wall coverings are a “great, sustainable choice” for any space, notes Jodi Paul in her article “Eco-Friendly Wall Coverings” for Golden State Mortgage. However, Paul continues, “because they are made from dried plant material they can be rather fragile.” Given this, grasscloth can “make installation a bit rough for an amateur.” Paul recommends hiring a professional to apply grasscloth wallpaper.
The Best Grasscloth Wallpaper for Environmentally-Conscious Consumers
For an environmentally friendly, VOC-free wallpaper colored with water-based ink, consider grasscloth. Corrinne Segura of My Chemical Free House recommends UK homeware company Graham & Brown’s Grasscloth wallpaper. In “Most Wallpaper is Toxic, These Aren’t,” Segura notes that many wallpapers available for purchase today contain “toxic chemical additives” and “harmful plasticizers.” However, Graham & Brown’s grasscloth wallpaper is all-natural. The company’s listing for their cream-colored “Grasscloth Natural Wallpaper” notes that their “natural grasscloth wallpaper has lasting quality and beauty.”
1838’s “Grasscloth Natural Luxury Textured Wallpaper” is another great choice, with a slightly larger-scale weave than those from Graham & Brown’s collection. The company’s listing describes the covering as a “neutral beige…real grasscloth handcrafted weave texture.” Their Water Lilies Grasscloth Wallpaper is even more stunning, crafted from bracken grasscloth. The wallpaper is also adorned with “aquatic inky florals in graduating watercolor tones [which] give a graceful touch to this dramatic leaf floral.”
1838’s Grasscloth Natural Luxury Textured Wallpaper is part of their Willow Collection. Owners James and Abigail Watson created this collection because “nature is too beautiful to be kept outside.” Other eco-friendly picks include the Cotabato Blue Grasscloth Wallpaper from Brewster and the Grasscloth Wallpaper in Amalfi from Serena & Lily’s collection.
Grasscloth is Timeless, But Certain Styles Capture Interior Design Trends
As noted above, grasscloth wallpaper has graced the walls of homes and palaces for hundreds of years. It originated in Asia, but the covering quickly found its way across the West. While natural grasscloth wallpaper is a timeless design element, iterations of the covering can also be innovative and trendy. In fact, writes Jennifer Ebert in an article for Homes & Gardens, “wallpaper is a key trend.” Furthermore, notes Ebert, “the insatiable appetite from consumers doesn’t look like abating any time soon.”
Ebert writes that “whatever your taste, there is something everyone.” Wallpaper patterns range “from traditional florals and trompe l’oeil, to contemporary geometric and tropical patterns or animal motifs and architectural designs.” This could not be more true of grass cloth wallpaper in particular.
Products worldwide range from the organic colors of natural reeds to retro prints set on top of the covering’s weave. Ebert calls out botanical prints, metallic accents and archival styles as three of the top wallpaper trends in recent years. Excitingly, all of these can be found in grasscloth wallpapers.
Our favorite trendy yet timeless wallpapers include a few from Phillip Jeffries’ collection. We love the Manila Collection Hemp Wallpaper in Navy and in Bliss. Other favorites from Phillip Jeffries include the Juicy Jute Wallpaper in Navy Bean, Rose Petal, and in Baltic Blue from the Juicy collection.
8 Stunning Spaces to Make You Fall in Love with Grasscloth Wallpaper
#1 Create a Backdrop for Collectibles with Grasscloth Wallpaper
While grasscloth wallpaper is certainly suitable as a full-scale, four-wall covering, it can also add quite a bit of visual interest in small bites. One can create the perfect backdrop for collectibles, dinnerware and other displayed elements with grasscloth wallpaper. Simply paste the covering to the wall behind shelving or back panel of one’s curio cabinet. This trick works especially well behind open-shelf bookcases one hopes to use as their Zoom background!
#2 Add Drama to Any Space with Jewel-Toned Grasscloth
Luxe, lapis blue meets deep teal in the wallcovering from Pacific Designs Wallpaper pictured above. This grasscloth wallpaper adds an air of sophistication, glamour and fun to this punchy dining space. The contrasting sapphire and plum jewel tones combined with a series of textures enrich the room rather than clashing against each other.
#3 Complement Your Historic Home’s Interior with Period-Appropriate Grasscloth Wallpaper
From duster coats to purses and from throw pillows to wall coverings, tapestries are everywhere. Inspired by the woven masterpieces of medieval Europe and ancient Asia, tapestries have dominated fashion and interiors over the last couple years. With maximalism and eclecticism pulling pieces and styles from antique and vintage elements, it is no surprise that the tapestries trend still has legs. We love the delicate yet bold heritage print of the 1838 Wall coverings grasscloth wallpaper pictured above.
#4 Balance Feminine and Masculine With High-Contrast Colors and Subtle Textures
Strike the perfect balance between masculine and feminine in your home’s master bath with alluring grasscloth wallpaper. Dark blue grasscloth set against delicate metallic fixtures, soft white cabinetry and delicate drawer pulls works exceptionally well. We love the clean lines of the mirrors against the close weave of the grasscloth wallpaper pictured above!
#5 Bounce Light Around the Room with a Metallic Grasscloth Wallpaper
Ideal for cramped spaces like powder rooms, laundry rooms and small living rooms, metallic grasscloth wall coverings bounce light. This scattering of light creates the illusion of wider walls or taller ceilings, depending on placement. The pale gold Phillip Jeffries grasscloth pictured in the University Place formal living room pictured above adds unparalleled glamour without overwhelming the space.
This creates the perfect atmosphere for relaxing and conversing. The delicate texture adds visual interest and warmth, and the subtle metallic finish complements the brass hardware.
We recommend papering the ceiling of a high-traffic area like a laundry room, entryway or dining room with metallic grasscloth wallpaper. This way, you can avoid spills on the walls without sacrificing the benefits offered by such a reflective material.
#6 Create Contrast Above Painted Wall Paneling
A dark-toned grasscloth wall covering adds the perfect amount of contrast when placed above wide wall molding, dado or paneling. A highly textured or metallic grasscloth — like the charcoal-colored covering pictured above — works well in a contemporary setting. On the other hand, a softer, more natural tone might sit perfectly above the dado in a historic home.
#7 Pick a Patterned Grasscloth Wallpaper to Infuse Your Space with Vintage Flair
Graphic and colorful post-modern prints have been all over home interiors in the first months of the new year. With sustainability more on the minds of consumers than ever before, buyers have turned towards vintage and antique elements. Decorators and homeowners alike have begun searching for ways in which to infuse spaces with personality.
Interestingly, the punchy prints and graphic designs of decades passed have answered this call in an absolutely perfect fit. We love the idea of a stamped or printed grasscloth wallpaper with both texture and vintage flair like that pictured above! Try the trend in your home either as a small accent behind open-shelf cabinets or throughout an entire room.
#8 Extend Your Headboard with Grasscloth Wallpaper for Added Impact
Adding grasscloth wallpaper in the bedroom can accentuate existing furniture. Choosing a grasscloth wallpaper in a similar color to one’s headboard can create the illusion of a dramatic, soaring headboard.