Meanwhile, the team at York Wallcovering says it's one of the only companies in North America that still produces surface prints — using its original century-old presses — alongside state-of-the-art printing technologies.

They use simply colored designs to lend visual depth to designs in two or three colors. At close range, they have a distinctive painterly effect.

Such touches make wallpaper suitable for every room of the house, says Jacobs.

"There are no rules about using wallpaper. My clients are having fun experimenting with scale, texture, and pattern," she says. "It's all about layering and choosing the areas you want to highlight."

While some designers prefer to use wallpaper as an accent — for instance, to punch up a powder room — designer Molnar says she's not averse to using wallpaper throughout the entire room.

"It takes some convincing because many homeowners are nervous," she says. "But you can go for it all the way and get beautiful results."

Another thing that wallpaper newbies may find intimidating, experts say, is the process of putting it up.

Design pros stress that improved methods now exist.

"The old school way was slapping glue on the paper and applying it to the wall like that 'I Love Lucy' episode where they get trapped in the wallpaper," Molnar says.

Yet the industry has worked to make improvements. The glues are different, for example, since you apply them to the wall and then the paper. And many of the newer nontoxic adhesives can be removed rather easily. "You're not stuck with them forever."

Wallpaper has also become more eco-friendly. York now utilizes nonpolluting water-based inks and uses paper from managed forests in its manufacturing process.

And Eskayel offers an eco-friendly commercial-grade wallcovering containing over 20 percent recycled content.

With so many options, Jacobs says, it's a cinch to find wallpaper that matches your style and budget.

"Homeowners are looking to personalize their homes and express their personality through their decorating," she says. "Wallpaper offers so many choices."