What’s in a name? The story of Woodchip & Magnolia

What’s in a name? The story of Woodchip & Magnolia

You may have noticed that our name is at odds with our wallpaper. We don’t sell woodchip, we don’t advocate the use of neutral paint, and we use a lot of strong colours and gorgeous patterns. We love a quirky twist to everything we do, which may give you a clue as to the reasons for our identity. Playing on the tongue in cheek nature of more playful interiors, Woodchip & Magnolia is the antithesis of all that is evoked when hearing the words that make it up. Because, as our UK audience will know, woodchip – sometimes known as ‘the devil’s wallpaper’ – is an enemy to the interior decorator and modern homeowner alike. As for magnolia? It’s not a colour you’d get out of bed for (though shades of grey are taking the nation by storm!)

For those of you unfamiliar with the former fads, first of all, lucky you. Secondly, we’re here to explain what the two are, and give an idea as to why we’re approaching things differently.


Like its good friend the avocado bathroom suite, woodchip wallpaper is a throwback to the 1970’s – the era voted most shocking for home décor. Oops. A nightmare to remove, woodchip wallpaper consists of two layers of paper, sandwiching a layer of wood fibre. It was once the height of fashion, accompanied by shag pile carpets and bright orange everything, but while design trends are cyclical, woodchip is one 70’s craze unlikely to make a comeback. Falling from extreme popularity to a reason 40% of buyers wouldn’t make an offer on a house, woodchip is not only unpleasant to the modern eye and difficult to remove, it’s often also a cover up for bigger problems. An inexpensive alternative to plasterwork, woodchip was used back in the day to hide cracks and unevenness, with many people wallpapering over it instead of removing it once they’d become bored – the horror that hides in our houses. By the 1990’s, woodchip was a topic of open disdain, with Sheffield rock band, Pulp, very catchily solidifying its place in British pop culture with the lyrics: “her house was very small, with woodchip on the wall” (let’s all meet up in the year 2000.)



Magnolia, on the other hand, is an inoffensive paint colour. Rising through the ranks to become #1, magnolia was the go to in the decade following woodchip. With their shoulder pads, power suits and impossibly big hair, the people of the 80’s took a real shine to the warming shade, a colour that made rooms look lighter, brighter and more matchy matchy whatever the furniture they chose to pair it with. A neutral that claimed to go with anything (we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one), magnolia was once the failsafe wall covering when trying to rent out or sell your home, as it provided such a blank canvas and, thanks to an already yellow tint, also hid a multitude of sins – chain smoking indoors, for example, and a lack of control over sticky little hands. Magnolia, though not well loved by the renters that have to live with it, has maintained popularity over the years. Thanks to a change in lightbulbs, however, the colour is now at risk of falling out of favour – white lighting isn’t quite as forgiving as yellow. In its place? Grey. But there are other options.


Woodchip & Magnolia

Replacing the dull and the conventional (or, the woodchip and the magnolia), Woodchip & Magnolia digital wallpapers are that other option, and they are breaking all the rules. Vibrant and as easy to put up as it is to take down, our wallpaper is the perfect way to add life to your home – even a rented one, since removal doesn’t leave a residue. For those with enthusiasm, a little fire and an itch to try something different, Woodchip & Magnolia is the exact opposite of its name. It’s fun, it’s personal, and it likes to leave you thinking. Adding humour and personality, our brand aims to brighten the rooms of Britain (and the wider world) with pops of colour and eclectic nods to the world outdoors. Botanicals, fruits, even brickwork – we have it all. And why? Because if walls need not be boring, why should we be?

And, for that matter, why should you?

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.