Pushing Paper



Elizabeth Rees’s family has been in the printing industry for as long as she can remember. “I’m third generation in my family’s printing business,” she says. But it wasn’t until about a decade ago that Rees caught the creative bug and wanted to expand the family business to include wall coverings. “The idea was simple,” she says. “I was living in New York City in a small, West Village, really cool prewar building. But I couldn’t paint or customize anything. At that time, every great restaurant in New York had great wallpaper in the bathroom or elsewhere. And I started seeing wallpaper in more and more places. So I thought to myself, I’d love to be able to do that in my own home but not have it be a permanent thing.”

Rees’s wheels started spinning and eventually she began doing small projects for friends—including wallpapering a friend’s office space. “We installed it on Friday and by Monday I was getting emails from people asking if I could do it for them, too,” she says. “That really gave me the validation that this was truly a great idea.” Not long after, Chasing Paper, which she cofounded with her brother, Mike, was born. With a distinct niche in temporary, peel-and-stick wallpapers, the company has grown to include a wide array of patterns and designs—from chevron and polka dots to florals and woodland-themed prints. Chasing Paper also launches four to six new collections each year. “We’re always trying to include collections that will be interesting to a lot of people,” says Rees. (Plus, instead of being sold in traditional rolls, all of Chasing Paper’s designs are sold in panels, which are printed to order.) “This allows for you to purchase exactly what you need to minimize waste and allows the wallpaper to be more accessibly priced,” she says.

Here, the entrepreneur discusses the top trends in paint and wallpaper for 2021.

Pushing Paper #1

Photography provided by chasingpaper.com.

Neutral Zone.

“From a palette perspective, we’ve been seeing a lot of neutrals and color palettes being less bold,” says Rees. “It’s a lot more of a muted color palette with sage greens, dusty blush pinks, blues that are more gray, all of which are more soothing and sometimes a bit easier to incorporate into a space.”

Woodland Wonder.

“Over the last couple of years there’s been an emphasis on animals, woodland themes, more nature, and gender-neutral nurseries,” says Rees. “This past year, people have been stuck inside and want to bring the outdoors in. So we’re seeing lots of leaves and flowers and trees. All of our prints with those have done exceptionally well. And that’s something we’ll continue to see in terms of trends.”

Cement Tiles.

“Cement tiles are a pretty steady trend but they’re expensive and, with wear and tear, aren’t meant to last forever,” she says. “Cement tiles are pretty bold, so we try to mimic that with our wallpaper. The idea is to mimic things that are harder and more expensive to achieve in the home with our wallpapers.”

Floral Flourish.

“We have a collection with [New York–based] interior designer Ariel Okin that features a lot of florals,” says Rees of the special collection, which also incorporates some of the woodland theme and neutral tones that are on trend this year.


Chasing Paper cofounder Elizabeth Rees loves the trending wallpaper patterns and colors. Here, the entrepreneur and style maven weighs in on her picks for 2021.

Climb by Kelly Ventura
“I increasingly need to find more calm in my own home these days. The color palette of this print just reminds me to take a breath.”

“I love to dip my toe into a trend without fully committing, and this print is the perfect way to add texture to a backsplash or built-in.”

Stripes Away
“It’s a basic print with a fresh take. The hand-drawn line feels more organic, and the colors feel muted, yet interesting.”


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