Most people don't think of wallpaper when they think of colonial homes in America, but it did exist. Colorful wallpaper with elaborate designs were imported into the country from Europe.
Of course, it wasn't something the average farm family purchased. Mostly it was only affordable for wealthy plantation owners and merchants. The photo to the left is of the inside room of the Rosedale Plantation home in Charlotte, North Carolina, showing the original imported wallpaper from France. The photo below is a close-up of the design. The home was built in 1815.
The inventor of wallpaper is a Frenchman by the name of Jean-Michel Papillon, who began making block designs in 1675. At first, most wallpaper were expensive hand-painted designs until the use of printing it became available and economical. In America, Plunket Fleeson began printing wallpaper as early as 1739 in Philadelphia. Besides on walls, it was also used as trunk linings.
Frenchman, Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf invented the first machine for printing wallpaper in 1785. It was also a Frenchman who invented a way to make a continuous roll of wallpaper around the same time. For more information on the history of wallpaper, click here.
So if you are writing about a wealthy family in Europe or America during these time periods, feel free to describe a home with rooms decorated in wallpaper.