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In the 60's lava lamps were considered futuristic. You could stare at them all night with the lights off and say groovy! With the lava lamp came a new design for lamps and before you know it we had LED lightbulbs -- the point being the light bulb has evolved.

Many things have followed into the contemporary world thanks to technology. Remember the old saying, "If these walls could talk?" Well, wallpaper has gone the way of technology. Now, as far as I know, it doesn't actually talk yet, but it does light up.

There is a new design concept and it is to make wallpaper the focal point of a room. Manufacturers are embedding LED lights into their designs to add ambiance. Some companies are using heat- and light-sensitive materials that cause changes in what you see on the wall depending on the temperature and light in the room.

If you had a night filled with drinking and can't wait to flop into bed and just stare at the walls, I can't really imagine that would be a good thing, but perhaps it would have a calming effect.

Most likely you won't be seeing these at Home Depot or Lowes just yet, but they are available online or through a designer that has an "in" with the manufacturer. Basically you need a designer with connections.

If you are interested in the LED lights that are embedded in the wallpaper try or Ingo Maurer's

“LED wallpaper opens up very exciting possibilities to illuminate rooms: Dimmed, enigmatic light hardly revealing where it is coming from, or a vibrant metropolitan atmosphere are just a few options. It’s magic!" Ingo Maurer said. "Another big advantage is that the LED wallpaper can be hung in any number of strips and lengths according to the architecture and furnishing of a room. Interior designers have the choice.”

Heat it up

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If you want to heat things up what better way than with your walls? Consider Columbia Road, whose website describes it like this: "Columbia Road heat sensitive is a five-colour screen printed wallpaper. One layer of ink is printed using thermochromic ink which is affected by a temperature rise (ie heat from radiators/hot water pipes or very strong sunlight) this allows certain areas of the design to temporarily change and reveal hidden images throughout the paper, then disappear again as the paper cools to room temperature."

Wallpaper is coming into its own all right. It's not like the stuff you put into your first apartment that was full of adhesives and had that little floral pattern. Its actually gone "Green."

Wallpaper is now made out of recycled materials, organic cotton and water-based inks. Some is even made from FSC-certified paper. That means that the nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council certified the paper and it comes from responsibly managed forests.

Wallpaper is a little more expensive than paint and the environmental papers are a little pricier yet, but it's an investment in a place you call home and plus think of all the extras you get with LED lights and temperature control. It might save on art for the walls and lamps.

If you are cold at night, just snuggle up with a good book and the wall.

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