Americans continue to reemerge from pandemic isolation and reengage with one another in public interior spaces, and designers are welcoming them back by using beautiful wall finishes to create immersive visual experiences.
Members of the Wallcoverings Association are responding to design requests with a dazzling array of looks—from flowing florals and tropical botanicals to art influences, tromp l’oeil, structured geometrics, panoramic murals, architectural paneling and twists on classic motifs.
The Wallcoverings Association queried member companies to get a glimpse into the materials, imagery, textural techniques and color palettes they are harnessing to achieve these creative design visions. All are made with an eye toward extreme durability and cleanability, two performance attributes made even more imperative during the pandemic.
Celebrate the Classics
Astek celebrates the work of Bas Meeuws in In Bloom (pictured above), an exclusive collection that renders the art as beautiful wall murals. Meeuws’ work brought a new perspective to 17th-century Dutch and Flemish still life. Using photography as a base, he pulled from his catalogue of over 13,000 species to create intricate floral arrangements, here and there enlivened by insects or gastropods. Demonstrating mastery in skill, his hyper-realistic photographic depictions burst with unexpected details.
Energize with Geometrics
Koroseal's newest design, Milo, juxtaposes simple geometric forms in an energetic modern, medium-scale graphic. The pattern is printed and embossed with an organic weave texture. Available in an array of color options, Milo moves from playful, with pops of yellow, parakeet green and teal, to a more graphic representation in black and white.
Connect with Nature
Biophilia, our inherent desire to be close to and connect with nature, continues to have a strong influence on interior design and fashion trends. Len-Tex embodies the trend in Etana, a nature-inspired design that pairs large, overlapping fronds with a rough woven burlap embossing. An updated take on tropical, Etana is available in nine organic colors that celebrate the beauty of the earth.
Reimagine the Old
Level Digital Wallcoverings reimagines the old with a wallcovering inspired by kintsugi, a centuries-old technique of repairing broken pottery by using precious metals. Accentuating the broken pieces brings a balance of color, pattern and texture. Level’s Kintsugi is a modern take on this Japanese art form and combines gloss and metallic specialty inks in five inventive colorways.
Finish with Faux
Trompe L’oeil translates as trick of the eye, and Newmor’s latest custom collection by the same name delivers on the promise. Choose from four designs that feature both convincing contemporary and traditional panelled effects—the Treillage design is a decorative 3-D trellis effect with a tactile stone background print. Recolor, resize and print the collection’s designs on any of Newmor’s wallcoverings, including textured and metallic substrates, and window films.
“Paint” with Wallcovering
Symphony designers experimented with painting to develop Brush with Frame. The pattern’s wide watercolor-like brush strokes gently skim the surface of this larger-than-life design. Brush with Frame includes seven monochromatic color sweeps that suggest a variety of looks, from rippling blue water to silver and bronze industrial metals. The subtle design projects surprisingly dramatic effects.
Explore New Materials
Aspect, the newest PVC-free wallcovering from Versa Wallcoverings, is an intriguing geometric design utilizing a mid-scale embossing that creates an engaging ripple effect with visual depth and dimension. The PVC-free substrate provides specifiers a choice in material without compromising the quality and durability of the product. Versa uses a proprietary technology called evo to deliver the same look, feel and performance of luxury vinyl wallcovering.
MDC continues to add designs to Duratec, a breakthrough product for aesthetically pleasing wall protection. Conceptualized for the wall but built with the performance standards of a floor covering, Duratec is engineered to protect against abrasions, stains and scratches. The wall protection product is available in a variety of designs and can simulate more expensive materials such as wood paneling.
About the author
Matthew Jones is executive director of the Wallcoverings Association (WA), a nonprofit trade association that represents wallcoverings manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. The WA educates consumers, designers and specifiers about the beauty and use of wallcoverings. The association keeps the industry at the forefront of sustainability with specifier tools such as NSF 342, Sustainability Scorecards and Environmental Product Declarations. Designers and design students can obtain an industry sample book from the WA at www.wallcoverings.org/samplebooks.