Wall coverings enter fashion world
'Home is the wallpaper above the bed,' renowned journalist Henry Grunwald once wrote. Although wall coverings may not attract as much attention as their bulkier cousins, the couch and the bed, they are instrumental in making a home feel like home.
Wall coverings have outgrown the role as home decoration and exude a new fashion sensibility. Edson Khoo, regional head of the wall-covering division of Goodrich Global, says: 'It is fashion for the walls and a reflection of your personality. Today's wall covering is not something to take up the expanse of a bare wall. It is a means of expression, just like paintings, photographs or sculptures. One of the trends that go with this is using wall covering to blanket spaces that are usually not covered, such as ceilings and furniture. It is also used as accent focal walls in your house to draw attention to a particular feature.'
Khoo believes wall coverings bring character to an otherwise dull room and create a cosy ambience together with compatible lighting.
Derick Yue, marketing manager of Tat Ming Wallpaper, thinks that wall coverings have made the cyclical nature of fashion their own. 'Wall covering nowadays is more like fashion rather than just a decorative material. The brands release five to eight collections per year and, with the 30-plus brands we have, we have new collections released every two weeks,' he says.
Among the brands are Arte and Omexco from Belgium, Innovations from the United States and Tres Tintas from Spain.
More people are coveting digital print wall coverings. Companies such as Tat Ming are offering this feature to quench customers' thirst for style. Yue says: 'Customers need to provide the soft copy of the image. Our wall covering is printed on high-quality, non-woven fabric in England. Digital print provides a customised wall covering to create a unique wall with a stunning effect. You can throw in a few pieces of simple furniture for good measure, and the space will become unique.'
Goodrich Global also carries a range of digital printed wall coverings. 'Any desired image and prints can be customised to your specifications in scale, theme and design,' Khoo says. 'Your design combined with our wall covering will transform any interior, from offices, boardrooms and receptions to shop displays, hotels and restaurants. We use our specially designed vinyl wall covering as a base, available in a variety of textures, and have a non-woven fabric backing for strength.'
The company also has its own hand-painted wall coverings. Khoo says: 'They replicate the serene, meditative beauty of Chinese paintings, with their gentle hues and graceful lines breathing life on to the walls. All elegantly stylised and exquisitely realised, they are conceived by our master artist and painstakingly painted by artists hand-picked from our studio based on their consistency, attention to detail, creative flair and artistic talent. These artists are trained in applying the same technique used by ancient Chinese artists to the modern medium of wall covering on washable vinyl that will last years.'