Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Wallpaper returns with modern looks, safer design

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  • Wallpaper has made a comeback during the past few years and added plenty of upgrades, according to interior design experts. As an alternative to paint, wallpaper can bring color and texture to any room and do so in an eco-friendly way.
    There are plenty of reasons why people choose wallpaper over paint, said Jon Sherman, owner of Flavor Paper.
    “Wallpaper can add a visual conversation to the space rather than a simple color,” he said. “There is additional depth, content, story, drama, color, etc. Wallpaper creates a mood while paint creates a color only. Wallpaper also creates a layer of insulation and protection for your wall.”
    Wallpaper is enjoying its current popularity “because wallpaper is being used more like art and it’s seen as a kind of investment in art, but much less expensive than art,” said Shanan Campanaro, creative director and founder of Eskayel, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based design studio with an environmentally responsible approach to interior surface design.
    What’s different
    Changing how the wallpaper is created has made wallpaper an ecologically sound choice for the home.
    “The wallpaper industry in the ‘80s was not eco-friendly at all,” Campanaro said. “Everything was printed on vinyl, and vinyl is still used in tons of inks.”
    Synthetic and oil-based paints used to be the standard. The wallpaper was hard to dispose of and “off-gassed,” referring to the evaporation of chemical compounds used in manufacturing. As the chemicals evaporated, it was possible to smell them as they spread indoor air pollutants that could irritate the respiratory system.
    “I think today people are realizing that we need to create more sustainable products and ones that are safer for our home environments,” Campanaro said.
    Sherman said, “We use only water-based inks for most of our products and offer a wide variety of eco-friendly materials. This is especially important in public spaces or nurseries where people with sensitivities need to be protected from harmful allergens or carcinogens.”
    Eskayel wallpaper “is all eco-friendly. The papers have no volatile organic compounds and the inks are totally water-based. It’s printed digitally so there is no run-off waste. Even our contract-grade wallpaper is printed with water-based inks on recycled polyester ground and can be recycled,” said Campanaro.
    A modern look
    Wallpaper can be greener, and still look dramatic and eye-catching. Hand-screening and digitally printing wallpaper “allows us to play with scale infinitely and utilize the full array of colors and shading, which is not possible in a screen print,” Sherman said. “Photographic images are a big seller in the digital arena. It also allows for very small-run, custom jobs that would otherwise be extremely expensive to hand-screen.”
    Can you go green and still find great styles? “Of course,” Campanaro said. “Right now I am really interested in citrus acid colors like chartreuse and bright peachy oranges and pinks or turquoises.”
    Page 2 of 2 - For Sherman, “fractal designs, metallics, especially copper/brassy colors and artist collaborations,” are trending right now.
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