What's Wrong With A Bare Wall?

I've always liked a good wall.
That's right, one with nice surface area and light hitting it just right.
I love to see shadows undulate across them or, even better, if there's an outside pool nearby, the dancing reflection of light upon the wall.

And if the wall seems lonely, I can't think of a better way to celebrate it than with an original piece of art. A painting, mixed media, even a wall sculpture.

But, apparently a bare wall is a displeasing thing for many people. Just witness the explosion of companies and designers creating everything from large photographic wall murals like Surface View in the UK to Blik's incredible success with their vinyl wall decals. Not to mention the numerous wall hanging companies creating coverings with felt and metal.

Above: Some of Blik's available wall decals

There have been sooo many trends this past year to cover one's walls, it will be hard to address all of them. Below are a few of the most popular.

From Blik starting the enormous trend of vinyl stickers and Tord Boontje's self adhesive mirrored icons called "puddles" (see below) to Chalkboard slate wallpapers on which you can write. Even 3D wallpapers have entered the market. And now we see growing popularity of 'large sized' wallpapers or murals.

above: Mio's 3D wallpaper

Above: Tord Boontje's self adhesive mirrored "puddles"

Even "conceptual" wall decals have it the market like those from Domestic. as seen below:

I've watched the trend of wall 'coverings' come back in a big way over the past year. And I must confess, many of the additions to the market were unique, new, and beautiful.

Like the Paint By Numbers wallpaper by 2 Jane (seen below in my own laundry room in my Michigan Home).

Above: A close up of the Paint By Numbers wallpaper in my mudroom

Or Timorous Beasties stunning and extravagent wallpapers seen here

Above: Timorous Beasties stunning iguana wallpaper

Or Erica Wakerly's unique artistic wallpaper seen in this previous post
and below:

Above: Bradbury & Bradbury's 1930's silk screened Aviator wallpaper
available here.

above: Hybrid Wallpaper pattern by Nice in the UK

Hybrid Wallpapers By Nice available here

But are people already getting tired of all the beautiful hand printed and silkscreened wallpapers out there?

How about the interactive wallpapers? Like the scratch-off wallpaper or flocked and leather wallpapers by Linda Florence?

Above: Linda Florence's Scratch-off Wallpaper

Or these retro flocked wallpapers from Flocked Wallpaper and Retrowalls?

okay then...

So, if you're bored of the above...you need to go back to large photographic wall murals a la the Seventies? Well, I guess that explains the fast growing popularity of Surface View.

When I was growing up in the 70's, photographic murals on bedroom walls was very popular especially for the teenage male. Usually the wallpaper mural was a forest scene of tall redwoods with light peering through or of a Sunsets and palm trees.

Above: An example of the popular photographic wall murals in the 1970s

It wasn't considered the most 'vogue' thing to do, but these overblown photographic wall coverings were in many a frat house or basement. Surface View of the UK offers a similar idea but with a more contemporary twist. In addition to landscapes, you may choose from retro illustration or random interiors.

So what makes the popularity of "Surface View" and their products any different? Frankly, I'm not sure. But I have a feeling that many of my readers may not recall the popularity of the original, being that they are too new to this planet (you darn young things you!)

Above: Some examples of wall murals available from Surface View

Even books are sprouting up about popular wallcoverings, this recent one is available from Amazon.

The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper available here.

Another increasingly popular wall treatment are what is being referred to as Wall Flats or Wall Panels. Inhabit and B&N Iconic Wall Panels

Above: a few of Inhabit's available 'wall flats'

above: One of B&N's iconic wall panels

above: Tracy Kendall's 3D wall coverings

Now, even felt wall panels are gaining popularity.
Just see Anne Kyyro Quinn's work.
and wall hangings from Construct in felt or metal, available here.

above: One of Con/Struct's wall hangings

Customised wallpapers (also being called 'Bespoke' wallpapers, the hot buzz word as of late) are also available.

Like those from Designwall or from Naked And Angry

Above: custom designed wallpapers from Naked & Angry

So, if bare walls bug you, here are a few links that sell unique wallpapers and vinyl decal options:

Concept Coverings

Flavor League

Timorous Beasties

Cole & Son

Wall Candy


Vinyl decals from Ugly Home

Paint By Numbers Wallpapers

Paintable Wall Applications by Walter available here

Vinyl Surfaces by Domestic

Pop Cling

Interactive Wallpaper

Tracy Kendall

Osborne & Little

Sky Murals

Wall Murals by Surface View

It's impossible for me to list all the sites, so I suggest you visit This Next and type in wallpaper to see many other options.

Now a few options to those above would be the huge and wonderful limited edition museum banners available from Betterwall.

Or, god forbid, a piece of original art from up and coming artists at sites like Hang, or from one of the many galleries or artists listed in my links on the right.

So, although personally, I like a bare wall, clearly I'm in the minority.

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C'mon people, it's only a dollar.