Chic and trendy, wallcoverings offer an attractive design option for both classic or contemporary interiors, reports VIBHUTI ARORA
No longer limited to the luxury segment, wallcoverings are gradually making headway into the mainstream market as more and more options are made available to match the needs and budgets of a cross-section of consumers.
While interior paints continue to dominate the market, experts have projected a resurgence of wallcoverings as consumers become more sophisticated and the market becomes increasingly design driven.
Modern-day wallcoverings are superior to their predecessors, thanks to their vast range of designs, colours, textures, styles and finishes. They are also much easier to apply and maintain. Today’s wallcoverings offer designs to cater to the discerning eye and choices that are user-friendly as well as environmentally friendly.
Several major international players in the wallcoverings industry, including UK-based Newmor and Muraspec, have been operating in the Gulf region for years and have extensive experience in handling local projects.
Newmor has been associated with a number of large-scale commercial, hospitality, healthcare and retail projects in the region. The healthcare environment is particularly demanding and its wallcoverings are made to the highest technical specifications meeting hygienic needs and delivering exceptional durability.
Anti-microbial agents are standard in all Newmor products and can be further enhanced with a stain-resistant Tedlar coating.
New products from Newmor include Vogue, which works perfectly in any classic or contemporary interior, be it a boutique, city or country hotel; a new colour palette for its classic faux silk Lyon collection; and Midas, with a metallic finish and a subtle, creased fabric embossed texture suitable for hospitality and leisure markets.
Meanwhile, Muraspec has supplied paper-backed vinyl for offices, fabric-backed vinyl for hotel rooms and corridors as well as luxurious fabrics for private houses and palaces.
In fashion: The Vogue collection
In the UAE, some of Muraspec’s key projects include the Pullman Hotel at the Deira City Centre, the Al Raha hotel expansion in Abu Dhabi, the Fairmont Hotel and Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, the Rotana Centro in Abu Dhabi, BMW’s Abu Dhabi Motors head office; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Abu Dhabi.
IN THE NEW AGE
Wallcoverings have come a long way from when they were typically floral designs and borders on old-fashioned paper. Consumers now are spoilt for choice with fabric-backed vinyl coverings, paper-backed vinyl and vinyl-coated paper that come in a variety of veneers ranging from cork to woven, non-woven textile and wood.
With the introduction of digitally generated bespoke designs, wallpaper cutouts, removable wallpaper, mould resistant and low-emission wallpapers, the wallcoverings industry has definitely come of age.
Then there are finishes that range from shimmer and metallic to faux silk and wood with coordinated borders and mural effects.
Whether you want to add a touch of glamour to a space, add another dimension to it, or simply redefine it, wallcoverings offer attractive options.
“As designs and textures become more complex and collections become more adaptable to the designers’ needs, the growth and demand for wallcoverings will become greater over the coming years,” says Jonathan Kidd, the UAE sales manager for Muraspec, Omnova Wallcovering.
“There has been a growing demand in the Middle East for some time now as commercial wallcoverings offer a very durable surface finish, choice of textures as well as colours to choose from. These features can never be matched by paints,” he says.
Digitally printed wallcoverings are increasingly finding their way into commercial as well as private spaces. A new trend in bespoke interiors, digital printing enables the client to have an image or artwork of their choice recreated on their walls specified to the desired size and resolution.
“Digitally printed wallcoverings is the up-and-coming trend which is proving to be very successful these days,” explains Kidd. “Client can print an image they want at any scale they want onto a heavy-duty fabric backed wall covering allowing them the freedom to make any space unique.”
Time as a theme: Hourglass
Newmor digitalwallcoverings has successfully implemented the technique in several international projects including Harrods, Debenhams, HSBC, Café Nero, PING, Virgin and John Lewis.
Three-dimensional sculptural surfaces are also in vogue with their dramatic accents and bold elements capable of enhancing any space by adding depth and character to it.
While Muraspec’s main area of expertise is commercial wallcoverings, it has also tapped into the niche segment of wall panels with sculpted medium-density fibreboard (MDF) panels and is also the official distributor for Lumicor and Bencore acrylic resin panels.
Meanwhile, the UAE-based multi-faceted art boutique Modula Conceptio specialises in seamless resin applications for walls and floors. The resin coverings are all handmade by a team of Italian artists who work on the design specified by the client.
“The local market is witnessing a growing demand for high-end, custom-made wall and floor finishes,” says Kavita Bahadur, managing partner at Modula Conceptio.
“The wallcoverings market has been up and down over the past few years and I think there has been a turnaround towards the positive again. Paints are evergreen and can never be replaced. But the desire for new and unusual design concepts is developing fast and innovative products certainly are in high demand.”
Finishes range from shimmer and metallic to faux silk and wood with co-ordinated borders and mural effects.