contributed by D. Marie Leon [Silk Dynasty SW regional sales representative / therapist / master cupcakestress]
After last month’s article on handmade wallcovering, we hope you are finding your design choices expanding. This month we will continue the conversation regarding another two issues that are hot topics in today’s design news: the environmental benefits of handmade wallcoverings and the enduring appeal of a vast selection of such wallcoverings resilient to the short-run fame of fads. If you know how to make informed selections, handmade wallcovering is not only one of the best ways to bring personality into a space, but it can also be the element that anchors an interior’s stylistic panache for the long haul.
3 | Environmental Benefits
Let’s start with environmental issues. When contemplating the environmental benefits of handmade wallcovering, it is important to consider three aspects of the “green conversation”
a) First, find out if a company uses manufacturing facilities that are committed to decreasing their energy usage and pollution output. From energy efficient lightbulbs to the resuse of production water and dyes, there are plenty of ways to add environmental value to a product. Handmade product offers the distinct advantage of being made by hand and thus saves on the power required to run a mechanized factory.
b) Does a company stand behind the renewability and sustainability of the elements that go into making its product” Certain companies are now getting involved in forest management to renew and sustain their supply of pulp products and natural resources.
Once a responsible source has been identified, take a look at what is used to create a wallcovering. Some “ingredients” might include grasses, abaca fiber, wood laminate, glass, water-based inks or natural mineral pigments, cellulose and even recycled paper substrate. Silk Dynasty, for one, uses the fragments of metal leafing as the primary element in a resin compound that creates an entirely different design with no waste. And, of course, it always pays to find out if a product is eligible to qualify as recycled content for the pursuit of LEED points.
c) Consider the environmental impact of a product and its VOC effect on indoor air quality. Various certification programs exist that will verify a product’s safety as it relates to emissions. Depending on the product, look for seals such as GreenGuard and Green Seal. Another resource is a European-based program called GreenSpec. Product manufacturers are cognizant of the new demands for green product. Investigate! The healthy ingredients of a product make for a healthy interior space and healthy inhabitants.
4 | Enduring Appeal
Wallpaper’s popularity has ebbed and flowed. It fell out of favor in the 90’s when faux-painting was preferred. However, today the tides have changed because wallcovering has changed. Some of the most popular handmade lines take their inspiration from haute couture. What’s not to like”
Handmade wallcovering, on account of its flexible manufacturing process, means that stylistic offerings create enduring appeal. A new variety of substrates ranging from silks, porcelain, copper sheeting, and natural wovens to corrugated papers and metal leaf offer “art by the yard.”
When treating walls and ceilings the same way, wallcovering can make a space feel larger than it is. Or perhaps a strikingly stylized wallcovering is used as a bold design mounted on just one surface. The variations are endless.
Check with a manufacturer to see if they can customize a product. Is it made to order or inventoried in stock patterns and colors” From a technical perspective, handmade wallcovering absorbs noise and can add texture to a space. It can cover slight imperfections in walls and some even look better as they age.
With advances in quality, impressive product lifespan, and more designs and colors than ever before, handmade wallcovering has come into its own. This is one comeback, however, given recent advances in environmental initiatives and stylistic appeal, that is sure to remain au courant for a long time to come.
I hope that the myths surrounding this fabulous product are dissipating. As you explore the world of handmade wallcovering and as you begin to grow more comfortable with its application (don’t forget to check out this installation video), you will undoubtedly find yourself with a multitude of new design options and increasing level of comfort. Handmade wallcovering – look beyond the myths!
Have questions for Marie” Give her a ring at 469-360-0900.