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Off the wall

Off the wall

Thanks to technology, wall treatments today are grand, bold and ambitious, limited only by the imagination.


01: Inside Out

The Out System of wall coverings by Wall & Decò for external walls has us all kinds of excited, most of all because it offers a vast array of choices of wallpaper – traditionally the domain of interiors – for use on exterior walls. How? Thanks to technological advancements, the coverings have been developed to be applied atop cement, thermal coats and external paint surfaces, and to withstand damp. They have a 10-year warranty from installation. Get them through Mavromac.


Unexpected Texture

2When it comes to all-white interiors, layering textures is key to prevent the space from feeling sterile. Here, the design team of Hueso Restaurant in Mexico created an unorthodox space themed around bones (hueso in Spanish) that reflects the carnivorous menu. The design studio Cadena + Asociados used over 10 000 collected animal bones mounted on wood and combined with other white objects and cooking utensils to create the dramatic wall features.



3With metallic continuing to seduce even those with the most beige of tastes, this wallpaper by Clarke & Clarke(part of its Reflections range) is an ideal choice for creating a wow factor that’s also timeless. The hexagonal shapes create an iridescence that has a velvety effect, depending on how the light catches it. It’s available through Home Fabrics.



Texture may be more subtle than colour and pattern in wall coverings but its impact can be every bit as dramatic.


Shades of Grey

Some of the most basic building materials come in grey – cement, stone, concrete. Designers across many disciplines are elevating these once unglamorous materials to a desirable status. It’s their raw and rough quality that’s their appeal, and when it comes to wall applications, grey textured walls are here to stay – whether real (screed, cement bricks or cladding), or imitations (such as wallpaper).


4This Next Symposium wallpaper, designed by Christian Benini for Wall & Decò’s Wet Systemrange of wallpapers for high-moisture areas, available through Mavromac, demonstrates how realistic the texture of a wallpaper can be. (See more of this beautiful apartment in our Show House feature on page 18)



5The Docklands range of tiles look like they’ve been cut from stone and come in various tones. They’re available through Italcotto.




Graphic artist and illustrator Atang Tshikare has put his creative design talents to a number of surfaces, from sneakers and murals to skateboards and wallpapers. We chat to him about how the growing trend of bespoke design and art translates onto wallpaper.


Q: How different is your design process when designing wallpaper as opposed to other mediums?

A: Wallpapers are more technical because you have to consider the size of the artwork and repetition. The colour range determines the flexibility of the type of rooms they can be placed in. You also have to be aware that wallpaper needs to make sense in combination with everything else in a room.


Q: If there were one artist or designer whose work you’d love to see translated into wallpaper, who would it be?

A: I think Tracy Lee Lynch is boundlessly creative and her work speaks for her as a stylist and curator. Looking at her office and her projects, I believe she’d make some pretty interesting wallpapers. For creative people who flow naturally between diverse projects, it’s usually easy to create a range of designs that can fit into many spaces. I think we’re similar because we create varied products and experiences from one inspiration.


For Art’s Sake

More and more designers, artists and photographers are finding new expression through wallpaper design, and as a result, new audiences. The spinoff for buyers? The work of these visual creatives is becoming more accessible and affordable.


6Graphic illustrations by Atang Tshikare from The Constructs range of wallpapers available through Robin Sprong Wallpapers



7Andrew Martin’s Museum Wallpaper gives the illusion of being in the Louvre. It’s available through Halogen International



8Robin Sprong Wallpapers has created a series of Walter Battiss bespoke printed wallpapers called Fook Book, from the artist’s body of work inspired by his travels to some of the world’s most exotic locations – Seychelles, Samoa, Zanzibar and Hawaii, among others – which collectively informed his eccentric concept of the Legend of Fook Island.



‘Wallpaper design is totally different from other forms of art because it changes the look and feel of any room’ – Atang Tshikare



As with other interior surfaces, the texture of walls and their 3D and tactile effects are becoming more important in the curation of today’s interior spaces.

9Aptly called Planet, this metallic wallcovering – part of Zimmer + Rohde’s Treasure collection – mimics molten lava. It’s available locally through Home Fabrics.



10London design studio Custhom is at the forefront of digital embroidery for wallcoverings and its Aves Embroidered Wallpaper is a wonderful example of what can be created when tradition and technology merge. This menagerie of creatures is brought to life with geometric angling of the cotton thread on FSC-certified paper. You can buy it online and they deliver worldwide.



11Swedish design consultancy Form Us With Love, in collaboration with building-materials company Baux (, has come up with an innovative environmentally friendly soundproofing and insulating wall cladding. Highly functional, safe and aesthetically pleasing, these acoustic panels for walls are made from a mixture of wood-wool, cement and water.



Contact Details


Words: Genevieve Putter
Photographs: Supplied



  1. andy

    These are wonderful, no more boring walls for me!

  2. Andy Moller

    Awesome article! Great concepts!


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