Of the Wall

Forget the days of wall-to-wall rococo: The latest wall coverings are far more inspired, even if they are still rooted in history. Canada’s top creators are using bespoke art, archival designs, digital printing and three-dimensional techniques for everything from stand-alone statement walls to elegant and subdued backdrops.

Design - wallpaper


Wallpaper company Thoreaux was launched as a side project for Toronto branding studio Whitman Emorson earlier this year, but it’s already gained an ample following. Its initial line of eight designs offers modern twists on archival textiles, patterns and drawings; one is based on the lavish wallpaper used in Paris in the 1850s, for example, while another evokes an 1874 lithograph by Didot. Royal Road, shown here, is inspired by the motifs on a 19th-century porcelain bottle.

Design: Of The Wall


Rollout’s Poured wallpaper was designed in collaboration with Robert Sangster Surface Design, a Toronto studio that plays with everything from wax to stucco to create envelope-pushing wall treatments. The tone-on-tone motif was created exclusively to sell at design showroom Hollace Cluny. Digitally printed on commercial-grade wall covering with water-based inks and no VOCs, it can be custom scaled to fit any wall (with no repeats).

Design: Of The Wall


Donn Petelka is behind the incredibly lifelike photos in Quebec manufacturer Mural Unique’s new line of high-resolution murals, which feature nature scenes as well as brick, stone and wood planks in various hues (such as Barn Wall, shown here). The Toronto photographer takes multiple images, sometimes up to 80 different shots, and combines them into one seamless look. Available in wallpaper-like murals ranging from 1.8 metres to 8.2 metres wide, the product is pre-pasted, washable and easy to move or reconfigure.

Design: Of The Wall


Raised in Canada and currently based in the United States, Karim Rashid has a 20-year repertoire of bold and bright creations (beginning with his now iconic Garbino Can for Umbra) that are among the most well-known industrial designs in North America. The designer’s third collection for German wallpaper manufacturer Marburg is entitled Globalove, and it takes its inspiration from social interactions, global economics and political themes – though the 47 different patterns are far more likely to make you feel as though you’re peering into a kaleidoscope.

Design: Of The Wall


In a world of digital printing, Walls of Ivy’s papers are lovingly handmade in every way. The Montreal studio screen-prints every roll onto non-woven, unpasted paper, and the patterns – everything from quirky animal drawings surrounded by ornate frames to simple geometric shapes – are created by Collectif Textile founder Audrey Fortin. The Made in Quebec pattern, shown here, features a hand-drawn take on the classic chevron motif.

Design: Of The Wall


Vancouver design studio Keiou is currently at work producing its new collection of three-dimensional wall coverings. The continuous relief panels feature textures that range from 20 to 50 millimetres in depth. Made of environmentally friendly plastic, the lightweight panels install like regular wall tiles and can be used both indoors and out. Though they can also be primed and painted to suit any space, they look equally dynamic in white, interacting with surrounding light sources to create dramatic shadow play.

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