Like a pictorial book, a scenic wallcovering has something to say. Whether it’s a favourite image of your family, a local map or a historic theme, a scenic wallcovering is expressive and memorable.
Besides adding a layer of interest to your walls, scenic wallcoverings look more spacious by making a flat, two-dimensional wall surface look like it goes on forever.
This graphic illustration uses a one-point perspective to thrust your eye to the far back of the landscape, making you feel like you’re part of the view.
Windowless spaces, such as basements, can benefit from scenic wallcoverings by creating a sense of a physical connection to the outdoors. Even though the scene is fake, the effect brings to mind peacefulness and a semblance of health. Without the mural, this basement workout room might feel sterile and bleak.
There are two basic types of scenic wallcoverings – hand-painted wallpaper and digitally made wallcoverings. The materials, manufacturing processes and costs vary greatly. Here’s the low-down on each.
1. Hand-painted scenic wallpaper
Through a painstakingly rigorous process, hand-painted scenic wallpaper is made from thousands of carved hand blocks, each dipped in hand-mixed paint and often teamed with tonal backgrounds that are hand-painted with a brush. Each order is custom, is based on traditional techniques and tools, and is a work of art.
Some might wonder why you wouldn’t just hire a painter to paint a wall mural instead of going the hand-painted-wallpaper route. Csongor says wallpaper adds a skin on the walls and looks more finished than painting directly on the wall.
Digitally created scenic wallcoverings are everything that hand-painted isn’t – inexpensive and fast. They can be made on different materials, including paper wallpaper, canvas and vinyl, including the peel-and-stick variety.
Unlike hand-painted scenic wallpapers that wrap around multiple walls in an entire room, digitally created murals are typically installed on a single feature wall, as with the Beatrix Potter example shown here.
However, unlike hand-painted wallpaper, these aren’t made or meant to be enduring, treasured decor finishes. Digitally printed scenic wallcoverings will likely last just a few years. You’re more likely to tire of it and switch it out with something else.
With the dock mural seen here, made by Australian company Rebel Walls, the buyer can customise not only the dimensions but also the design, by rotating or flipping the image or choosing a special effect, like a sepia tone.
Digitally printed scenic wallcoverings are fairly inexpensive, averaging a couple of hundred dollars. You get a lot of bang for your buck. Designed by Catalina Estrada for Bloompapers, this Little Red Riding Hood muralcosts around AU$ 571 for the recommended size, 372centimetres wide and 270 centimetres high.
Scenic wallcoverings need to be viewed from a fair distance away, otherwise it’s like sitting in the first row at the movie theatre. You can’t see everything, and it kind of makes you dizzy.
Installed in a hallway, this map example is framed by the adjacent doorway and can be appreciated from a different room altogether.
Typically, you want to install a scenic wallcovering on a wall that has minimal obstructions, such as windows, air-conditioners and light switches.
This installation worked out because each figure has been purposely placed between the windows, amplifying the humorous narrative.
More isn’t always better. If you’re a fan of scenic wallcoverings, Csongor suggests keeping it “contained to one room with the largest expanse of open walls, and it will look amazing.”
What’s your favourite kind of wallcovering? Do you have any scenic wallpapers or murals at home? Tell us all about them in the Comments below.