If the word for the year in 2020 was “lockdown,” the response for 2021 should be some sort of breakout, wing-spreading freedom, or post-hibernation frolic as we come out of our respective burrows.
But while loungewear and Zoom calls have become the new normal, the time of seclusion for many has also been an opportunity to learn flexibility and provide a tremendous opportunity for creativity and self-expression.
One place this has been evident is in custom printed wallcoverings. As residential spaces have been under closer observation and intense occupation, and as free time became more readily available, more people have had time to either dream about or get fed up with the present decor in their living space. Many responded by acting on that motivation (or disgust) by embarking on the adventure of creating accent walls and bathroom remodels with fancy patterns or picture murals to dress up their living environments. Trained by a few quick YouTube videos, armed with easy peel-and-stick wall films and fabrics, and equipped with a few essential tools, the decoration revolution began.
With the range of print films and fabrics available today with their cross-platform printability, it has never been easier to get a high-quality image or pattern customized for a space. The ability for personalization with lifelike images, stock patterns, or custom doodles allows every print and every space to reflect its unique inhabitants.
For print providers, the expansion into wall graphics is a seamless transition. Materials are readily available through distribution. There is broad ink compatibility with the leading wall graphic materials, and design resources exist for murals and patterns on all major stock photo sites. The addition of wall graphics is an easy, profitable expansion of capabilities and looks to continue its growth path for years to come.
While traditional wallpaper is still a considerable player in this space, the specialized equipment and complicated installation process is intimidating for most. Peel-and-stick fabrics or vinyl products are a more straightforward option requiring minimal tools and special abilities. If you can hang a picture, you can hang self-adhesive wall vinyl. These products typically have adhesives formulated to be repositionable on smooth painted drywall surfaces and removable for a year or more without leaving behind any adhesive residue. Some paints have special additives that make them easier to clean, making the adhesives less likely to stick. In those cases, a high-tack adhesive may be a better option.
If you haven’t explored wall graphics yet, I encourage you to spread your wings, warm up your printer, and flex those creative muscles. Whether wall murals or removable decals, there is an exciting new world waiting for your unique creativity and vision. Moving ahead in 2021, I am choosing to highlight the positive lessons learned in the last year and carry them forward—flexibility, creativity, and adaptation. The butterfly likely does not miss the cocoon, but it’s hard to ignore the beauty that comes from the process.