Unlike regular wallpaper, which often has a repeating pattern, scenic wallpaper fills an entire wall with a single, mural-like image. Usually depicting an outdoor tableau, the wallpaper brings nature inside and lends old-world appeal to a space.
"People embrace things that feel handmade and have a link to the past," says Susan Harter, who makes hand-painted scenic wallpaper in her Port Townsend, Washington, studio. "At a time when we're being bombarded with technology, it's nice to be in a haven of one's own making. It's like entering a peaceful mini-Eden."
Until recently, if you wanted the look, you had to splurge on custom wallcoverings from luxury brands such as Zuber et Cie, Gracie Studio, de Gournay and Fromental. Those handmade paper or silk panels can cost thousands of dollars, and that's without installation.
But scenic wallpaper has become far more accessible. Thanks to digital-printing technology that allows retailers to duplicate the look inexpensively, you no longer have to blow your entire decorating budget on a few pricey panels of chinoiserie.
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High-definition printers aren't exactly new to the luxury wallpaper business, but now mass-market retailers are getting in the game: Anthropologie, Minted, Tempaper and U.K.-based Woodchip & Magnolia are just a handful of the companies offering lower-priced versions, making it easier than ever to embellish a blank wall with a painterly image of a meadow or garden. Wallpaper murals from Anthropologie and Woodchip & Magnolia can be ordered online for less than $300.
Where to use it:
- Renters can upgrade their space with a peel-and-stick scene that's easily removable.
- Define a space in an open floor plan.
- High-traffic spaces, such as foyer, living room and dining room.
- Make a small space feel larger.
- Any place you want an accent wall.
Source: Washington Post