Home & Design: Trends

Custom Wall Coverings

Custom Wallcoverings Add Depth and richness To A Room
By Heather Bryce - August 17, 2018

It’s not just furniture and accessories that define a living space, but what you put on your walls as well. Sheer drapery fabrics with interesting weave structures add texture and structure to your walls, serving as a unique backdrop to art and other décor.

Brothers Jason and David Kaen began their careers in telecommunications – the family business, but soon the urge to engage in a more creative endeavor overcame them. One day, while at a design show in Las Vegas via their cousin in the hospitality industry, serendipity struck, and the duo happened upon their new calling. “We liked what we saw in wallcoverings. We didn’t know anything about the business at the time.”

It happened to be at a time when there wasn’t much demand for wallcoverings, but that didn’t stop them. They spent several months researching – “talking to people in trade,” and were able to assess that there was a future in the industry. Bijou Coverings was born. And, lucky for them, the industry took off.

At first, they became importers and distributors of vinyl wallcoverings. But as their knowledge and infatuation of the design industry grew, the brothers’ creative impulse took over and they began to work with graphic and pattern designers to come up with their own collection. And what a collection it is: from slick to fun vintage flamingo prints.

They now offer an array of decorative textiles, natural textile wallcoverings, handcrafted wood veneer wallcoverings, and custom prints. “The wow-factor of our products has allowed us to remain at the forefront of the design industry,” says Jason.

When you look at the array of their products you understand why the old term “wallpaper” has been superseded by “wallcoverings.” Their hand-crafted coverings come in a vast variety of materials including silks, corks, grass cloths and mica, which gives a glittery touch to a paper backing. I advise you to check out their beautiful work comprised of everything from animal prints and palm trees to damasks, florals and metallic natural cork.

Perhaps you know designer Elizabeth Dow’s trendy home décor shop on Gingerbread Lane in East Hampton. But did you know that behind the shop, which also displays her own textile collections, is a studio where a team of artisans churn out the many dozens of lines in her enormous collection of wallcoverings?

The lively enterprise is the brainchild of Elizabeth Dow, a creative dynamo whose career began in fine art. Some of her works hang in the shop. Her decorative painting background was the inspiration for her huge assortment of wallcoverings, which sell in 13 showrooms worldwide.

Notably, her wide-stripe paper was commissioned by President Obama to hang in the Oval Office. “It was very important to him that it was made in America,” says Dow. It is no longer in the Trump Whitehouse. “When Lady Gaga did a video in a fake oval office she included the paper.” Estee Lauder has hung Dow’s Rain Chain in its stand-alone stores: a distressed striated silver leaf. Her portfolio of coverings run the gamut from such materials as grass cloth, silk and sumptuous silver and gold hand-leaf.

Her artisans don’t merely make the paper and paint it to produce her hand-painted coverings, they also lend a hand in design. Hana Geery of Montauk is responsible for Layers, a combed paper.

What’s new at the studio? “French Canvas, a stain-resistant linen and River, a stain-resistant silk. Both have a very soft palette of earth tones.”

“Wallcoverings give incredible depth to a room; they give a richness not found anywhere else.”

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.