Friday, February 27, 2009

Wallgazer Original Wallpaper Design: Color Book

We're proud to introduce the design "Color Book", one of the newest wallpapers about to be released though our site Emulating the designer's bible to color, Color Book is created by hundreds of color swatches varying in intensity, creating a stair step fade.

Love color, but can't make a decision? Do you hoard paint sample swatches from your local home improvement store? Take advantage of the full range of colors available under the CMYK sun, and give your walls a mesmerizing splash of design-addicted wallpaper.

Wallgazer's Color Book wallpaper is printed on a latex-saturated wallpaper that is highly tear resistant, even when wet with adhesive. Fade and abrasion resistant as well, this quality wallpaper will transform your space into a designer's shrine to be enjoyed for years.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Project: Historical Wallpaper

The installed wall mural above was a custom wallpaper project for a family in Ohio that had just built a phenomenal new home.  The centerpiece: a custom built staircase that winds graciously from the foyer to the private rooms above.  The slight bend of the staircase created an oval shaped wall that was large and somewhat conspicuous, a large void that would be too stark behind such an ornate, old world craftsman's staircase.

The family sought to build and decorate the home with materials and techniques that are often sidestepped today, including authentic cut stone, artisan wood flooring, and hand painted faux finished walls to name a few.  Many of these techniques aren't employed today just for cost factors, some of these arts and craftspeople are simply a dying breed.  Undaunted, the family put together a phenomenal group to make their richly detailed dream home a reality.

Fortunately, Great Wall Custom Coverings was asked to join the team to solve the problem of dressing the earlier mentioned oval-shaped wall.  With so many nods to the past. it made sense to use an image with a real historical feel to it.  The family had a picture of a revolutionary war scene, but the dimensions of the image didn't jive with the wall dimensions.  To create the final custom wallpaper, our designers created a panoramic design out of the landscape oriented image, fleshing it out with additional soldiers, a ravaged town, smoke, flames and all.  Even the flags had to be altered.  Finally, to give the mural an even more aged look, a trompe l'oeil crackle finish was added to the image.  When printed, the custom wallpaper looked like it had been varnished back in the 1860's, with the finish chipped and weathered.

Our custom wallpaper is great by itself, but it also plays well with others.  The family hired a woodworker to frame out the mural once it was installed, creating the look of a huge framed piece of art.  Finally, the addition of some understated pin lighting really illuminated the mural, making it stand out, yet tonally the mural still remains darker so as not to compete with the grand staircase.  Indeed, the combination of the two only leads to an enhanced presentation of the space, as the viewer's eye not only moves along the staircase but continues over the mural, each complimenting the other flawlessly.

Is there a decorating project that you think custom wallpaper would be an asset?  Contact us through our website, and start your own wallpaper project today! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Custom Wallpaper: Use Your Own Photo

Between our main wallpaper websites,,, and, we have hundreds of images that can be printed as wall murals. We have some incredible photography, exclusive designs and patterns to choose from, but sometimes our clients already have their own image that they want created as a wall mural. These images can range anywhere from vacation photos to artwork. No matter the subject matter, these clients always have the same question: How does it work? How do I go from having a digital image on my flash card to recievng a custom wall mural at my door?

The first simple steps you have to do: take width and height dimensions of your wall, and send us your image. You can enter this information and upload your image on our website here. That's it for your part, we take it from there!

When we receive your information and image, we will use our design program to scale your image to full size. We have a number of tools that help us enlarge digital photos while maintaining as much clarity as possible. If your image looks like a good candidate for mural size reproduction, we will update you with pricing information, and email you image details that show you how the mural will look like at full size. If your image isn't a good candidate, we'll offer you alternatives, such as using a stock image that is similar to your with the same look and feel.

Proceeding with your custom wallpaper order then simply requires calling our toll free line with your payment and shipping information. From there, our production time is 3-5 business days, and shipping usually takes 1-4 business days.

If you're still not sure of how you'll like the wall mural within your room, email us a digital photo of the space and we'll mock-up a presentation of how the mural would look like installed. Surrounded by all of you decor and furnishings, you'll know exactly how the room will feel with the addition of your custom wallpaper. Quotes and mock-ups are complimentary and no obligation. You have nothing to lose, so go back thorough all of those digital images; there may just be the perfect shot for a custom wallpaper project!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Great Wall Custom Coverings: Changing How We Live with Art

At our main website, we frequently use the phrase "Changing how we live with art." For our purposes, this means we are changing the scale at which artwork is created, and how that affects the owner on a daily basis.

Obviously murals have long been a part of humanity's art forms, one of the earliest in fact when you consider cave drawings and paintings. But the full scale printed wall mural is breaking new ground.

What about the mass produced photo murals of the 70's and 80's? These murals were merely that, mass produced products printed overseas of less than quality imagery. The mass produced mural is never an equal to a custom printed mural's quality in regard to imagery and material quality. The photographic wall murals we print are original in that the imagery is not being printed as wallpaper anywhere else. Additionally, the level of quality of our materials and photographs truly elevates the wallpaper wall mural to an art form that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

As mentioned, the scale of the wall mural in important. Even in the most exclusive gallery, all artwork when purchased must fulfill one utilitarian duty: it has to fill blank space on a wall. Smaller pieces are usually relegated to hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms, while larger pieces are stationed above couches. Changing the artwork's scale to fill the entire wall has a quality that can't be duplicated. The mural captures the viewer and literally pulls them into the scene. Whereas a smaller piece lets the viewer wonder away about how that time and place would be, the wall mural truly seems like it transplants you there, where reactions to the piece feel even more authentic if not surreal.

Huge murals that whisk you away to another land, the feeling of stepping into a paradise, the creation a space that exists in and out of reality; this is what we mean by changing the way we live with art.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monte Nagler Scenic Wallpaper: Photos for Healing

World renown photographer Monte Nagler, like any visionary artist, has established new inroads for his work to capture viewers. Whereas some utilize more provocative and controversial methods, Nagler has sought a much more serene path.

Nagler's landscape and nature photography vary from the lush to breathtaking, always beautiful, always letting the scenery do the talking. The Monte Nagler Fine Art Photography Studio uses these inspiring images to create custom wallpaper for a calm and soothing atmosphere, specifically within the realm of health care.

Monte's work, when translated into a wall mural, has numerous benefits for patients and staff alike. Clearly a peaceful green garden bursting with spring flowers is much more pleasing to the eye than the traditional sterile white hospital corridor. His work instantly puts patients at ease, which in turn makes their treatment even more successful. This truly is a major therapeutic tool for medical professionals, who also personally reap the rewards from Monte's wall murals. Just as the environment is made more enjoyable for the patients, the staff in turn is able to get a moment of peace and tranquility in during their otherwise overworked day.

Monte's wall murals have been installed in health care facilities across the country, and his collection of photography has been assembled over a lifetime of travels around the world. See more of Monte's photography at , and check out more of his work at , where you can see examples of his installed wall murals.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wallpaper Design: Ellen Shattuck, Artitst

Ellen Shattuck is an artist living and working out of Boston. Shattuck's work encapsulates the "organized chaos" of the American home. Out of this chaos there is some order. Shattuck assembles snapshots, vignettes of emotional reactions to scenarios that deviate from the ideal of domestic bliss. In her artist's statement she describes: "The obsessive thinking regarding a newborn’s eating, sleeping and breathing, and the repetition of daily routine is represented by intricate patterning and compositions that have little breathing room." She continues regarding her process of translating these scenes into custom wallpaper: "I am drawn to the modest and traditional medium of printmaking but work to push beyond its formal boundaries. Relief carvings are the foundation of my custom wallpaper."

We were fortunate enough to be able to produce Ellen's design for a custom wallpaper gallery installation. She digitally captured individual pieces, and dictated how these parts would construct the full pattern repeat. Digitally stitching together the elements for the toile and color correcting produced an outstanding result. As seen in the image above, her wallpaper is clearly the standout of the show, capturing center stage within the space. The traditional toile wallpaper pattern reveals itself as a complex network of situations upon closer inspection.

Custom wallpaper gallery installations are gaining popularity. As a way to exhibit work of an artist in a format that was previously impossible before. An installation the size of Ellen's would usually represent a major challenge for many galleries, but the easy application of wallpaper circumvents traditional display anomalies and constraints.

To get more info on Ellen Shattuck's work, see additional wallpaper designs, and to read the rest of her artist's statement, visit

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Project: I Love the Nightlife Wallpaper

If you're not into the classic photo wall mural, creating a custom wallpaper pattern may be the best way for you to utilize our custom wallpaper services. Consider the wallpaper design above, which was created using a neon pharmacy logo. Say you were in Las Vegas, and every square inch around you was drenched in neon light. Perhaps you wanted to hold onto a bit of that glowing excitement, and you took a few snapshots along the strip on your digital camera.

At Great Wall Custom Coverings, we can take one of your digital images and use a detail from the shot to create a custom wallpaper pattern. The full shot of the strip that included the illuminated pharmacy logo isn't what you you want since you're not into the photo murals, but you really like the look of the logo itself. Pulling the neon logo out of the background and assembling it in a simple pattern creates an almost Moroccan feel, while still maintaining the look of real neon tubing. The simple black background lets the logos stand out, with their illuminated halos seeming to pop right off the wallpaper.

This is merely one example of how we can create an unexpected custom wallpaper design from your digital photograph. At Great Wall, we offer full design services. Let your imagination free and go through all those old digital photos; there may be an unassuming image that is perfect for a custom wallpaper or mural. After you track down the right image, go to our custom order page to begin!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Project: Decorating with Vintage Photographs

Vintage photographs are a wonderful connection to the past. Though often we're amused by the fashions and hair styles of previous eras, it's often uncanny how much is so similar with today. The human connection that transcends time; proud people and families working for a better tomorrow.

Capturing this essence is the goal of a custom wallpaper project that uses vintage photographs as source artwork. The vintage photo wall mural easily adds an immediate sense of history to your space. The tone of the wallpaper is important, too. A sepia toned mural like the image above has a warmness and familiarity to it, while a stark black and white print has the air of more being more formal if not reverent.

Vintage images often need a lot of TLC before they're transformed into custom wallpaper. Aside from color correction and general improvements to lacking composition, damage to photographs must also be attended to. Rips, water spots, writing and fading are just a few of the blemishes that need to be resolved before the wall mural is printed. Great Wall Custom Coverings prides itself on this attention to detail, ensuring that your photo wallpaper wall mural will be as meaningful and lasting as the vintage image that inspired it.

Custom Wallpaper Printing: Cookie Magazine Wallpaper

Cookie Magazine is an upscale publication devoted to new mothers and their families, focusing on modern parenting, cool products and interesting vacation and entertaining tips. Products for the home are also featured, and what could be more cool in the home than custom wallpaper?

So when Cookie Magazine proceeded with the creation of a showplace home that embodied their approximation
of the modern dream home, you know custom wallpaper was going to come into play. 212 Box Architecture, who has been using our custom wallpaper for some time, brought us on board to print the custom wallpaper design they created. Their design, a graphic, simplified gray tree over a simple white background, was installed in a stairway of the showcase home.

Clearly a tricky place to decorate substantially, the finished stairwell is anything but conventional. The custom wallpaper installation is visually bold yet unobtrusive due to the muted color palate. The greatest aspect of custom wallpaper is it's sheer versatility and the innumerable applications that it's perfect for. From adding punch to a high-end modern living room to addressing a ho-hum stairwell, custom wallpaper gives you complete freedom to make your walls as unique as you.

Check out more info about the Cookie home here, and visit Cookie Magazine online. Visit to start your project today!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Custom Giclee Project: Segmented Giclee Installation

Creating a segmented a giclee installation brings an extra dimension of cool to your image. The above image is such an example. This digitally painted sunset image creates an installation that is 8 feet wide x 4 feet tall in full, each of the 8 segments are 2' x 2'.

The segmented giclee installation is appealing for the simple fact that it slightly abstracts the content of the artwork by creating multiple exaggerated fields of interest, essentially creating eight works of art out of one original. This is an ideal treatment to add more visual interest to static images. Along those lines, a clever way to extend artwork along a long hall or large wall with smaller yet impacting pieces, truly stretching your dollar.

Another benefit of a giclee installation is that it allows you to have a large display, free from our typical shipping constraints. As a rule, the largest giclee we can ship in a single piece is 48" x 60", or 4' x 5'. Anything larger has to be shipped freight, which isn't custom artwork's preferred shipping method. Creating the look in smaller segments allows for as large of an installation as you'd like. It is certainly much more achievable to ship 4 giclee sections that are 2.5' x 2.5' than shipping a full 10' x 10'. Frankly, that's not even possible without a wide load truck in front.

Dig up the image you'd like transformed into a segmented giclee installation, go to Great Wall Custom Covering's custom order page and follow the directions. In the comments line, include that you want your piece to be in sections, and we'll create a mock up of your image, showing you how it will look when segmented. Submit your order, and within two business weeks the giclee installation will be at your door, ready to make your wall great.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Project: Decorating the Powder Room

The powder room, often one of the last areas of the home to be decorated. And why not, there are spaces in your home that you certainly spend more time in. Areas like your living room and master bedroom are often addressed first and foremost from paint to furnishings. Of course, these are great settings for a custom wallpaper project or wall mural, but the powder room offers an interesting set of challenges as well as rewards.

First of all, most powder rooms are often tight, smaller rooms. Also, the powder room is most frequently visited by guests. Due to their cramped size and the homeowners lack of presence, the powder room lingers with paint form the time of construction, perhaps adorned with a random bauble here or there. Many a powder room has been relegated to the nautical theme without a second thought. A custom wallpaper installation from can address the afore mentioned problems.

The first issue: small room size. This is a great reason to use custom wallpaper, create a bold and exciting pattern. This could become overwhelming in a larger space, but the limited space of a powder room can reign in even the most complicated pattern. Additionally, a larger scale print or pattern can offset the feeling of lack of space in a small room.

Only guests use the powder room: what a perfect excuse to really wow your friends and family. A custom wall mural is unexpected, and the powder room an unexpected place to find one. A powder room decorated to the nines represents a home that is well polished and complete.

The image above illustrates such a powder room custom wallpaper solution. The original image used to create the wallpaper design was a vacation photo from Key West of a palm at the Botanical Garden. The image was rotated and cropped, and converted to black and white. To soften the seems of the pattern repeat, a slight glow was added to the perimeter of each section. The star burst like effect of the palm repeating gives the custom wallpaper an art deco feel. The scale of each palm is the pattern is large, reaching from the chair rail molding to the ceiling, creating a larger than life presence of the wallpaper. Finally, the overall wallpaper was slightly washed out to compliment the crispness and cleanness of this traditional white powder room.

The final effect is a powder room that clearly represents a tropical theme or affinity, but in a subdued, sophisticated way. Clearly this powder room is able to compete for the same level of attention as the more traditionally well-appointed rooms. Is your powder room ready for its transformation? Visit Great Wall Custom Coverings to begin your custom wallpaper project!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Project: Wall Mural Headboard

A feature wall is the perfect setting for a wall mural. A mural will draw the eye to the feature wall, setting the tone for a room's decor scheme. Additional decor elements can easily be played off of a large mural with much visual interest: coordinating colors, shapes and patterns can be derived from an compositionally balanced wall mural.

Behind the bed we often find a headboard of some kind. Switch things up and use a custom wallpaper installation as opposed to a standard headboard. Use your own image to make a customized wallpaper that is truly one of a kind produced by Great Wall Custom Coverings.

The above images illustrate such a process: an original digital image is captured of a random patch of graffiti. However, though the image is strong compositionally, the color scheme is wrong for the room; a more subdued, even toned look will make the bedroom feel more calm and relaxing. This is where our designers step in to make the custom wallpaper buying experience truly custom. Using the present color palette from the walls and fabrics, we desaturated the image to black and white, and added a color filter to tint the image with a complimenting purple hue that blends seamlessly with the wall color and duvet.

Start your custom wallpaper project now, visit Great Wall's custom order page to begin the process!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Digital Photography Project: Art In Your Camera's Flash Card

How many times have you been at an art gallery or an art fair, anywhere you might find a wide selection of artwork for purchase, and wondered: "why is everything so expensive?" Aside from raw materials and gallery fees which can vary, at the end of the day you're paying for an artists creativity. This is the factor in pricing artwork that cannot be simply figured on a tally sheet like canvas, wood for stretchers, paints, etc. The intangible talent that an artist translates into a two or three dimensional statement is often valued quite differently from the artist to the viewer. If every viewer perceived an artist's work and it's price tag as a matter of fact or common sense, there simply would be no more work left on gallery walls. What urges the viewer to look beyond the price tag, for the monetary aspect to melt away leaving only the artist's vision? Perhaps it's an investment, too good to pass up. Or a memory of one's past that flows through the piece. Whatever the reasoning, it is truly only left for the buyer to understand.

But what if the buyer and the artist are the same person? What if that same person happens to be you?

Going back to time spent at galleries or fairs: have you spent the same amount of time appreciating the artwork of others as you have your own photography? Is your photography art? What is art, anyway? If you believe that art simply exists for art's sake, that any expression an artist wants to convey is art just because it is created; perhaps your photographs may be art after all.

Consider the photograph above. It was taken on a winter morning as the sun began to warm a deck. The areas still in shadow protects a thin layer of snow from melting. This images doesn't document a critical moment, nor does it hold any significant emotional or political undertones. It is, however, an interesting shot. Abstract yet also familiar. And as the photographer, I just simply like the photo. I believe it is artwork, and I'd like to share it with the world. Now what?

That's where we come in. At , you can upload your image and have it created as a giclee. Our giclee is artist canvas, printed on artist canvas, and wrapped over non-warping foam board. The giclee is a finished art piece, and arrives ready to hang. Giclee are very cost effective compared with gallery pieces, and ordering them couldn't be easier. The best part: the artist is you! How many images are floating around on flash cards? Marooned in sub-directories on your computer. Sure, using one of these images as your desktop screen saver is fun, but think about presenting your photograph, fully represented as the artwork it truly is. Your image can be printed as is, or as a black and white or sepia toned image. The printing to produce the artwork is the easy since you've already done the work, now show it off like it was meant to be. Visit Great Wall Custom Coverings custom order page to begin the process today! launches!

After many months of planning and design, Wallgazer has officially launched!  

From the site:  "Today's approach to the urban contemporary wallpaper mural is here.  Our artists create original and exciting designs for a new generation of individuals.  Express yourself with wall art that says something about you.  Decor is no longer just decorative but expressive as well."

Wallgazer currently features three artists, Andi Kubacki, Michael Hanlon, and Josh Young.  The site is currently previewing work from digital artists from around the country.  If you are interested in submitting work for representation by Wallgazer, email 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Custom Wallpaper: Behind The Scenes

Above is an image that our lead designer and co-owner Andi Kubacki created, called "Deco Daisy Arial."  The graphically infused retro-organic feel was achieved by layering two images.

The first image used for the wallpaper design was an aerial shot of the Ganges Delta.  The satellite image reveals the branch-like structure of all the small tributaries.  Layered over the photo is a graphic pattern created by Andi called "Deco Daisy".  The pattern was fleshed out with blue and green hues, highlighting the floral touches accenting the hard circular and square structures.

Though both the photograph and the graphic design are strong on their own, the layering of the two creates a new look that has never been seen before.  The floral accents of the pattern merge with the arms of waterways, creating the look of a flowering tree.  Cool blues and lavenders set off red accents.  We have created a number of designs within this framework of merging natural, organic photographs with graphic patterns that give a nod to '70s wallpaper patterns.  They're our Exclusive Designs, you can see the collection at

We have printed this design in a number of ways other than as a custom wall mural.  It's been printed on fabric to create pillows and wallcoverings.  It's also been printed as giclee.  If you'd like to read more about giclee, please visit

Thursday, February 12, 2009

For the love of custom wallpaper.

A blog about about custom wallpaper? Sure, it's what we do and what we love. The truth is, the term custom wallpaper is so sweepingly broad and general, it's hard to pin down the subject; custom wallpaper applications are as unique and varied as the customers who commission them.

Our company, Great Wall Custom Coverings has been producing custom wall murals and wallpaper for almost 5 years. In that time, we've produced murals for clients ranging from the nostalgic to abstract, always with a keen eye for unparalleled customer service as well as print quality. As each client is different, so is each job. The fun part of our process is getting to know these clients from all around the world. Like a tattoo, there is almost always a story behind each custom wall mural. It may be to commemorate a fond memory or loved one, or a desperate attempt for an introvert to show the world that they are truly more than meets the eye. And if that aspect of one's personality needs more room to shine than a bicep or lower back, why not spread that message of individuality across an entire wall?

In this blog we'll not only discuss some of our favorite projects and clients, but also our inspirations and motivations, what spurs us on to create the absolutely best custom wallpaper available. At Great Wall, we're all artists first and foremost. Some are more technically advanced while others are more visionary, but together we form a common bond, seeking to change the way we live with art.

We have so many inspirations and directions, it's been hard to fit all of our ideas onto one cohesive website. In order to help bring order to our flights of fancy, we have dedicated a number of sites to more specific projects. At Mosaic Tile Wallpaper we print wallpaper that looks just like real tile, in patterns, static colors, as well as murals. Our newest and favorite site is Wallgazer where we synthesize a mix of music, art, and culture to create a new vision of the wallpaper mural. Wallgazer also houses a number of new patterns brand new to the wallpaper world.

Please check back for more updates. In the meantime, check out or sites; we look forward to sharing more about custom wallpaper in the days to come.