Friday, August 28, 2009

Custom Wallpaper: Bring On The Color

Custom wallpaper allows you to decorate in ways you typically wouldn't consider. Especially if you're a stoic modernist who likes to surround yourself in neutral white and off-white color schemes. Whether you like the minimal design aesthetic, or you just haven't painted the walls in your new home yet, use a custom wallpaper installation to introduce a brand new color palette to your decor scheme.

The inspiration room above was strictly white: white walls, ceiling, window treatment and chandelier. To us, this offers up the opportunity to experiment with color on an accent wall. The entire room doesn't need to drowned in color to effectively capitalize on some non-white hues. The custom wall mural situated behind the desk is makes a huge difference to the room's look, while still being nicely reigned in, letting the predominantly white decor speak for itself still.

Using a colorful custom wall mural to cut through the all-encompassing sterility of a purely neutral color palette is the perfect way to bring more visual interest to a room, while still adhering to a more modern design sensibility. The inspiration room's wall mural is not only colorful, but has a great sense of motion and shape as well. Tired of white walls staring blankly back at you? Bring some more color to your life today!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Imagery: X-rays

Today's custom wallpaper image inspiration is x-rays. If you've been unfortunate enough to experience a broken bone, you know the look of an x-ray intimately. There's a certain mystique about the look of an x-ray; be it the ghostly, slightly macabre appearance or the soft, almost ethereal coloring, an x-ray image can be perfect image source for a custom wallpaper installation.

Consider the inspiration room above: the subtle blues and grays of the wall mural allow the punchy, acidic green of the bench to stand out. The open hand in the wall mural, though slightly eerie, still has a welcoming quality. Almost as if to say, "Have a seat, won't you?"

Clearly this custom wall mural would be right at home at a radiology department in a hospital. But if you can overcome the obvious and find a wall in your home that would work with an x-ray image, the effect would be quite striking. As always with our custom wallpaper, your x-ray image may be tweaked to your liking; the color could shifted to a warmer tone for a more neutral living space, or the image could be repeated to form a unique pattern. Why not immortalize a previous injury? Send us an x-ray of your bones, which we would scan to create your very own one-of-a-kind wall mural.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Project: Nursery Wallpaper

Today we're featuring a custom wallpaper design that we produced for an expectant mother and her husband. As a mother to be, she knew she would be spending a lot of her days, and even more of her nights, in the nursery with her daughter. In an effort to liven up the atmosphere for her baby as well as herself, we were commissioned to transform the nursery room into a virtual fairy wonderland using custom wall murals.

The mural was designed using a number of stock photo elements and references that were in keeping with the fairy look. Images of little girls were modified to have a painterly look, then wings and light flowing fabrics were added. Throughout the wall mural the fairies appear in unexpected places, from one who is sleeping on an turtle, to another in pure white nestled amongst a flowering dogwood's blossoms.

The main challenge of the custom wallpaper installation was creating a look that spanned the full perimeter of the room seamlessly. But the challenge was made entertaining by all of the fanciful snippets we were able to add to the design. The end result is a calm and peaceful space that the whole family, especially baby, will enjoy for years. Do you have a nursery you'd like to finish with custom wallpaper? Contact us to learn more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Inspirtion: Classic Video Games

Today's custom wallpaper imagery inspiration is one that is ever so near and dear to us: classic video games! As kids that grew up in the mid-eighties, the huge explosion of the popularity of video games was positively narcotic. The leap from the Commodore 64 to the Atari was inspired, and we never looked back.

A custom wall mural featuring classic video game imagery would of course be perfect for a game room. There are many ways you can end up when using vintage graphics as your starting point. As in the inspiration room, we used an alien craft from Space Invaders as the subject. While maintaining the 8 bit look, we dressed up the design with modern color choices and a subtle gradient.

Custom wallpaper allows you to decorate with such freedom. Surely, there's very few stores you could walk into and purchase vintage video game wallpaper. While the look in the inspiration room is more of a mural, the design could easily be repeated out to create a custom wallpaper pattern. The colors can be tweaked to the nth degree, guaranteeing your wall mural will fit seamlessly with your current decor scheme.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Wallpaper Design: Gold Rush

Today we'll be stepping back from our usual custom wallpaper imagery inspiration to focus on a new pattern we'll soon be launching on Wallgazer. the new wallpaper design is titled "Gold Rush." Gold Rush was designed by artist and graphic designer Andi Kubacki, and may be printed on our traditional wallpaper. It may also be printed on our peel and stick wallpaper, which is becoming very popular.

We've entitled the pattern Gold Rush because the line work is reminiscent of the flourishes that were added to painted signs during the California gold rush. Additionally, the outline of the pattern draws allusions to stitching you'd find on the seat of old school denim jeans. And while the line work is very interesting, the negative space created through the pattern lends a bit of fluidity to the design.

The Gold Rush wallpaper design will be available shortly, but currently we have dozens of newly imagined wallpaper patterns and wall murals available at Wallgazer. Shop the site now for the most recent current custom wallpaper offerings available today. If you're looking for photo murals on wallpaper, be sure to check out our main website. There you can also submit your image for your very own custom wallpaper installation that features your artwork or photography.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Project: Using Concert Photos

With the weekend approaching, you’re probably figuring out how to best enjoy your free time. If going to a live performance is part of your agenda, you may be interested in today's custom wallpaper project. Nowadays it’s much more acceptable to take photographs at a concert, and that is the project we’re proposing: creating a custom wall mural from your favorite live concert shot.

Now, taking in recording equipment and getting bootlegs of the concert is another thing altogether, and if the artist requests not to be photographed that needs to be adhered to. The wall mural image from the inspiration room is a shot from a recent Phish concert held at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state. The mural’s incredible colors streaking through the air are glow sticks. The amphitheatre itself provides a stunning backdrop for these vibrant accents of color.

Stage lighting in general will always give a wall mural a very cool look. Saturated tones of blues, reds and purples stand out nicely against darker areas of a venue. Even the crowd, not the performer, can become the star in your wall mural. So if it’s not frowned upon, take your camera to your next concert experience and capture some shots, one of them may be perfect for our own custom wallpaper installation.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Imagery: Random Photos

Have you ever driven or walked by something that caught your eye and thought: "I'd love to get a photo of that, it's so unusual..."? Be it a building or an architectural element, a piece of graffiti, or an interesting perspective on an everyday object, these are the types of random images that we love to be seen used as custom wallpaper installations.

The custom wall mural in the inspiration room is based on an unintentional collage of posters and handbills I've seen over and over again that I've intended to photograph. Located on (in)famous 8 mile, all of these posters that have been pasted up are slowly peeling away, revealing previously posted announcements. Ripped and jagged, colorful with haphazard streaks of torn white paper highlights, the potential eyesore has always had a striking effect on me.

The wall mural shown is thus an approximation of this accidental work of art on 8 mile. Again, exactly the type of random image that we encourage you to look at with a more discerning eye. Though these images create unexpected and non-traditional murals and giclee, the overall effect they can have on your home is immense.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Inspiration: Vampires

Today's custom wallpaper entry takes us to the dark side, where things go bump in the night and danger lurks 'round every corner. Or, look at our vampire-inspired custom wallpaper installation another way, as pure aesthetic enjoyment; which is the current attitude about vampires and other fanged creatures of the night.

You see, growing up Vampires used to be terrifying. Images from Nosferatu and Béla Lugosi portraying Dracula were dark, ominous, and patently unattractive. Cue today's new crop of Vampires that are decidedly more Hollywood: young and attractive, free of the less savory trappings of blood suckers of yore. That's fine by us, From Twilight to HBO's True Blood, Vampire related imagery has been become an appealing source for custom wallpaper.

For those of you that think this may be just like Halloween everyday in your home, you're partially right. If you want an overtly ominous design like the wall mural in the inspiration room above, we can certainly achieve that. Or you could commission an original wallpaper design, perhaps a creepy old Victorian inspired blood red wallpaper, or a wallpaper pattern based on spider webs. With full design capabilities, we can help you achieve the undead look that you've been dying to have.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Inspiration: Tie-Dye

Today's custom wallpaper inspiration marks the celebration of a couple milestones. Our tie-dye inspired wallpaper is an homage to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, held originally in August 1969. Initially billed as a music and arts festival, the event became more of a beacon of a new cultural and political awareness to the hundreds of thousands that attended as well as the country at large.

As the country is currently embroiled in debates over health care, it's interesting to reflect on how different our political realm is now compared to the late '60's. One thing that hasn't changed is our affinity for tie-dye, which is a beautiful art form perfectly suited for a custom wall mural. Tie-dye techniques can be dated as far back as 500-800 AD, later becoming a cultural phenomenon and uniform of those ascribing to the "hippie" style. The circular swirling shapes of the mural compliment the round chair and light fixture effortlessly.

The fact that this is our 100th custom wallpaper blog post is the second milestone. Thank you to those who have read and commented on our entries. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that we are truly passionate about the unique art of custom wallpaper. Though we may not have the same visionary status of those storied icons of the '60's, we share that same spirit of individuality, and hope you'll continue to share your time in reading our next 100 posts.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Custom Wallpaper: Altering Reality

When producing custom wallpaper installations for our clients, our end result is always to dramatically change the feel of a space, as well as how viewers respond to the mural within that space. With scenic or environmental imagery, we're essentially trying to transport the viewer to another place and maybe time.

In a sense, we're attempting to alter the reality of the viewer with a wall mural: though they may be in a New York townhouse, a mural of a Southwestern landscape will be the strongest, most salient aspect of the room, thereby giving the notion that one is out of time and place. We couldn't think of a more clever way to fully transport oneself while still being 100% legal.

To take a transportative scenic a step further, we've sometimes flipped the horizon on more static images. For example, the inspiration room features a custom wallpaper installation of a rocky coastline, punctuated by deep blue water. The image has been flipped on it's side, and though the effect may not be instantly recognizable, subtle lighting cues and the rippling water pattern gives the impression that something is somehow askew. This innocent attempt to confound the senses is just one of may tricks you can use in creating your own custom wall mural.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Imitation: Not Always The Best Form Of Flattery

Today we won't be focusing on a particular aspect of custom wallpaper. Instead, we want to discuss the unique and creative essence of our company, Great Wall Custom Coverings. Founded nearly five years ago (we celebrate our 5 year anniversary at the end of the month), we sought to create wall murals and custom wallpaper that weren't available to the masses, to create one-of-a-kind installations that our clients would enjoy for years. We didn't realize the special position we'd create for ourselves, not only providing print services but creative consultation, project management, and in general highly innovative problem solving.

Along the way we've amassed a body of print work, based on our designs as well as our clients: designers, artists, photographers, architects, and event planners. We've shared photographs of some of these installations to show the breadth of our capabilities, as well as to inspire people in the process of undertaking a custom wallpaper project.

The image above is a collage of our installation photos. However, this image was being used on a competitor's website. Fortunately, they were very prompt in removing the image form their site once we contacted them, but the situation illustrates the unique position our company inhabits. Though we are artists by nature, we use commercial printing methods, inks and materials to create custom wallpaper. But as true creative professionals, this synthesis comes naturally; we don't need to fake it.

Consider a hand painted mural: you can put a paintbrush in anyone's hand, but that doesn't guarantee a professional, aesthetically pleasing result. Most any printer could take a stab at printing custom wallpaper, but these printers typically specialize in temporary banners; throw away products, and are not comfortable in the realm of interior design or fine art, where we truly excel. Take a company like the one that hijacked our photos above: they think that they can make a few extra dollars by adding custom wallpaper to their product line. With little expertise in the decorating industry, they look to creative company's like us to help create their own creative identity. But no matter how many images of ours they steal, they will never have our vast knowledge and enhanced comfort level when it comes to having a discerning artistic eye.

In short, you need to trust your custom wallpaper producer as you would an architect, contractor, or interior designer. If one of these professionals couldn't represent their own work and substituted another's project as their own, would you use them? We sell originality, creativity and integrity, not other people's work. We invite you to check out our installation gallery to see how we've assisted our clients, and to show you how a real creative company can bridge the gap between the disparate worlds of artistic vision and professional commercial reproduction.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Inspiration: Subdued Imagery

Oftentimes the custom wallpaper imagery we blog about is quite striking. Perhaps it's an innate flair for the dramatic, but vibrantly colored murals with plenty of motion and visual interest are certainly alluring. Today though, we are casting off the shackles of over the top indulgence and focusing on custom wallpaper for a much more demure palette.

Incorporating a custom wall mural into your decor that isn't a dominating focal point is definitely possible. Consider the wall mural in the inspiration room. While the wallpaper has a strong graphic pattern, and a modern look engendered by the subtle alternating gradient, the overall tone of the piece is very soft and ethereal, almost like it isn't there. This is a balancing act we hope to achieve when creating a more soft-spoken custom wall mural: maintain a supporting role for the mural, while not letting the design be mundane and lifeless.

The wall mural featured above is called "Cellular Grey," available for purchase at If the hard-lined graphic look doesn't speak to you, consider an oversized floral pattern in off-whites and creams, which would tonally create a static look, with a lot of visual interest created by shadows and highlights around the mingling flower petals. Need more ideas for a subdued custom wallpaper installation? Contact us to learn more.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Custom Wallpaper Inspiration: Classic Cars

Now that the month of August is here, Metro Detroit will shortly fall into the annual classic car craze with the Woodward Dream Cruise. Classic cars inspire thousands of enthusiasts to line historic Woodward Avenue for miles in either direction, celebrating their love for vintage autos. Let this same adoration be your inspiration point for a custom wallpaper installation featuring classic car imagery.

The Dream Cruise, held August 14th, 15th and 16th is now in it's 15th year. One of the most exciting spots to check out the cruisers is our hometown of Ferndale, due in part to the direction of Michael Lary, event coordinator of the Ferndale Dream Cruise. With live entertainment, activities, and vendors of all types, the Ferndale Woodward Dream Cruise has become the place to be. All those present represent almost every different social group with one common interest: the love of classic cars. If you share this same passion, consider using a custom wall mural using a classic auto as your focus.

In the inspiration room above, we've taken a less than literal approach using the classic car theme. Instead of creating a custom wall mural with a shiny, colorful exterior, we honed in on a vintage car interior. The wall mural, presented in black and white, would be the perfect addition to any room where you'd like to display your affinity for classic Detroit autos. What better way to reward the classic car enthusiast that has refurbished an older car than with a wall mural featuring their vintage auto. If your loved one spends all their time in the garage, perhaps a mural featuring their car will help keep them indoors more often!