13 Unexpected Materials That Instantly Define Your Space
Innovative and daring, these unique wallcoverings take spaces from mundane to mesmerizing.
Forget simply hanging things on your walls to make a room stand out, think about the walls themselves. Too often just painted white or viewed as foundational, walls present an opportunity to add personality to your spaces. Your home can be daring, demure, or dramatic if you pick the right wallcoverings.
Maya Romanoff knows this well. For more than 50 years, the award-winning brand has been the largest producer of handcrafted wallcoverings in the United States. Finding beauty in the natural world, the family-owned and -operated company uses sustainable materials in unexpected ways to create extraordinary products, many of which are locally produced in their 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art studio in Skokie, IL. Maya Romanoff is set to open their new Chicago flagship showroom under the same roof in late October. Now, they are sharing 13 surprising materials you can embrace to make your walls pop.
1. WOOL | Shop Cozy Bundle Up Two
Warm and welcoming any time of year, wool is an instant classic. The Cozy Bundle Up Two wallcovering offers a simple and inviting look, combining triple-stripes with two different colors that are tailored and trim. Cozy marries superior woven, heathered wool with three-dimensional ink that resembles stitching.
2. GLASS BEADS | Shop Beadazzled Geode
This Beadazzled Geode Flexible Glass Bead wallcovering is the first of its kind and entirely fabricated by hand in Maya Romanoff’s Chicago studio. Designed to resemble quartz, it combines multiple glass bead sizes to heighten visual drama with reflective and refractive qualities.
3. METAL LEAF | Shop Precious Metals
Seeking something that shimmers? The Precious Metals product at Maya Romanoff has just the right amount of sheen. Crafted in the traditional method, metal leaf is hand applied to paper backing with chopsticks. An ultra-modern topcoat prevents tarnishing or oxidizing, allowing for easy maintenance in commercial or residential settings. An elegant craft, which enhances both the most modern and traditional interiors.
4. CAPIZ SHELLS | Shop Flexi Mother of Pearl Aphrodite
For a hint of coastal elegance and shine, consider adorning your walls with shells. Flexi Mother of Pearl Aphrodite from Maya Romanoff is a hand-crafted, flexible veneer of layered round capiz shells with a stain-resistant coating. Every detail is textured and pristine. The edges of each tile are scalloped to disguise seaming, so Flexi Aphrodite turns corners and wraps columns with ease.
5. ALUMINUM/COPPER TILE | Shop True Metals Basketweave
Talk about ceiling goals. For the True Metals Basketweave wallcovering, genuine copper tiles are meticulously patinaed using an ancient technique that creates a warm, permanent finish. The bright aluminum tiles are hand-inlaid and brushed, creating a clean, modern look. Carefully preserved with beeswax, True Metals tiles retain their appearance over time. A luxurious and charitable product, a portion of sale proceeds goes to supporting Aid to Artisans.
6. FABRIC | Shop Palais Damassé
Appropriate to its name, Palais is fit for modern royalty. The natural beauty of dupioni silk is emulated in a lustrous, durable, woven polyester, and accentuated with a classic damask emboss of Italian Baroque origin. Century-old tooling has been reworked to create an aesthetic that transcends time.
7. HEMP | Shop Braided Hemp
Have you thought about hemp? A rapidly renewing resource, hemp is a fast-growing plant that appeared through the ages in the production of rope and paper. Maya Romanoff's Braided Hemp fiber is woven with lokta paper, processed, braided, and created entirely through hand-weaving. Maya himself found truth and beauty in this hand-crafted textile, and the heritage product supports artisans in Nepal.
8. WATER HYACINTH | Shop Water Hyacinth Parquet
Perhaps you've seen this flora, native to South America, floating in a pond but not on a wall. This aquatic plant is responsibly harvested and meticulously hand-inlaid to achieve a geometrical yet organic design. The natural variation of color and texture within and between the leaves creates exceptional depth and richness. Available in 8 soothing colorways, this product can add delicate elegance or bold flair to any space.
9. LOKTA | Shop Meditations Ohm
Using handmade Nepalese lokta paper with flecks of mica, Meditations Ohm offers a highly unique texture. The "honeycomb" pattern is irregular, so no two yards of this wallcovering are the same. Offered in four neutral colors, it instantly creates a calming and organic feel. Additionally, since it is composed of sustainably farmed lokta and crafted close to where the fiber grows, it takes very little energy to make this product.
10. LACE | Shop Unveil
With the Unveil wallcovering, an intricate layer of lace is laminated to a sturdy, non-woven substrate. The result? A bond of beauty and long-lasting durability. The lace resists pigment during the coloring process creating stunning depth and texture. The organic and rhythmic pattern also provides an almost seamless installation. With 12 colorways to choose from, Unveil can create a moody, dramatic effect or subtle sophistication.
Photograph by Chris Plavidal
11. PAULOWNIA WOOD | Shop Ajiro Chevron
The Maya Romanoff product Ajiro Chevron may change how you think of using wood on your walls. Far from the wood paneling made popular in mid-century decades, it is a contemporary, hand-inlaid wood veneer with a seamless sidematch. Micro-thin wood on paper backing, Ajiro is flexible enough to wrap columns and even turn corners. It is a beautiful, cost-effective, and environmentally sound alternative to traditional wood paneling. And, the finishing touches are executed in the company's Chicago studio.
12. JUTE | Shop Shimmering Burlap
For this creation, renowned architect Andre Kikoski found his inspiration in the beauty of natural jute, transforming rough burlap into a luxury surfacing material. The result, Shimmering Burlap, is an unexpected juxtaposition of coarse jute and reflective silica mica. Multiple layers of mica are flocked onto hand-colored burlap, creating a textural light play of fibers and minerals. Shimmering Burlap adds sparkle to any design.
13. PAINTED GLASS BEADS | Shop Zen Garden
Maya Romanoff's Zen Garden wallcovering creates a glamorous yet relaxing ambiance, a difficult balance to strike. Tiny glass beads are encapsulated in a resilient compound then hand-raked across a durable, non-woven base and colored in the brand's Chicago Studio. The finished product is reminiscent of the meditative landscape of a Japanese garden.
A leader in the wallcovering industry in the United States, people are always watching Maya Romanoff to see what they will do next. One thing is certain, their products will continue to captivate. It’s in the company’s mantra: “Make every wall beautiful!”
Cementing their impact, Maya and Joyce Romanoff were awarded The Museum of Arts and Design’s 2012 Visionaries Lifetime Award for their long-standing commitment to innovative wallcovering design and surfacing materials. The question is, what exciting materials will Maya Romanoff utilize next?
To learn more about the brand and see all their beautiful wallcoverings, visit mayaromanoff.com.