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A trend in interior decoration that is coming back in a big way is wallpapers

If a picture paints a thousand words, so does a wall with a decorative finish that adds great character to any interior. Wallpapers make a huge difference to interior furnishing as it not only reflects personality and style in homes or offices but adds value to property. Ground level checks reveal that it is making a significant comeback in the market with demand picking up recently.

Wallpapers in innovative finish are the latest favourite of interior decorators who are recommending it in a big way to clients. A major reason for the demand surge is in the quality as new products available in the market are better in design, easier to install, longer lasting and impressive in appearance.  Changing tastes and inclination to refurbish periodically is also another cause for demand increasing, points out a furniture store owner.

The demand for wall covering in the past, points out an expert, was adversely affected due to a number of factors. Availability was a major issue as production was by handful of units. Manufacturing units were in the unorganised sector and it affected the quality. As a result, although wallpapers were in existence since 1990s they never caught the fancy of people. Few furniture stores stocked them and overall awareness on usage was low.

Rapid strides made by the paint industry and the dealer network in paints ensured that wallpapers always remained behind in the race, continues the expert. However, they are back in the reckoning because large companies like Asian Paints have entered the market. The marketing network and the distribution channel of large companies are ensuring enhanced presence among buyers.

In Goa, points out interior decorator Swati Kamat, wallpapers never lost their market completely because of the presence of tourism. Five-star resorts and even small restaurants and hotels use wall coverings to alter the look of the place, adds Kamat. Further, local taste are westernised, and so, compared to rest of India wallpapers are more commonly found in homes. But local weather is a deterrent to usage as mould and fungus is a regular complaint received by households using wallpaper.

In the past, continues Kamat, wallpapers were considered luxury and used by only a certain class of people. Presently, with rising incomes and younger generation willing to spend and ready to try out new things, the consumption is increasing. Further, the wallpaper market is witnessing new trends such as introduction of cutouts, removable covering, mould-resistant and low-emission wallpapers.

These features are user and environment friendly and increasing the segment’s market share. Other innovations are new technologies such as digital printing and new patterns such as faux finishes are also contributing to segment growth following revenue declines for the past decade or so.

Overall demand for wallpapers like paints is related to the construction industry. New housing projects and large residential complexes coming up means that purchases of wallpaper is certainly set to increase in near future.

Meanwhile, the global market for wall coverings is forecast to reach $ 26 billion by the end of this year. Consumption is anticipated to be boosted by a recovering world economy and resulting expansion of the residential construction sector, according to a market-research report.

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