Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:56 PM EDT
In my last post I wrote about my home tour of Zbyszek and Sylwia Kowalski’s Warsaw condo.
One thing that really struck me about their place was a large photographic mural covering the focal wall in their living room. It seemed so bold and brave... So '70s!
When I asked Sylwia about it, she explained that the wallpaper was inspired by their lime green sofas, which were a decision based on the dirty-hand syndrome of their two little boys. As she put it “white sofas and energetic young boys just don’t get along.”
Sylwia bought the wallpaper on a popular online auction and shopping website called Allegro (a sort of Polish version of eBay), and logged on to show me hundreds of different styles and images available. I was blown away. The quality of the images was incredible -- it seemed literally like opening up a gateway to another world.
Sure, it’s a gamble -- in the wrong hands this decorating weapon could really backfire. For instance, when I showed these to a married couple I’m friends with, the husband was immediately struck by this underwater adventure, “Cool, a bathroom that looks like a submarine! Awesome!” he shouted, before his wife administered a swift shutdown. But captivated by the possibilities I decided to do a bit of research.
The pioneer in this field happens to be a German company called Komar, which specializes in “fototapeten” – translation: photomurals.
This Komar version of a classic harkens back to "Scarface" (1983), the Al Pacino gangster classic which made this mural an icon of kitsch by serving as the backdrop to one of the movie's more famous scenes.
It launched its first Komar Photomural in 1973 and now offers more than 100 designs available in 40 countries. Komar's stick-on murals are available in dimensions up to 388 x 270 cm and consist of two, four, or eight panels, in vertical or horizontal format. Motifs range from scenic landscapes to animals, as well as cityscapes, fruit, flowers and abstracts. Specialty lines include Komar-exclusive National Geographic photos, custom sizes and of course, you can have Komar turn your very own photographs into photomurals.
For those interested, Provincial Wallcoverings Limited (contact below) distributes Komar in Canada, though if someone has another photomural go-to, I'd love to hear it! Which brings me to this: since everything old is new again, is this a trend you think should be left to rest along side polyester? To Fototapeten or not to fototapeten?
Provincial Wallcoverings Limited
5659 McAdam Road, Unit B7
(905) 890-2834 x 7905
Take a Poll!
By: Filip Terlecki
Born in Warsaw and based in Toronto, Filip is a freelance journalist and screenwriter currently working for the National Geographic Channel Canada.