By Tina Jepson
The House Tipster team got a chance to meet with representatives from some of the trendiest and innovative brands on the market. It was at NeoCon that we were introduced to Michael Freeman, the Vice President of Contract Sales and Design for Innovations in Wallcoverings, a company known for their revolutionary products that have completely transformed the contract wallcovering industry.
What makes Innovations in Wallcoverings so special? For starters, their designs are unparalleled. Although they’re geared to the commercial industry, a vast majority of the designs would work just as well in a residential setting. And second, the quality of Innovations in Wallcoverings products is phenomenal, due to the infusion of fabric within the vinyl and the company’s focus on using environmentally-friendly products.
Christopher Grubb, a product and interior designer, President of Arch-Interiors Design Group, and House Tipster’s trade show expert spoke with Michael about his company, the products they presented at NeoCon, and what sets them apart from the competition. Here’s what we learned.
About Innovations in Wallcovering
At first glimpse, the Innovations in Wallcovering booth at NeoCon was vibrant and spectacular. As he dove deeper into the collections, Christopher noted the how terrific and beautiful it looked, and how many of the designs are ideal for both commercial and residential settings.
But the company didn’t always make wallcoverings that homeowners wanted to use. When they started over 43 years ago, it was out of necessity. The company’s owner and founder, Rudy Mayer, simply couldn’t find the right products to complete his commercial design projects. Thus, Innovations in Wallcoverings was born.
Today, their product is found around the globe, in all sorts of settings and in a variety of designs and materials.
When asked about his design inspirations, Michael explained that at Innovations, “we just make cool stuff. That’s what makes us Innovations. We bring a concept to reality.”
This fun take on design is apparent the minute you browse their unique design collections. “One of the most innovative products here is made out of magazines,” Christopher said to Michael. From there, we learned that the magazine wallcover is actually hand-woven, and it’s been one of the company’s most popular products for over six years.
For 2018 NeoCon, Innovations in Wallcovering presented a fun take on the concept of man-made versus nature. This line showcases “a lot of handmade materials, futuristic fabrics, and holistic types of wallpaper married with both natural and new technologies,” Michael explained.
They're also presenting a number of large-scale and laser-cut patterns in a myriad of colors that are fashion-forward and verge on an 80s-esque look that many designers are focusing on right now. Michael emphasized, “We follow fashion a lot.”
One of the reasons Innovations in Wallcoverings makes such a splash in the market year after year is because they’re always looking at ways to add a natural look and feel to vinyl. It’s this evolution that has convinced designers like Christopher to begin adding commercial-grade vinyl wallcoverings in residential settings. “I use vinyl in my residential products because of its durability,” Christopher noted
In fact, residential customers now make up between 30-40% of Innovation’s sales. “The younger generation wants a more demanding, durable surface-- one that you can scrub and clean,” said Michael.
Keep Innovations on Your Radar
Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, if you need wallcovering in your future, keep Innovations in Wallcoverings on your radar.
The best way to check out the product yourself is to work with a designer. When it comes time for installation, Michael recommends not skimping on a quality installation service, especially because, “it’s easy to mess it up.”
Finally, vinyl wallcoverings may be a bit more money upfront, but Christopher suggests considering them as an investment because they’re long-wearing and durable.
To learn more about Innovations in Wallcovering, head to their website. If you’re interested in viewing the exclusive interview between Michael and famed designer and trade show expert, Christopher Grubb, follow this link.