"We challenge you...
Bring us your design concepts and we wil make them happen"
In December 2014, Surface View kicked off a competition asking participants to bring forward their ideas about transforming a room or existing product (for example with their ceramic tiles range) with specific Surface View products. I found out about the competition from their Twitter account and twitted them over. Amazingly enough (still pinching myself), I got shortlisted and was asked to provide my ideas in as much detail as possible. I used Microsoft's Paint to show what I was planning to do in the room. Pinterest provided for lovely inspiration about a home office with dark wall against a long white desk space. You can read all about the room initial make over here.
3 things you need to know about SURFACE VIEW
A boy's dream, turns into a man's vision.
Michael Ayerst's (that's Surface View's founder) childhood love of collecting stamps developped into his adult years with the help of Sanders of Oxford and their beautiful collection of prints. Find more about this lovely shop of wonders here.
It's all British made and eco-friendly.
Surface View’s workshops are based in Reading, England, where they make every print to order. They’re proud that they can print and produce almost everything right here in Britain. Whether hand stretching canvas frames, making plywood prints, or finishing bespoke murals, they keep the closest eye on the whole process.
Surface View use specialist ink, the first and only digital ink to be certified to the Nordic Ecolabel environmental standard. It is totally free from VOCs and toxic chemicals, and the resulting printed matter is fully recyclable.
Surface View is more than just murals.
Yes, they do offer a substantial collection of murals, walls and wallpaper but they also do canvases, ceramic tiles, lampshades, wall hangings, window film, blinds. Most recently they launched a collaboration with James Burleigh and a collection of enamel panels that are good for outdoors as well!
On the day of the fitting, the Surface View team arrived nice and early. Phil, the fitter, got on with his work, inspecting the wall where the mural would be set up to make sure it was generally "sound". Although we had removed wallpaper from it, sanded it and painted in a matt colour around 1 year ago - so "as new" condition - he decided that it should be "sealed" to ensure that when (if) I decided to remove the mural, there would be no damage from the paper paste on the wall. As with all other types of decorating, before wallpapering a wall it is important to spend time in preparation - time spent in properly preparing the wall will make it easier to achieve a good finish. So, thank you Phil!
Sealing took 30 minutes. At the same time, the rest of the Surface View team (Alissa and Adam) set up their cameras for video and still photos of the installation process.
The murals come in 4 options: Satin smooth, Just stick it up, linen and oriental. I was given the option to choose my finish. The finish that I chose was the linen one. When the product came out of its tube and unfolded, it was pretty heavy, felt like canvas to the hand and it was quite heavy. Its texture was as you can see in the photo below, showing the beautiful grain of the paper.
Enjoy the rest of the photos, showing the before and after of the room. While the room looked nice with the new dark painted walls, once the mural was up it went to a whole other level. The rooms dimensions are almost 3mx3m so it is not big enough to enjoy the mural from a distance. The reason I chose the specific room and theme is because - simple really - that's where I spend a lot of my time during the week. I work in the City, long hours and when I come back home, the room is used to read with my (soon to be) 6y old as well as do homework together; after dinner and once the little one is tucked in, I blog, read other blogs, draw or surf the internet for design inspiration. The room now feels PERFECT.
IDEA FROM PINTEREST
When I first found out about the competition I spent hours shifting through images on Surface View. Their collections are carefully arranged by collection, tag but also by colour. If you don't really know what would work well in your room (photography vs a blown up part of an old painting vs something completely different) and you are happy to keep an open mind, then search by colour first. I knew the colours that I wanted to have in the room and the picture was chosen before I had even painted the room in Farrow & Ball's railings. But I knew that I would have one or two dark walls so the picture would need to have similar colours without making the room too dark opposite my theme wall. I also knew that I would have a maximm of thre colours in there: off white, black and red. You can see my Cable&Cotton string lights which arrived a few days before the mural was put up and these have white, off black and tomato red on them. I am also planning to install a Sotto Luce suspension 3x light with red cord at which point the room will be completed.
"If you don't really know what would work well in your room and you are happy to keep an open mind, then search by colour first"
Another tip is to make sure that if you are investing in the linen or oriental texture, the paper is likely to be heavier and maybe more tricky for someone to install. Make sure you inform your fitter about the product to avoid any surprises on the day and even better: ask Surface View about their fitting service. I would recommend Phil to anyone buying one of the textured papers.
"Surface View offer a fitting service, ask for details"
My last tip, when choosing your picture is to make sure you go for something that will be timeless, something that will excite you and you will not get bored of easily - shortlist your favorite pictures and use all the tools available to you to "see" how the product will fit in your space and with the furniture you have already in the room. And if you can't find the picture that is "the one" for you, remember that you can take any picture to Surface View and they will work with it to produce the mural of your choice. Just visit their "Upload your Image" page.
The small print
This review was not commissioned by Surface View.
This post contains affiliate links to Surface View and other brands through affiliatewindow.com
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