How To Create Sustainable/Green Custom Wallpaper

Studio Art Direct installs an original painting on sustainable/green wallpaper at a medical office building. This is an excellent example of a painterly style on very textured material – it looks like canvas. “Seasons” by T Avery from the  Studio Art Direct licensed art collection.

Studio Art Direct installs an original painting on sustainable/green wallpaper at a medical office building. This is an excellent example of a painterly style on very textured material – it looks like canvas. “Seasons” by T Avery from the Studio Art Direct licensed art collection.

One of the most dramatic and cost-effective ways to create large art in architecture installations is with custom art wallpaper.  The options for art and graphics are simply endless and are only hemmed in by your imagination.

There are companies who produce custom art wallpaper using their designs or stock imagery or allow you to provide your own.  Only problem is, great designers don’t like to use stock anything, or they do not have the expertise to find, select, license, and prep art, graphic or photographic files suitable for large-scale artwalls.  And if not done right, a huge custom wallpaper installation can turn into a pixilated mess.

So what to do? | Work with an art consultant who has mass connections to artists and designers and, more importantly, knows how to create digital files for production with the right color profile, correct DPI and size resolution, and the capacity to produce and install the artwall.  This soup-to-nuts approach ensures success.  


Custom art wallpaper in stairwells encourages people to use the stairs by adding vibrancy to an otherwise dull and ignored space. Created by Studio Art Direct. Commissioned photography from L.Koudele

Custom art wallpaper in stairwells encourages people to use the stairs by adding vibrancy to an otherwise dull and ignored space. Created by Studio Art Direct. Commissioned photography from L.Koudele

What to consider when creating custom wallpaper? | If your project is scheduled for LEED certification, or if your client wants to go green, you must use a PVC free, low VOC, sustainable material which includes post consumer material and contributes to LEED MR credits. And, it must be Fire Rated Class A to meet most code requirements. We also recommend that the pigment is a UV Curable (very low VOC or Eco-Solvent) for air quality especially in healthcare settings.

But if durability in very high traffic areas is your biggest concern, we recommend a vinyl substrate with a PVC overlay.  The PVC overlay will do a great job of protecting the image from dings and scratches.


Art walls in elevator lobbies are excellent for wayfinding and provide a moment of respite during the wait for the elevator. Photography by Z. Andrews from Studio Art Direct  licensed art collection.

Art walls in elevator lobbies are excellent for wayfinding and provide a moment of respite during the wait for the elevator. Photography by Z. Andrews from Studio Art Direct licensed art collection.

How to choose the right art or graphics? | There are important considerations when selecting imagery for custom artwalls.  Enhancing the interior palette and finishes, imagery that speaks to a client’s image and brand, and the interaction of the end-user with the space where the wallpaper is to be installed is key.  In healthcare, images of nature are proven to aid in the healing process by lowering blood pressure and reducing heart rates. In hospitality, a more avant garde approach leaning towards abstraction or bold graphics can boost the story and theme of a hotel.  For corporations, creatively integrating brand or history is often requested.

Wallpaper art as wayfinding? | Large wallpaper artwalls are an excellent way to delineate spaces and enhance wayfinding.  Fantastic applications are in elevator lobbies, stairwells, and entries to specific areas like treatment modules in healthcare, conference rooms in corporate, and floors hotels.

If you would like a free consultation about creating wallpaper artwalls for your project, contact janelle@studioartdirect.com.