Work & Business, Music & Arts
Wallpaper: Scandinavia’s new ‘roll’ in AmericaAugust 29, 2016
Quick, what’s the first thought that popped into your head?
Seventies? Tacky? Floral?
Maybe you’re even only thinking of the image on your phone’s home screen.
Kim Florens, a Texan from Sweden, understands. But she’s also ushering in the return of decorative home wallpaper in the United States through her company, Scandinavian Wallpaper.
“In Sweden and Scandinavia, wallpaper never went out of style, but here in the U.S., when you say ‘wallpaper’ people start thinking floral from the ‘70s,” she mused. “But wallpaper has evolved.”
Has it ever.
Gone are the tacky floral designs; in are the fresh bold patterns and clean, solid colors – a staple of contemporary Scandinavian design. Some patterns even mimic famous European designers.
Wallpaper also is popular in the Nordic region, Florens said, as Scandinavians regularly update their home’s interior designs, and it can quickly transform the look of a home.
Florens’ company sells the full line of Swedish-produced wallpapers from WallVision under the brand names Borästapeter and Eco Wallpaper. ScandinavianWallpaper.com is the only reseller in the United States with the entire Borästapeter and Eco lines – a combined 1,200 patterns across 35 unique collections.
“If you ask anyone from Sweden, they know exactly what Borästapeter is,” Florens said. “Almost all houses in Sweden have BoräsTapeter on their walls.”
Back in the United States, the majority of Florens’ customers stem from the Northeast corridor, and a large portion of those customers are interior designers from Manhattan high-rises.
“When new trends come up, they always start in the high-rises,” she said.
Florens, who worked as a financial controller back in Sweden, started her website in the fall of 2015 and runs it out of her home office near Forth Worth, Texas. She carries no inventory and has wallpapers shipped to America direct from Sweden. It’s actually essential not to stock any product, she noted, as papers and patterns are all hand-dyed and batch colors can change ever-so-slightly from one to the other. Therefore, all customer orders come from the same batch.
The 32-foot rolls of wallpaper are all PVC-free and use water-based dyes and adhesives. And the paper used as raw materials is sourced from one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly paper mills. Prices range rom $42 to $108 per roll.
For Florens, a stay-at-home mom, the business’ setup is perfect.
She and her husband and family moved from Sweden to the United States four years ago for what was supposed to be a two-year stay for his job. She got her green card to work in the United States, but with two young kids in school, still wanted to be home when their school days ended.
“I was ready to do something besides the financial world, and thought that I might as well take the opportunity to do something I enjoy,” Florens said. “I love interior design, so this is my dream come true.”