This month we are looking at wall art, walls in general and what you can and should put on them. This week we are spotlighting Surface View, who specialise in wall art products.
Surface View is one of those suppliers that you wish you could use on every project. I’ve used them on a number of projects and can honestly say that they have such a great range that you can enhance any room with their art work.
From vibrant murals to plain privacy film for overlooked windows, I’ve used them on all types of properties.
It’s because the concept of wall art, and murals in particular, are not seen as mainstream that the general public don’t look for this type of wall art or even know about Surface View.
Most people consider normal wall art to be the type that you find at art fairs and galleries.
But when you find companies such as Surface View, you begin to learn about wall art and during this research phase, you should give yourself at least an hour to look through their site images to find the ones that are right for your project or your home.
Surface View as a company has evolved over time from vinyl wall art to tile and lampshade printing.
The scope for creativity is endless when you think that all the photographs you take personally can be printed onto practically any decorative surface by the team – just upload them to the website and off you go.
For more detailed information, whizz them an email to tell them what you want or call them to have a chat.
I mostly use their wall murals and these are made to order and can come in huge sizes to fit the largest wall. It is worth noting that these murals can be put up by your own decorating team but if you do want Surface View to install the items, then they can supply an installer for a small charge.
Here, below is a woodland scene with bluebells that I installed a few years ago into a dining room of one of my favourite clients.
Still looking good today, it gives a fresh take on a picture window not always easy to find in Central London!
This was put up in an hour – so these things don’t need a lot of time onsite – but be sure to get them done at the end of any project along with any other artwork that you are installing.
Some of their best murals are of the vintage scenes of London – notably Hampstead Heath, although their botanical prints are very popular, as are the collections from the National Gallery.
But still, you really need to be bold to use Surface View.
There would be no point in ordering a plain canvas art print from them unless there was nowhere else you could find it.
No, this company should be used by the design professional, the advertising guru or perhaps and those that know wallpaper just won’t cut it at home.
It’s also a godsend for those of us that get bored, as you can always replace the artwork with something fresh whenever you tire seeing that particular piece of art.
When choosing somewhere to put your large vinyl artwork, remember that it will make an impact and therefore it should be somewhere that guests will view and/or visit.
Hallways, cloakrooms, kitchens and basement dens are all perfect places for display. Hallways are especially good for vinyl as it’s a much more durable surface than either paint or paper.
Of course much depends on the room colourthat you have to work with but with the list being endless, you’re sure to find something.
Here, below, we see a geometrical print used as a feature wall. The graphic black and white give a slightly surreal effect.
This type of visual works best in a larger room because the design whilst evoking texture, could be overwhelming in a small room.
Notice how the surreal effect is heightened by the unusual collection of wall hangings; two pairs of scissors, a small circular ring, two clocks, a black and white vintage print and an open medicine cabinet.
The monotone nature of the room is carried through into the next room with the white wooden paneling. Altogether it’s almost nautical.
Not all vinyl has to be modern and quirky though – I myself like the scenic stuff! This landscape (below) is the perfect use of ‘A View of Florence’ by Francois-Xavier Fabre. The white upholstery and curtains frame the picture well whilst evoking the same classical style as the painting.
If you do like the classical genre but don’t want a permanent wall feature or perhaps something that large – then I would look at an enamel panel (below).
These can even be used outside due to a vitreous enamel coating on the surface (to you, that means an incredibly thin layer of glass over the enamel, keeping the elements at bay!).
To those of you that are putting artwork into clients homes and spaces – consider surprising them with some decorative botanical prints on wood.
These ply-wood panels come in three sizes and are light enough to be hung anywhere – no reinforced walls needed. This way, it’s a surprise – but it’s not permanent.
When I am using Surface View next?
I have a large project on the go and am already planning how to use a mural in the hallway.
Choosing a mural for this space will have to take into consideration a few things..
The placement of a radiator
The placement of light switches
The placement of a floating shelf unit – acting as a console
The practicality of the hallway – space surrounding the front doorway
The colouring of the print in relation to the woodwork and paint scheme surrounding it as well as the proposed wooden flooring choice
The subject matter – this needs to be fairly generic as this will be a rental property so nothing overly styled, religious or shocking
As you can see, there are many things to consider but this is half the fun of designing – what possibilities these constraints will allow.
I will start with point 6 as that will narrow my search down. Then I will jump to point 1 as the biggest barrier to viewing this shot will be the radiator. Of course, radiators can be moved but in this case, it’s in the perfect position so I will work around it.
So there you have it.
A great company providing lots of choice for wall art and a fabulous effect for those smart enough to use them. I’ll post a picture of my project when it’s completed so you can see the effect. It won’t be for a few months whilst building continues but when we’re all finished you’ll be able to see the effect.
What are their lead times like? Good. A couple of weeks for some prints and slightly longer for ceramics and other ‘hardware’ products but there are plenty of items they keep in stock for a quicker installation.
International delivery? Yes, mostly – but some larger mural items are an issue with freight companies and will need a specialist carrier.
The small print: Returns not accepted if you’ve just changed your mind or you make a mistake on sizing. If there is something wrong with the item itself – quality and fit for purpose, for example, then you’re covered by a guarantee.
What do I think?: I think they’re a great company for interior designers and non-interior designers alike. The choice of art is so huge and the ability to use great works of art in your home in a variety of different ways makes this company worth considering for a multitude of projects.