The best lightbulb moments often evolve out of everyday dilemmas. So it should come as no surprise that innovative wallpaper business Luxe Walls was born when co-founder Julia Hill began searching for affordable ways to decorate her freshly renovated home. The jewellery designer was bemoaning a lack of cash to spend on artwork when her friend, who has a background in printing, suggested wallpaper.
“I said, ‘No, I don’t want wallpaper on my beautiful walls, if I change my mind it’s too hard to take off,” Julia recalls, “and he said, “We can do peel-and-stick removable wallpaper’.”
After trialling the concept in her own home, Julia was sold. And feedback from friends and family convinced Julia and her friend Andrew Doenicke that peel-and-stick wallpaper had real market potential. The pair teamed up to create LuxeWalls, offering 100 per cent removable wallpaper in an endless array of prints, textures and images, thanks to a savvy collaboration with a stock photo library.
For non-committal types
Because the product doesn’t damage walls, it’s a game-changer for renters and trend-savvy homeowners who don’t want to commit to a look. Julia says it’s also ideal for events and pop-up stores, where brands need to create impact for a short period of time. But it turns out peel-and-stick wallpaper has even more creative potential than even the founders could anticipate.
“I’m forever surprised by people’s ingenuity and creativity,” says Julia. “The one that blew me away the most was seeing it used in the back of a snake enclosure. It was a tropical scene and it looked amazing – it gave it depth and it was green and beautiful.”
Others have used it to line furniture, decorate a caravan ceiling, in kitchen splashbacks and on shop counters. The range also includes two textural products (linen and stone effects) that are repositionable at the time of installation, but aren’t completely removable.
It’s a whole new creative canvas for Julia, who already poured 10 years into her own accessory line, Mini&Me, as well as an eponymous clothing label, but she says the basic design principles translate. “I’m big on balance and harmony, and that’s the same whether you’re working on an accessory or a room.”
The creative mindset
It’s not just the product that’s innovative – Julia says she’s discovered that being able to think outside the box is essential for all aspects of the business. “It’s one thing to be able to make things look pretty and it’s another thing to be able to run a business creatively and be open to all the different opportunities that are out there,” she notes. “I think if you have a creative mindset you won’t miss opportunities and you’ll be able to embrace other opportunities.”
One such opportunity has already come to fruition – Luxe Walls recently announced a collaboration with not-for-profit organisation Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance to put contemporary Aboriginal art on their peel and stick wallpaper. There are 14 works on offer in the capsule collection, which all share a story of ancient or contemporary Indigenous culture. Priced at $99 per square metre, the range is an affordable way to invest in Aboriginal art, and a testament to the limitless potential of the product.
“It’s one of those things that can go anywhere,” Julia says excitedly. “The only boundaries are our imagination.”