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Wallpaper 2.0

Work & Lifestyle

Wall coverings for singles and the world's first magnetic wallpaper: both are signs that a lucrative market is emerging in the business of wall decorations.

There isn’t a single industry that’s immune to innovation. Taking this very literally is German Single Tapete (‘singles wallpaper’), which sells photographic wallpaper, featuring photos of whoever/whatever. Customers upload an image via the company’s website, which is then processed and produced as numbered rolls of removable and reusable wallpaper. The company also offers a choice of patterns and even photos of pre-selected ‘singles’ (see ‘Paul’ and ‘Priscilla’ above), creating a modern twist on the trompe l’oeil. A 3m x 2.33m wall will set customers back about EUR 275 (USD 322/GBP 186). GRAVANITY-style wallpaper is one thing, but how about GENERATION C wallpaper? London based Pepper-mint sells MagScapes, the world’s first magnetic wallpaper, which is exactly like regular wallpaper, except for the fact that magnets stick to it. How it works: a coating technology is applied to make the wallpaper behave like metal, so that magnets will adhere to its surface. The coating is patent protected and produced exclusively by a US-based global coating company. The firm is targeting the contract market (architects, interior designers, developers etc.), which leaves an entire market open for taking this concept straight to consumers, not to mention an ‘open source’ market for the actual stick-on magnets. The latter could spawn an entire MINIPRENEUR boom if well-executed. Customers pay about GBP 65 (USD 112/EUR 96) per five meters (22 inches wide) of patterned wallpaper and GBP 55 (USD 95/EUR 81) for a set of magnets.

Opportunities

Empty walls, new technology, a need for personalization and creativity, and a constant desire for renewal: why does Springwise feel that a lucrative market is about to emerge in the until now rather staid business of wall decorations? Think consumers, think B2B applications (hotels, restaurants, hospitals, shops…) and get going. Could well be one of the most fun new businesses of 2006!

Website: www.single-tapete.de/htmlsite/english, http://magscapes.com/

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