The trend for wallpaper is hotter than ever. Even though wallpaper has been around for quite some time, there has been a spike in the demand for it in recent years. Why? As the design pendulum swings from muted to maximalist, wallpaper is a fabulous way to express your own taste and eclecticism. As many of us adjust to a new life working partially—or even full time from home—well-executed interior style has never been more critical.
With a vast choice of wallpaper from Europe and America, vetted to fit a wide range of tastes and budgets, Wall Art creates stylish rooms in homes and workplaces. Led by Kishani Kaluarachchi, the elegant Managing Director, Wall Art works with architects, interior designers or directly with the customer to bring warmth and sophistication to bland walls by injecting some individuality into them.
Summarizing her thoughts on Sri Lanka’s Interior Design Industry and how it has been faring, Kishani elucidates that uncommon interior décor products and services were not widely available back in 2012 when Wall Art was established. In the present context, the number of design firms in Sri Lanka has increased exponentially along with the growing demand for such goods and services. She perpetuates that she has seen a significant improvement in the standard of project design in recent years due to the local and international experience designers have gathered, and the availability of better quality, more innovative products. Kishani alludes that Wall Art is seeing a renewed focus on residential interior design and an expansion in residential sales, particularly during the recent lockdown as middle-income families prioritize modernizing their living spaces over spending their discretionary income on vacations and entertainment.
As attested by Kishani, Wall Art was the first company to introduce wallpaper and 3D wall panels, complete with installation services to the Sri Lankan market ten years ago. What a profound footprint! She affirmed that the company is still the only wallpaper company in the country with an in-house expert installation team. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that Wall Art only imports European wallpaper since they are well acquainted with the quality of their European suppliers’ products.
An ethos or design philosophy guides the work of any designer or design organization. In terms of Wall Art, Kishani envisions delivering wall décor products of the highest quality while also providing the quickest and most exemplary customer service possible. Therefore, they continue to offer a full range of services from site visits and design recommendations through to installation. Her team takes site measurements and sends out quotations to clients within 1 to 2 days, allowing for a speedy and efficient installation. “We always look to provide the customer or designer with solutions and we work with the client to minimize the hassle and stress of the process rather than adding to it,” she expressed.
Although Covid was a global mishap for development, Kishani has seen that most construction-related sectors have held up well throughout this period. According to her vision of what the Interior Design industry would look like years from now, she states that the industry is still evolving although at a somewhat slower pace due to the pandemic and its aftereffects. However, she adds that projects such as the Port City and other commercial and development projects coming online over the next few years should contribute immensely to the development of the industry and provide a lot of opportunities for local companies. “We’ve been working with hotels currently taking the opportunity to refurbish, as well as with many residential clients over the last quarter and we see this as a promising sign of things to come,” she states.
Kishani notes that companies in the design industry would struggle to exist over the next ten years unless they can produce high-quality, innovative goods and have a customer-oriented strategy with far-reaching and nimble services. It’s one thing to admire wallpaper in the pages of a glossy magazine or in a trendy restaurant that has a whole decorating team at its disposal. However, when it comes to executing it on a personal level, it can feel like a daunting commitment, however considering Wall Art’s focus on quality and service, Kishani believes they will meet the expanding demand and continue to set the bar for the Sri Lankan wall décor business.