Wallpaper that wows!
By Sue Baldani
Painted walls are fine, but why not liven them up with prints that will turn them into works of art? Robert Malmberg can help you do just that.
A professional photographer for 17 years, Robert started supplying limited-edition prints to interior designers in 2012. “I was getting requests from more and more interior designers because photographs are very versatile,” he says.
His studio in Brooklyn, NY, was thriving. In addition to working with designers, he was doing commercial work and had a video production studio. Then COVID hit, and he had to close his doors. “I was still paying rent, and after six months, I asked myself, ‘What’s another thing I could offer to the design trade specifically?’ And I thought, ‘Well, what about wallpaper?’”
This concept had already been in the back of his mind for a couple of years, but he never had the time to pursue it. Now, he had plenty of it. “With no end in sight, I decided to take the year and really develop a wallpaper collection,” says Robert. The wallpaper line launched in March 2021 and the response has been amazing.
“Every month I’m getting three or four new orders from designers that are well known and established in the industry.” His wallpaper has also been featured in Architectural Digest, Forbes, and The Washington Post.
Very meticulous about quality and printmaking, he works only with the highest-quality paper in which to render his photographs. “Using photography as a medium for the design process really makes it one of a kind,” he says. “Each one is a unique collage with different subject matters woven together to make these patterns. It’s a mash-up of still life, landscape and mixed media, and the repeats are a little bit larger than most wallpaper, so they’re all completely different.”
Instead of having blank walls, Robert says that people are seeking something bolder and fun. “We’re in a different culture now and we’re spending way more time at home. We don’t want to just be around a bunch of beige walls all day. My wallpaper adds so much interest and detail and really finishes a room.”
One of his most popular prints include his Rorschach Butterflies. “You’re getting a sense of flight, and I’ve done a couple master bedrooms where it’s on the ceiling and it just looks so cool,” he says.
Another popular and fun print is Sunken Garden. “That was shot in St. Petersburg, FL, and is comprised of probably 90 or so still-life images of flowers and insects,” says Robert. “But, there are hidden things in there, so if you look closely, you’ll see a flamingo, mating butterflies and a lizard.”
He’s also currently working on an African mask wallpaper print. “These are handcrafted masks that were on loan from a museum,” he says. “I photographed about 50 of them and those will be made into a pattern. I’m really excited about it.”
And Robert is not stopping at wallpaper. “I’m expanding into textiles this year, so designs that you see on my site can also be made into fabric.”
To see the entire collection of Malmberg Wallpaper, go to RobertMalmberg.com/Wallpaper.
Written for Brentwood Lifestyle magazine in Tennessee.