Meet the Maker: An Artist of Wallpaper

George Venson's handcrafted wallpaper turns your home into a work of art

This wallpaper was inspired by costume sketches of the Ballets Russes and reinterpreted as an army on metallic white.

This wallpaper was inspired by costume sketches of the Ballets Russes and reinterpreted as an army on metallic white.

Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Pursuits; Grooming: Elisa Flowers at BA Reps for Chanel Skincare

As told to Maura Walters

“I’ve always loved painting, and when I found myself living in a cramped studio in New York, I began obsessing about how I could make something beautiful in the minimal space. I liked the idea of making wallpaper, because it allowed me to put my mark on a big surface area. That year, I covered every wall of my apartment—including the ceiling—in painted lips, peacocks, and birds of paradise. I launched my business, Voutsa, in 2013 with 12 patterns in six different color schemes. Within a year, I’d sold 100 rolls, and people began requesting custom orders. I painted a wall of Chinese motifs for a foreign journalist and a bird mural for a woman in New York.

“My latest collection features figures from the Ballets Russes, Grecian urns, and Iranian stained glass. If you buy my bird-of-paradise print, I want you to feel like you’re in the jungle.

“When I was making the koi paper, I kept asking myself, ‘Will this make the customer feel like they’re living in a fish tank?’ If the answer was no, I’d start over.”

Collection from $200 for five yards; custom work from $5,000 per 8-foot-long surface; voutsa.com

Venson's first wallpaper, Grizzly Venom, made in collaboration with Bruno Grizzo prior to Voutsa's founding.
Venson's first wallpaper, Grizzly Venom, made in collaboration with Bruno Grizzo prior to Voutsa's founding.
Source: Courtesy of Voutsa and Bruno Grizzo
The birds-of-paradise print, installed in a dining room.
The birds-of-paradise print, installed in a dining room.
Source: Courtesy of Voutsa
Voutsa's lips print.
Voutsa's lips print.
Source: Courtesy of Voutsa
From left: Diaghilev on White Metallic; Iran; Grecian Urn on Bronze.
From left: Diaghilev on White Metallic; Iran; Grecian Urn on Bronze.
Source: Courtesy of Voutsa
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