Graham & Brown Recycled, Renewable Wallpaper

Geometric Grahambrown

Graham & Brown, the well-known 60 year-old wallpaper company, now claims that, "about 50% of an average roll of our wallpaper is made from renewable resources."  Their claim is backed by the FSC logo, which appears on all Graham & Brown wallpaper.  Now, that isn’t really a staunch enough commitment for me, but in the wallpaper world, Graham & Brown is one of the only companies making any real effort towards "greening" themselves.  Some of their other environmental policies are more impressive.  For example, they run a Waste-to-Energy Plant, which means they use their pollution to create more energy on-site instead of releasing into the environment.  They also use recycled rainwater, have special drainage systems to reduce runoff, and use non-acidic inks and coatings, which are more eco-friendly than conventional methods. 

I have never been much of a fan of wallpaper: it’s a pain to put up, it’s a pain to take down, and the patterns were traditionally dowdy and drab.  But, in the new wave of retro-modern, bright, and bold patterns, I have become a convert. 

Now, I still don’t ever plan to cover my house in the stuff, but as an accent in a hallway or on a single wall of a room, or even in one or two rooms of a house, these new, bold patterns will look amazing.  Graham & Brown have teamed up with a number of designers who have created beautiful patterns ranging from floral to geometric.  While I wish they had a larger selection, there are quite a few patterns that I find very appealing.  Rolls run from $40-60 and are 20.5 inches wide by 11 yards long, which is quite reasonable considering similar designer wallpapers out there (which are not remotely environmentally friendly) can cost hundreds of dollars. 

Their site is not the easiest to navigate.  You really have to spend some time going through all the categories and designers to see the full range of offerings.  But I found it to be time well spent since there are good designs to be found and they are the only eco-wallpaper around.  I can’t wait to put up some of this in my house.

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  • The Wallpaper Maker

    There are very few wallpaper companies paying attention to green, however the future is bright. There are a few handcrafted lined that use soy inks and others that use UV light for printing. If you want to keep it green try grasscloth wallpaper, madgascarcloth wallpaper, rice paper, mica chips which are made of cork, or other natural fiber wallpaper. At they offer many products like that.

    Steve Abrams – Custom Wallpaper

  • steve abrams

    See the latest in green design at

  • randy pepin

    Wallpaper is a pain to put up only if it isn’t being hung right. Wallpaper is a pain to take down only if the walls were not properly prepared before hanging.I was a wallpaper hanger for 21 years in Charlottesville Va., Richmond, Va., and Northern Va. and D.C. In each and every ‘market’ I worked in, I was known as one of the best. I repeat; I was a wallpaper hanger, not just someone who hung wallpaper. Wallpaper drab and dowdy? It strikes me that possibly you weren’t looking at the right sample books. There are some majestically beautiful patterns out there. Priming/sealing the substrate properly before hanging is the key to any successful project, both installing and removing. Keeping it green by using grasscloth? Beautiful product, but it isn’t a product to be tackled by an amateur. The nice thing about grass is that when it begins to age, it can be painted over to get a new look-same texture and new color. The one thing I’ve never done is watch the creation process. At some point in time during my career, it struck me that creating a repeating pattern match is part art and part math. I will always be in awe of the beauty that was created by someone else so that I could bring that beauty into the residences of my clients.

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