Sustainability Design Week

By focusing on sustainable products rather than trends, Wuppertal-based wallpaper specialist Erfurt not only enhances interiors visually, it improves their ecological footprint, too.

The right wall covering brings aesthetic calm to a room: Woodchip wallpaper from Erfurt suits a wide range of furnishing styles and is also long-lasting. It’s high quality contributes to sustainable interior design

Wellness for walls: Erfurt | News

The right wall covering brings aesthetic calm to a room: Woodchip wallpaper from Erfurt suits a wide range of furnishing styles and is also long-lasting. It’s high quality contributes to sustainable interior design

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Architects and interior designers are fully aware of how decisively the atmosphere of a room is shaped by the design of its walls, as large surfaces have an undoubtedly powerful influence on how a space is perceived. Thus, the choice of a certain colour or a special pattern can make a room appear completely new.

The right choice of wallpaper can bring aesthetic calm to a room and even make it seem larger, while a less cleverly chosen variant can have the opposite effect. Oscar Wilde’s reported response to the wallpaper pattern of his Paris hotel room as he lay on his deathbed speaks to this issue: ‘This wallpaper is killing me – one of us has to go!’

Erfurt's premises are located on both sides of the Wupper river in a conservation area. Water from the river has been sustainably used for paper production since 1827

Wellness for walls: Erfurt | News

Erfurt's premises are located on both sides of the Wupper river in a conservation area. Water from the river has been sustainably used for paper production since 1827

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Apart from the aesthetic considerations that go into the choosing of a wall covering for a particular interior, another aspect that is becoming increasingly important in this context is sustainability. In the best-case scenario, with the right choice, the same wallpaper can still continue to flourish years, if not decades, later. So it makes sense to not only look at the quality of the surface, structures and patterns, but also at the material itself and its method of production.

Erfurt sees the proximity of its headquarters to nature as a mandate to protect the environment in a special way during production. This also applies to the well-tended tree population that belongs to the factory

Wellness for walls: Erfurt | News

Erfurt sees the proximity of its headquarters to nature as a mandate to protect the environment in a special way during production. This also applies to the well-tended tree population that belongs to the factory

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A belief in quality and trust in the company's many years of experience remain key elements of Erfurt's sustainable solution for contemporary wall design. The roots of the Wuppertal wallpaper manufacturer stretch far back into the 19th century. In 1827, Friedrich Erfurt founded a paper mill, which he named after himself. In 1864, his grandson Hugo Erfurt developed a wall covering that, even now, is still a part of our everyday lives, namely, woodchip wallpaper.

If you opt for the simple beauty of a monochrome woodchip wallpaper, you can be sure that it will last. By simply painting over it, it appears as new again even years later

Wellness for walls: Erfurt | News

If you opt for the simple beauty of a monochrome woodchip wallpaper, you can be sure that it will last. By simply painting over it, it appears as new again even years later

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Today, Erfurt manufactures a wide range of wallpapers that aim to make us feel good over long periods of time. It develops its products using natural, environmentally friendly resources. Erfurt prefers to work with recycled paper as a raw fibre material – it uses energy more efficiently and also contributes to a more economical use of water.


‘A sense of responsibility to protect human health and conserve the environment has formed an integral part of our company's philosophy for generations’


This approach is confirmed on the website of the long-established family business: ‘A sense of responsibility to protect human health and conserve the environment has formed an integral part of our company's philosophy for generations. As a family-owned company, it is in our very nature to think about the future,’ and a separate section of the company's website is dedicated entirely to the topic of sustainability.

Here, the many facets of the topic are communicated, because long-term thinking – beyond ever-changing fashion trends – is of vital importance when it comes to ecological wall design. If, for example, a user opts for the simple beauty of monochrome woodchip wallpaper, they can be sure that it will last for many years. In addition, the waste that is common with patterned wallpapers is avoided.

The ‘evenly uneven’ surface structure of Erfurt woodchip wallpaper provides an equalising, neutral background material for wall surfaces

Wellness for walls: Erfurt | News

The ‘evenly uneven’ surface structure of Erfurt woodchip wallpaper provides an equalising, neutral background material for wall surfaces

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Woodchip wallpaper’s ‘evenly uneven’ surface structure provides an equalising, neutral background material for wall surfaces. Erfurt wallpapers are certified by Germany’s Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) and are also suitable for people who suffer from allergies. As they are free from preservatives and vapours, they don’t pose any health risks, something especially important for parents who, for example, want to decorate the walls of their children’s room.

And if at some point the kids scribble all over the walls, neither is this a problem, as they can be easily retouched (the walls, not the kids), making immediate redecoration unnecessary. In addition, woodchip has a protective effect on the plaster and the fabric of the building, forming a clear separation between wall and paint, and thus also increasing the lifespan of a house or apartment.

For its woodchip wallpaper, the company uses 100 per cent recycled, regional papers, certified local softwoods and the water of the Wupper. Recycled textile fibres are used for non-woven variants

Wellness for walls: Erfurt | News

For its woodchip wallpaper, the company uses 100 per cent recycled, regional papers, certified local softwoods and the water of the Wupper. Recycled textile fibres are used for non-woven variants

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For their timeless woodchip wallpaper, Erfurt uses 100 per cent recycled, regional paper, certified local softwoods and water from the Wupper River. Recycled textile fibres are used for non-woven variants and recycled paper and textile fibres are combined for the ECO-Variovlies. Numerous different manufacturers produce wallpapers with raised textures but often, due to their constituents, the resulting wallcovering can seem like something akin to having chemical waste hanging up, which, in addition, also hinders moisture regulation of the wall mass.

This is not the case at Erfurt, however, where embossed paper is manufactured which achieves the same visual result but without unnecessarily polluting the environment with synthetic polymers. So no surprise that at Erfurt headquarters in Wuppertal, the walls could practically be wallpapered with environmental certificates – from the Blue Angel to Oeko-Tex, EPD declarations to the RAL quality mark and the Green Product Award, which was awarded in 2019, for example.

With so much green awareness, it is perhaps good to add that Erfurt wallpaper can of course be painted in any colour – white, yellow or light blue can be green too!

Photos © Erfurt Tapeten

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