Writing Art History Since 2002

First Title

An Artistic Spin on Modern Decor


Airtex Wallcovering for Majeca HouseAirtex Wallcovering for Majeca House. Courtesy of ArtLab.


Having a shelter has been a basic human necessity since the dawn of humankind. However, we don’t just wish to have a shelter, a house … we intrinsically all wish for a place we can call ‘home’.

This brings us to the interiors of these very shelters – the way we feel about them and breathe in synchronisation with these spaces, their walls, floors, ceilings and furniture. We strive for beauty, elegance and innovation in our spaces; we want to to instil emotion in the inanimate objects we place in our surroundings and create a sense of excitement. The transition of house to home comes with a keen eye and a desire to adapt and to change the way we see our environment,.

This shift in mindset from necessity to desired luxury, fed by numerous aspirational renovation programmes and magazines, has created a new need in us to decorate and individuate our spaces to relect our own personalities and moods in our living and working environments. Modern designers have greatly sped up this process by exposing us to terms and styles such as minimalist, modern, contemporary, industrial, Scandinavian, traditional, transitional, glam and rustic, among others. The list is endless and the possibilities, vast, depending on location, personal preferences and budget.

This brings us to ArtLab, the modern-day pioneer that is bringing ‘printeriors’ into the world of art and design in South Africa. Their focus on this revolutionary solution for the interior space has turned heads because it presents such a wide variety of ‘printerior’ options. ArtLab offers the latest in digital textile printing and custom wall coverings – they have the ability to print on a wide range of surfaces and materials, which has opened up opportunities for local artists to repurpose their work into a radically new range of high-value possibilities. These options are not limited to artists, as businesses have also found ways to incorporate and reshape their interiors with their own branding. Art lab has crafted numerous works for companies such as the Protea Hotel group, Media 24 and Redbull, among others.

The term ‘printeriors’ refers to anything digitally printed on surfaces ranging from wallpaper and murals, textiles and wall art, to wood, metal, ceramic, glass and Perspex. Literally, anything in your living or work space can be printed with this new technology. The applications are open to endless interpretation for designers and artists, businesses or the home owner with an ‘artsy’ flair. Printed wall coverings are big business right now in the international, interior-design world, especially with a new material made in Germany called Airtex, which allows the wallpaper to be printed and applied in one piece rather than in panels, so you can cover an entire wall in one application.

ArtLabs’ new digital printing process diversifies the printing options available as now one can print on wood, textiles and even metals. This means that art can be printed onto furniture, products, glass, Perspex flashbacks and ceramic tiles – just about anything presented in an interior making it suitable for use in homes, offices, galleries, hotels or studios.

With 34 years of experience in the industry, ArtLab has honed its operations to cater specifically for high-end decor applications – creating this exciting new world of ‘printeriors’. As we edge closer and closer to a shift in the crafting of designer products, new processes are always welcome in the global art sphere.

Sean Streak is a writer on ART AFRICA’s editorial team.


FEATURED IMAGE: Airtex Wallcovering and Cotton blinds for whimsical collection. Courtesy of ArtLab.

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