Wallpaper has a history that spans thousands of years. For centuries, paper wall coverings have evolved in design, prints and technology. Taking the craft on a sustainable ride, a studio based in Grand Rapids, Michigan has created a collection of wallpaper using natural dyes and biophilic design principles.

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On the left, orange bed in front of gray wall. On the right, naturally dyed silk scarf on wood hanger.

Eso Studio, made up of a trio of co-workers, friends and business partners with a common goal, started out as 9-5 textile designers. They then began experimenting in natural dyeing on the side by extracting pigments from plants and botanicals. The team launched Eso Studio in 2017 to focus their efforts on natural textile colorings, including full-time development of a new wallpaper line, called Biophilia.

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Person pressing flowers into cloth

Starting out, the company focused on materials sourced from the owners’ own yards and kitchens. Onion skins (deep rust), avocado stones (pale pink), walnuts and flowers were turned into dye materials. The next step took the team into the community, where they realized co-owner Hannah Amodeo’s family restaurant was a great resource for natural materials, plus they could help reduce waste for the restaurant. Similarly, they reached out to local florists to source spent flowers and give them a second life at Eso Studio.

person dyeing fabric in pot of water

The trio’s background in textile work originally had them making and selling naturally dyed silk scarves and home textiles, so it was an organic transition into wallpaper. The company emphasizes “slow and timeless design. Following the principles of biophilic design, the intent of the collection is to bring the ethereal and restorative power of nature into interior environments.”

On the left, yellow chair near wall with blue and yellow wallpaper. On the right, bed in front of gray and white wallpaper.

With this goal in mind, the Biophilia collection includes a range of styles from bold or subtle to large or small in scale. There are a variety of colors, textures and characteristics stemming from natural dyes. “Playful designs like ‘Tiger Eye’ and ‘Blueberry Crumble’ are excellent patterns for an accent wall or an eclectic vibe,” the company said of the varying options. “Textural and subtle, ‘Birch’ and ‘Dawn’ evoke a more atmospheric feel.”

On the left, gray sofa in front of gray-patterned wallpaper. On the right, wood console table in front of orange tie-dye wallpaper.

The functional design of the wallpaper also breaks from interior design tradition, with 5-, 8-, 9-, 10- and 12-foot panels that contrast the standard 30-foot continuous rolls. This allows for easy material calculations and installation while reducing consumer waste.

Eso Studio’s Biophilia Collection is found in showrooms across the U.S. and internationally and is also available online.

+ Eso Studio

Images via Eso Studio