Flavor Paper: The Handcrafted Papers

By Kealia Reynolds

When the House Method team learned that scratch-and-sniff wallpaper existed, we were absolutely excited—cue flashbacks to blueberry-scented Mr. Sketch markers and fantasizing over Willy Wonka’s lickable wallpaper. We realized that we wouldn’t be able to actually taste the wallpaper (please, somebody make this), but our inner child went nuts at the thought of scented wallpaper. Obviously, we had to talk to the genius company that came up with this idea.

Known for its mastery of large format hand silk screening, Flavor Paper has successfully wallpapered millions of square feet around the globe. From collaborations with Kravitz Design, Milton Glaser, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, to features in Bergdorf Goodman, celebrity homes (Chrissy Teigen and John Legend have Mustachio in their home), and renowned museums like the Smithsonian and Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, this wallpaper company has done a stellar job of marrying high art and wallpaper.

Let’s take a closer look behind some of Flavor Paper’s designs.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S! From the scratch-and-sniff collection

The scratch-and-sniff papers

Probably one of the more popular wallpaper ideas by Flavor Paper (the idea came to be in 2006, which is pretty impressive considering it’s still in high demand), the Fruit Cocktail Collection features an assortment of scratch-and-sniff wallpaper designs that include scents like bananas and cherries.

According to an NPR interview with Flavor Paper owner Jon Sherman, “There are micro-encapsulated fragrance oils that are in a water-based slurry that has an adhesive in it. When you scratch [the paper], you’re popping some of those micro capsules and releasing the fragrance oil.”

Though it may be tempting to lick the paper, Jon doesn’t advise it. “You can lick [the paper], but I wouldn’t recommend it. It will generally just taste like paper,” he laughs.

Ladies From the FEMPOWER collection


Released on International Women’s Day, FEMPOWER was designed by five female artists: Natalie Gwen Frank, Shyama Golden, Ashley Longshore, Tamara Staples, and Katie Stout. This collection, created exclusively by women in celebration of women, “culls a variety of female perspectives and captures them on wallpaper that ranges from soft and ethereal to surreal and humorous,” according to Flavor Paper.

House Method’s favorite body of work from this collection is Ladies by Katie Stout. Pastel watercolors give life to the playful and free-spirited naked ladies that celebrate womanhood with charm and light-heartedness.

Marbled Arch From the Inkling collection

The Inkling collection

The most recent collection, Inkling, draws inspiration from the company’s history. With Inkling, Jon recalls the beginnings of Flavor Paper and uses his nostalgia to create innovative, large scale works of art.

“This collection is really interesting because this is our 15th year in business, so it’s kind of a throwback to where we started and mashing that up to where we are today,” says Kalin Siegwald, manager of creative at Flavor Paper. “We’re using the materials from the screen printing world, but using the technology of the digital world to bring it to life.”

Using latex hand-screened inks, metallic powders, glitter, and various color palettes, Jon created a variety of different compositions that were photographed by longtime friend and photographer, Boone Speed. Out of the thousand macro images shot, Flavor Paper selected seven for its collection. These seven images present Inkling as a modernized, marbled wallpaper collection that perfectly blends the hand-screened process that started it all, with the digital capabilities showing the industry where it can go.

Custom Flavor Paper

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of working with Flavor Paper is the ability to personalize the wallpaper.

Though many people think “custom” means simply changing the color of the cherries on the Cherry Forever scratch-and-sniff wallpaper to purple, Kalin says that customers have the ability to do that with all Flavor Paper designs: custom options go much further.

When somebody comes in and says, “I have this scan of a wallpaper that was torn off of my great-grandmother’s wall and I want to put it together with some photos of our family and make it into a wallpaper,” Kalin acknowledges that this is just one stage of custom design.

Some customers go a step above this custom process and say, “I have a concept but I don’t really have any assets.”

Kalin recalls a family who was moving from the East Coast to the West Coast and had all of these memories they wanted to bring. Flavor Paper found an illustrator to capture images that summed up what those memories were to the family. Those images were then arranged to create a beautiful wallpaper for the family’s new home.

“It’s super fun when it’s flexible like that. When you have strong opinions, it helps to get clarity that way,” Kalin says.

Power, My Dear From the FEMPOWER collection

Eco-friendly materials and processes

If you’re not sold on Flavor Paper yet, would it help if we told you that they’re also eco-friendly? Flavor Paper uses water-based inks, latex, and eco-solvent to be as green as possible in the manufacturing process. There are two main wallpaper manufacturing processes that Flavor Paper uses: screen printing and digital printing.

During the screen printing process, Flavor Paper maintains the ancient hand-pulled process of the hand silk screening craft but also employs technology to get the cleanest and most precise print possible. The brand uses only water-based inks without solvents, so your wallpaper will never emit toxins or scent (unless you opt for one of the scratch-and-sniff patterns).

During the digital printing process, Flavor Paper prints with water-based latex ink on eco-friendly Class A grounds like Nolar and Terralon (PVC-free, recyclable, breathable, FSC sourced) and eco-friendly water for easy installation and removal.

So, what’s the value prop?

When asked what makes Flavor Paper different than other wallpaper brands, Kalin says, “I think a lot of people in the wallpaper world are kind of looking at trends and trying to follow them. If there is a trend that we do want to follow, we want to figure out our own take and then in general, we always want to be pushing forward to do something that people haven’t seen before. I think that sets us apart.”

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